Christopher Eccleston Joins Thor: The Dark World as Villain; Rene Russo Hopes For Expanded Role
08.02.12 by Ryan
The villain for Marvel's upcoming sequel Thor: The Dark World has finally been chosen (again) and the casting sheds some light on the "Dark World" discussed in the title.
THR reports that British actor Christopher Eccleston, who is best known for his work as Doctor Who in the show's 2005 season and played the villain Destro in 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, is in final negotiations to play the villain in the sequel to last year's Thor. Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) was originally in discussions for the then-undisclosed role, but, by the time Marvel presented a formal offer, had already accepted the lead role in the upcoming NBC TV series Hannibal.
According to the report, Eccleston will play the ruler of the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, otherwise known as Malekith. Svartalfheim is one of the nine worlds of Asgard, and, as indicated in the sequel's title, not a very nice one. The character was rumored to be the villain in the sequel last month.
In the Marvel comic books, Malekith is a teleporting, soul-eating, shape-shifter who strikes an alliance with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and travels to New York to retrieve the Casket of Ancient Winters, which Malekith hopes to use in order to take over and rule Asgard. How much of Malekith's comic book history Marvel plans to use for The Dark World is unknown, as plot details have been kept under wraps — with Eccleston's casting being the first revealing key to the sequel's secrets.
Eccleston joins a cast that includes several returning cast members including Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Jamie Alexander as the Asgardian warrior Sif, and Idris Elba as Heimdall. Also returning is Rene Russo, who had a rather blink-and-miss role as Frigga, the wife of Thor's father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Talking to Vulture, Russo revealed that she's hoping for a larger role in the sequel.
You know, they cut me [down] in the first film. [Director] Kenneth Branagh sent me a nice note, because he understood, he's an actor. You move on, what are you going to do? But I think they're going to need a good mom in the next film. Loki needs his mom.
After the events of The Avengers, Russo says Frigga "might have to have a conversation" with Loki "about what he just did" and may even need to talk to Thor as well. "But I am so confused — is Thor my son or not?" asked Russo. "People have been telling me recently, 'No, you're not his mother.' It's all so confusing! I got to tell ya, it would be a little embarrassing if I don't know. I need to read more about her."
For the record, Frigga is not Thor's biological mother, but rather his step-mother. Earth goddess Gaea is the one who actually gave birth to Thor, but Odin keeps this a secret from Thor for a long time.
The Dark World was written by Thor screenwriter Don Payne and Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan) and will be directed by Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones). Production is set to start on Aug. 6.