Thor: The Dark World (2013) Poster


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(at around 1h 23 mins) Chris Hemsworth improvised hanging the hammer (Mjolnir) on a coat hook in a polite manner, after playing with it between takes.
(at around 1h 5 mins) Thor accidentally destroys a statue of his grandfather Bor, and Loki wisecracks that he killed him. In the Marvel comics, Thor actually ended up killing his grandfather as part of a deception by Loki.
Loki was originally not going to appear at all, and there was going to be a much greater focus on Malekith and the Dark Elves. Following his popularity in The Avengers (2012), the script was rewritten to give him a bigger role.
The prologue was filmed in a blend of live-action and CGI, as the Asgardian/Dark Elf costumes were too constrictive to fight effectively and convincingly in. There are in fact only three characters played by human actors in the entire scene, Malekith, Kurse and Bor. All other characters are completely CGI.
This is the last film written by Don Payne (who also wrote Thor (2011)). He died from bone cancer before the film was released.
Because of the height difference between the two actors a box, and later a ramp, had to be used in some of the close-up and kissing scenes between Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth.
The filmmakers chose Iceland as the setting for the dark world of Svartalfheim, for its black volcanic landscapes. The name itself, "Svartalfheim", literally means "Home of the Black Elves" in Old Norse/Icelandic.
(at around 26 mins) The scene where Jane Foster slaps Thor had to be shot several times because Natalie Portman kept 'fake-slapping' Chris Hemsworth to avoid actually hurting him. After about 30 takes, she was slapping him for real. (at around 1h 2 mins) Later on, where Jane Foster first meets Loki and punches him, Portman actually did hit Tom Hiddleston; this time around, it only took her five takes to get to that point.
This is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film to not be set in the United States.
Stellan Skarsgård wasn't sure if he could perform the Stonehenge scene nude, even though he would be wearing a thong. The production team gently encouraged Skarsgard by reminding him he had done much worse in the movie Nymphomaniac: Vol. II (2013).
Chris Hemsworth grew out his hair for over a year to have more authentic long hair, rather than use a wig like he had to do in the previous film.
(at around 1h 1 min) Chris Evans spoke of Loki's Captain America impersonation: "I spent over two years trying to not play Steve Rogers that over-the-top!"
There were about 30 hammers made for Thor of various weights for different uses. The main hammer was made from aluminum but it is replicated in different materials and weights, including a 'soft' version for stunts. Of the 30, five versions were used most often, including the 'lit hammer,' that emits light when lightning strikes.
Alan Taylor was so impressed by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's performance as Kurse, he made Adewale do all his stunts because the stuntmen did not move the same way as he did.
A new language was created specifically for the Dark Elves. Christopher Eccleston (Malekith) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Kurse) had to memorize some of their dialogue in this alien script.
The Asgardian waterfalls were based on the Dettifoss waterfall in Iceland, Europe's most powerful waterfall. An aerial camera crew flew to Iceland to film the Dettifoss waterfall from every angle to use as a base for developing the visual.
Filming at the famous Stonehenge historical site proved to be a challenge. After finally getting permission from English Heritage, the filmmakers found out that there were lots of rules and regulations associated with filming there. They could only be in amongst the stones outside of the normal visiting hours. So shooting had to take place early in the morning before opening, which only gave the film crew about three hours before they had to pull back for wider shots once the stones were opened to the public. Being a heritage site, no one was allowed to touch the stones or walk on any stones, so a lot of logistics had to be applied to the filming there.
The film was shot under the title "Thursday Mourning." This was also the code name the film was shipped to theaters under. Thursday was named after the Anglo-Saxon name of Thor - Thunres (Thunres Day - Thursday).
At the end of September, Jaimie Alexander was injured on the London film set: "It was raining, it was dark outside, it was like 5 in the morning - and I went down a metal staircase and slipped and slipped a disc in my thoracic spine and chipped 11 of my vertebrae. I knocked my left shoulder out of place and tore my rhomboid on my right side... It took me out of filming for a month!"
Josh Dallas was supposed to return as Fandral but commitment with his TV show Once Upon a Time (2011) prevented him from returning. He was replaced with Zachary Levi, who was the original choice for the role.
(at around 18 mins) The shot of the levitating truck was achieved with a large hydraulic rig, which could be programmed to change speed and movement.
(at around 17 mins) It's evident that the British children have done more than tumble a cement truck or make shoes & car keys vanish - when Jane, Darcy, and Ian first arrive they pass through a "container-henge", stacked up by the youngsters using their gravitational anomaly, in the same way that Stonehenge was built during the previous Convergence.
A track in the film is called "Lokasenna." This is a Norse poem that describes an exchange of insults between Loki and the other gods. Aptly, this track is used when Loki and Odin meet at the beginning.
It took six hours of make-up to complete Malekith's look.
Alan Taylor wanted Asgard in this film to have a more natural look: "The first Thor was quite shiny and it was a very conscious, smart choice. I wanted to get more of a sense of the Viking quality, the texture and weight of history. They've been around for thousands of years." To achieve this, the crew filmed on the coast of Norway (particularly the Lofoten islands) for three days, capturing six hours of footage; Asgardian structures were then embedded over this footage.
(at around 52 mins) The diagrams seen on Dr Selvig's board contain homages to elements in Marvel Comics:
  • the number "616" is a designation given to a specific Marvel universe (the original one that started in the 1960s - the Marvel Cinematic Universe is designated 199999)
  • Simonson's Theory of Relativity is a homage to Thor comic writer Walter Simonson
  • the Nexus of All Reality is a location in the Florida Everglades where dimensions intersect, which is guarded by the hero Man-Thing
  • the Crossroads is an intersection for routes to different worlds
  • and the Fault is a tear in the fabric of the universe, attended to by the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje described Kurse as "an amalgamation of a bull and a lava-like creature." For his role as Kurse, he underwent a daily three hours of make-up and 40-pound prosthetics: "I'm sure there will be a certain amount of CGI, but a good 80% was me in that suit."
Tom Hiddleston describes Loki as a "firework" in this film: "Well, where next? What's he going to do? What level of remorse does he have? If he does have any remorse or regret, why? Who does he feel guilty in front of, and who does he laugh in the face of? What's his motivation? If he stands to win, what does he stand to win? As a character you've got all these new motivations, but as an actor I am absolved from playing hero or villain - I'm just the live wire. And that was more fun than I can possibly tell you."
According to Jake Morrison, the Asgardian skiffs in the film work in a unique manner: "The idea is that the Asgardians came to the Viking people with ships like this, and their technologies that inspired the Vikings to begin building their longships. When you see one of these skiffs move through the water and then suddenly take flight it just keeps that whole curvy, Stan Lee-Walter Simonson world of Asgard alive."
In the Marvel Comics, the Svartalfar (beings of Svartalfheim) are Dark Elves - in Norse Mythology, it literally means black elf.
(at around 8 mins) The stone creature Thor fights is a Kronan, an alien being that appeared in Thor's first comic, "Journey Into Mystery" #83.
Loki's trial had been seen in the "movie prequel comic" book which serves as a "bridge" between Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), and this movie. The filmmakers liked it so much they incorporated it into the film.
(at around 48 mins) Malekith's thunder burned face is an homage to the classic John Byrne design of the character whose face was half-purple in the comics. The starburst on his chest armor was also a nod to the original comic design.
The stunt men and extras playing the Dark Elves had to go through a training period where they practiced standing tall and proud since the dark elves are envisioned to be a noble people. Prosthetics designer David White helped out too by designing the helmet so that the eye line was slightly pulled down, forcing the actors to tilt their heads slightly up and back, which gave them a very proud, strong feel.
(at around 14 mins) A fair amount of improvisation was allowed on set; Kat Dennings's calling Stellan Skarsgård "banana balls" was made up on the spot.
Director Alan Taylor was unhappy with how the movie turned out. Although he had received full creative freedom while the movie was shot, he stated that the studio had turned it into a different movie during post-production; a situation he "[hoped] never to repeat and [doesn't] wish upon anybody else.
In the Marvel Comics and actual Norse mythology, the Einherjar are the souls of the glorious dead feasting in Valhalla. In this film, they are Asgard's city guards.
The black hole grenade effects were based on depth charges. To capture this effect the VFXperts built a water tank where they observed how depth charges operate and their effects: "The depth charge was used for the initial blast and it ended up adding the first part of the one-two punch - a depth charge for the expansion and the crush as a pay-off!"
According to Jake Morrison, the healing table instruments were based on tuning forks: "The Asgardian holograms are to do with wavelengths. The tuning forks actually create a magnetic field and inside the field people can interact with, and it can emit strings like on a violin. The nanotech would then display essentially a representation of Jane's soul that looks like these fine strings of gold that move through her and at the same time are interactive."
Christopher Eccleston describes Malekith as a tragic villain: "What I thought about a great deal was revenge. One quote is: 'When you seek revenge, be sure to dig two graves.' I did a film called Revengers Tragedy (2002) where I played a guy called Vindici-from the word 'vindictive'-and he is the distillation of revenge. So, in a way, that was what I had to think of: how revenge can make you absolutely monomaniacal-though you're still trying to make it recognizably motive-led. It's just the personification of movie evil."
Jake Morrison redefined Thor's flight ability in the film: "He's jumping to attack somebody, it should be more of a lift and land rather than necessarily a straight-line drive. The thinking behind that is that he can control the weather so the wind can keep him aloft to allow him to have that kind of profile."
In late 2011, Patty Jenkins was officially announced as director for this film. In December 2011, she backed out of the project due to "creative differences." Natalie Portman was publicly upset that talks between Marvel and Patty Jenkins broke down, some sources even claim she threatened not to take part in the film with another director but couldn't get out of her contract. Jenkins would later go on to direct the DCEU film Wonder Woman (2017).
According to the filmmakers, amongst the Marauders the Asgardians arrest and imprison are Korbinites. These are a race of aliens Thor encountered; one of them, Beta Ray Bill, became Thor's ally and was deemed worthy to receive an Asgardian hammer of his own.
Kat Dennings describes her role in this film as a matchmaker: "She loves Jane, she really wants Jane and Thor to be together. It's almost like her own little soap opera that she watches."
Mads Mikkelsen was considered for the role of Malekith, but he dropped out due to scheduling conflicts with the concurrently filming TV show, Hannibal (2013) (a role portrayed by Anthony Hopkins in three films, and who plays Odin in this film). Christopher Eccleston was cast instead. Mikkelsen would eventually appear in another Marvel film, Doctor Strange (2016).
Tom Hiddleston "half-jokingly" offered to direct, but was turned down because of a lack of previous experience.
Jaimie Alexander would return as Lady Sif again in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013) episode Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Yes Men (2014).
Kenneth Branagh turned down directing this film as he felt that the locked release date didn't give him enough pre-production time that he decided to work on Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) instead.
According to VFX supervisor Jake Morrison, the Harrows, the spaceships used by the Dark Elves, are powered by black holes: "A black hole pulls in all directions. You stick a box around it - but if you poke a hole in one side of the box it would pull in that direction. So effectively if you strap a craft around that you've got a propulsion drive which is kind of an impulsion drive."
Up to 11,000 weapons were used for this film. A team of up to 20 technicians worked to build new props or transform some of the props from the first film with more wear and tear.
The filmmakers planned to use Thor's antagonist the fire demon Surtur in the film; they were going to feature Surtur's realm Muspelheim in the film, and had scouted for fire dancers to cast as fire giants. The filmmakers eventually decided not to use Surtur in the film, and instead featured a second look at Jotunheim from the first film. A glimpse of a volcanic realm (Muspelheim) is visible during the convergence.
Despite being the main villain (and even being on the poster), Christopher Eccleston's name doesn't appear in most of the promotional material, including said poster.
Idris Elba has said he disliked working on the film, as the constant re-shoots were exhausting and time-consuming. He even referred to working on the film as "torture."
This is the first Marvel Studios film to start with just the Marvel Studios logo. Aptly enough, starting with this film, the logo has been given an update as well as a fanfare written by composer Brian Tyler.
Carter Burwell was to write the score but left the film over creative differences and was replaced by Iron Man Three (2013) composer Brian Tyler.
HIDDEN MICKEY: (at around 1h 30 mins) When the convergence is taking place in the climax of the film three of the realms form Mickey's silhouette.
(at around 8 mins) A stone man from Saturn faces off against Thor in the film. The character is the first person that Thor faced in the comics.
Valkyrie of The Defenders was set to appear at one point, and concept art of her costume was even drawn up. The character would later appear in the sequel, Thor: Ragnarok.
Chapter Two of Phase Two in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The production offices on the Shepperton Studios lot were listed as "Asgard Productions II UK Ltd." and the fake title of the film being used was "The Mighty Thursday Mourning," written in a font like that of the comic book-style The Mighty Thor logo.
At only 1 hour 52 minutes, this is the shortest Marvel movie to date. (It is tied with The Incredible Hulk (2008))
One action scene involves 140 marauders, an assortment of weapons, some from the aliens in Avengers, a mix of roman, medieval, and nearly every earth culture. The idea is that the gang of space pirates would have taken possession of an assortment of many types of weapons from their adventures. They use axes, swords, spears, morning stars, whips, and guns.
(at around 30 mins) Jane gets annoyed when Odin says she belongs in Asgard, like a goat belongs at a banquet table. Ironically, in the final scene of the movie on Earth (prior to the credits) she is seen eating at a kitchen table with a container of what is clearly labeled as goat's milk.
The prologue was directed by Tim Miller.
Multiple people on the production kept referring to the dark elves as like "stormtroopers."
About ten different designs for alien guns were created for the film. The guns in this movie work mostly with lasers; there was a choice to avoid cartridges or ballistic weapons.
The delta-winged jet fighters are Eurofighter Typhoons.
Christopher Eccleston and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje previously worked together on the film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009).
According to Jake Morrison, the Harrows navigation interface was a great way to combine outside with inside environments: "It projects the surroundings on a bubble around you. With some cockpit shots in other films, you'd cut from the exteriors that would be frenetic and fast-paced into potentially quite a dark interior with a lot of dialogue - you can make the outside very exciting but when you get into the cockpit, how do you make that stuff fun?"
Kevin Feige describes this film as "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) of Marvel's Thor (2011) saga."
This was cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau's first digital film. Morgenthau used an Arri Alexa Plus camera, with Panavision anamorphic lenses: "The lenses brought some of the magic and mystery of photorealism back to digital, that big-movie look."
(at around 52 mins) In Stellan Skarsgård's first dialogue scene in this movie, he is wearing blue and yellow pants. These are the exact shade and color of his native country's flag. Sweden.
The 12th biggest grossing film of 2013.
Odin's throne room set was built on stage H at Shepperton Studios, the same stage where the ceremony scene was shot for Star Wars. (It also housed the moon set for 2001.) Disney announced they were purchasing LucasFilm and making new Star Wars movies. Stage H is very large, the biggest at Shepperton.
Brian Kirk had entered into early negotiations to direct the film but later dropped out. Patty Jenkins was later confirmed to direct the film but dropped out citing creative differences between her and Marvel. Alan Taylor and Daniel Minahan were on the final shortlist to direct until finally Taylor boarded the project.
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(at around 1h 30 mins) When Thor gets on a train in the London Underground, the station he uses is Charing Cross. Anthony Hopkins (Odin) starred in 84 Charing Cross Road (1987).
In the comics, Jane Foster took over the Mjolnir and assumed the mantle of Thor, replacing the original character in his monthly comic book title.
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This film features 2 of six Doctor Who stars to have roles in the MCU. Christopher Eccleston appeared as one of the incarnations of the Doctor and Tony Curran appeared in one episode. Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)), Peter Serafinowicz (Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)), Toby Jones (Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)) and Jenna Coleman (Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)) all have had supporting roles in various seasons of the series.
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Carter Burwell was originally signed to score the movie, but it ended up in the hands of Brian Tyler.
To gain the muscle required for his role, Chris Hemsworth adopted a high protein diet and his intense work out regiment had to constantly be changed because of the filming schedule and filming locations.
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Stan Lee: (at around 52 mins) as the man who asks Dr. Selvig for his shoe back when Dr. Selvig is in the mental ward explaining the Convergence theory.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Tom Hiddleston wore a Captain America suit and did an impression of Chris Evans. Evans later showed up on set and shot his cameo, imitating Hiddleston's impression.
According to Natalie Portman, she was not available to film the post-credit scene where Thor and Jane Foster finally kiss; instead it was shot with Chris Hemsworth's actual wife Elsa Pataky.
at around 1h) The Asgard soldier that Loki impersonates as he walks with Thor down the long hallway scene is the same soldier that informs Odin of Loki's death (at around 1h 25 mins).
Joss Whedon was brought in to do uncredited rewrites for a few scenes, including the extremely brief encounter with the stone creature (which was originally a much longer scene) and Loki briefly masquerading as Captain America in a hallway conversation with Thor.
The mid-credits scene was directed by James Gunn, and ties into his Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
Odin's fate has been given different answers by some of the crew. Kevin Feige doesn't outright answer the question but says that there are plans for him, Alan Taylor thinks he's dead but wants to know how he'll end up in the sequel, and Anthony Hopkins doesn't have an idea and believes that he's dead.
An abandoned plotline was to have Jane Foster turned into a villain by the Aether and destroy Svartalfheim as a show of her power before going to Earth. It was dropped in favor of keeping the focus on Malekith and not introducing a third villain before the finale.
at around 1h 40 mins) The Aether is identified by the Collector to be an Infinity Gem. Its red color identifies it as the Gem of Power. However, according to James Gunn, the Gem of Power is the one that appears in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) (The Orb).
Alan Taylor has said that he's "very happy to not take responsibility" for the mid-credits scene which features The Collector and was directed by Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) director James Gunn. He has since apologized for this and to James Gunn.
Jake Morrison described the final battle as Time Toffee: "As you punch through from one realm to another it's almost like a slightly gelatinous membrane you have to pass through. It bends a little bit then rips and spits the person out."
In the film the substance the Dark Elves are after is called Aether. Aether is the mythological personification of the sky in Greek mythology and later in alchemy and medieval science the material that fills the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere. A reason of the use of the word "aether" can be because of its connection to dark energy which the Dark Elves are connected to in this film.
According to Kevin Feige, every Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2 movie has an homage to Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) in the form of a character losing an arm.
  • In Iron Man Three (2013), Aldrich Killian loses an arm during the battle with Tony Stark.
  • In Thor: The Dark World, Loki cuts off Thor's arm on Svartalfheim, but is revealed to be an illusion. In the final battle, Malekith also loses his arm.
  • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Bucky lost his arm during his fall from the train, and it has been replaced by a mechanical one.
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Gamora cuts off Groot's arm during the group's initial scuffle on Xandar. Later, Nebula cuts off her own arm to escape.
  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Ulysses Klaue loses his hand to Ultron.
The mid credit scene of handing over Aether to the collector can be a reference to comics where he had the reality infinity gem but unaware of its true power. In the scene however he is fully aware that it is an infinity gem.
at around 38 mins) The VFXperts were influenced by the transformation sequences in The Avengers (2012) (the Hulk) and An American Werewolf in London (1981) (David Kessler) in the sequence where Algrim changes into Kurse.
Loki, in Norse Mythology, is the God of Mischief, Evil, and at one time also the God of Firesides and Hearth. In this film, he is the God of Mischief, and we see a hint of evil, perhaps edging towards the God of Evil side. "Loki" is additionally Old Norse for "Mischief" ( "Lokki" is Finnish for "seagull" and Latvian for "spring onion"). In Norse Mythology, Loki also had four children - Hel, the ruler of Hel, Sleipnir, an eight legged horse (we see him in the first Thor film), Jormagund/Jormungandr, a giant sea serpent, and Fenrir, a giant wolf who will devour the sun at Ragnarok.
Possibly the only film in the MCU where Hydra (or Hydra as SHIELD) does not influence the plot, even in the post-credits scenes.
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at around 1h 3 mins) During Loki's and Thor's escape of Asgard with Jane Foster, Thor's three friends assist by battling Asgardian guards. Sif's battle isn't shown, and the other two it is assumed kill no one on screen. So if Sif does the same thing, then all three assist without killing fellow Asgardians.
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