New THOR: THE DARK WORLD Details From Alan Taylor

From Christopher Eccleston having to learn a new language to how The Dark World subtitle came about, hit the jump and check out what the Thor sequel's director, Alan Taylor, offers and more.

Ahead of next week's big promotional push for the Marvel sequel, Thor: The Dark World features prominently in Total Film magazine's latest issue. "When I started this thing, The Avengers hadn't come out and Iron Man 3 hadn't made a billion dollars so the [Marvel] universe was changing as we added ourselves to it, which is daunting in some ways by also exciting to have the momentum," says director Alan Taylor, who initially thought Marvel had dialed the wrong guy while director searching. "Halfway through shooting, someone at Disney proposed the title The Dark World and that really seemed to confirm the movie we were making and label our tonal intention," the director says. "So we are the darker chapter, but I think we're doing the right balancing act of remaining within the tone of Marvel to advance that character's story but it also has to fit in because every few years all the characters have to join the party and be in Avengers movies," he adds. Speaking about the God of Thunder's new burdens, Chris Hemsworth says: "Thor's world is colliding with Earth so there's fun to be had with where his responsibilities lie, but this delves into the bigger universe, outside of what happened on Earth with Avengers." Malekith the Accursed is also a new burden for Thor. Mads Mikkelsen was originally set to play the villain, but scheduling and character tweaking (like whether or not his "henchman" Algrim/Kurse would be in the film) prompted director Alan Taylor to approach Christopher Eccleston. "Finding a way to be a villain in these movies is a really tricky thing," Taylor admits. "Christopher has been very articulate and useful. There's a default position which is very easy, you cackle madly and laugh! I think we've done a lot of work to make Malekith a three-dimensional character who has an understandable back-story and a motive for what he's doing."

Making Malekith a three-dimensional character meant inventing a language for his Dark Elf race. "Created by a very talented man," Eccleston says, "but I'm not sure he's absolutely a people person that knows the language has to be spoken! So bringing it to life in a short space of time created some tension, but I think that is a supreme example of Alan trying to ground actors in reality. In an odd way, it may provide these villainous guys some pathos; it may just humanize them." Alan Taylor admits that Eccleston probably had the toughest job of the cast, with hours in prosthetics, freezing scenes in Iceland and a new language to strive with. "There are portions in making all of these movies where you suddenly realize this is ridiculous: 'I'm wearing a rubber suit and I'm speaking Elven! But if you do it with conviction, hopefully you can be full on, and he gave it his all." Makekith's second-in-command is Algrim the Strong, played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. "He is transformed into a creature called Kurse," says Taylor, via SFX mag. "Adewale somehow managed to take this monster and make him sexy. I don't think anyone else in the world could do it, but he did it." Stay tuned to CBM for more of Total Film's coverage.

Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel’s “Thor” and “Marvel’s The Avengers,” Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all. It opens in theaters November 8, 2013.
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