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Monday, 3 June 2013

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Thor The Dark World



Marvel Cinematic Universe

Assembling Thor: The Dark World

 

As my blog has hit more than 3000 views, I continue onwards from my most viewed post with a prediction (not a full original idea/script) on what Thor: The Dark World will entail. Here is a Synopsis released by Marvel Studios for the movie;

Set one year after The Avengers, Thor battles to save all the Nine Realms from a mysterious enemy older than the universe itself. A primeval race led by Malekith, who is out for revenge, intends to plunge the universe into darkness. Confronted by an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot overcome, Thor must reunite with Jane Foster and set out on a dangerous journey that will force him to make the ultimate sacrifice.

With the release of Iron Man 3, MCU's Phase 2 has been underway and we also got to see a trailer for the second installment in the Thor franchise;



 





Details

There's quite a few things to take away from the synopsis as well as the trailer, but we'll get to that later. Right now let me just list down the details such as cast and crew for the movie

File:Thor - The Dark World poster.jpgName: Thor The Dark World

Director: Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones)

Producer: Kevin Feige

Story: Don Payne (Thor, Simpsons)

Cast: Chris Hemsworth as Thor Odinson, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Stellan Skargard as Dr. Erik Selvig, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Christopher Eccleston as Malekith the Accursed, Adewale Akkinnuoye-Agbaje as Algrim the Strong/Kurse, Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis, Ray Stevenson as Volstagg, Zachary Levi as Fandrall, Tadanobu Asano as Hogun, Jamie Alexander as Sif, Clive Russell as Tyr, Rene Russo as Frigga and Anthony Hopkins as Odin

Studio: Marvel Studios with distribution by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Release Date: November 8 2013


Synopsis and Trailer

There are a few key words in the synopsis that can help me determine what the movie is about;

'One year after The Avengers'-From this perspective I can hazard the guess as to how far Thor is as an Asgardian. He has bound to learned more about the champions of Earth and might also have some inkling to the Chitauri's origins for future reference. His relationships with fellow Asgardians would have changed with his humility trumping his youthful arrogance. Most importantly there might be a years worth of increased spite towards Loki.

Other characters will also have changed. Notably Jan Foster should have slightly move on, realizing all she had was a crush on Thor and vice versa. Thus saving grace on one of the worst bits from the previous movie. 



'Nine Realms'-As with a major rumour going around, this official statement adds excitement to the proceedings. What fans can expect is that we will be witness to all the Nine Realms in the Universe. The previous film lacked in that department with glimpses of Jotunheim (Frost Giants world), Asgard and Earth. Here now we get the other 6 realms as well, most importantly; Svartalfheim (realm of the Dark Elves), Hel (realm of the dead) and Muspelheim (realm of the Demons). This could include the development of Thor's world and cameos for some soon to be major characters in the franchise (see Fan Cast below). 

'Mysterious Enemy'- Like with many summer blockbusters these days, I'm expecting a twist to really change this movie in its second half. For most that would mean the perceived freedom given to Loki (in the Trailer) changing to betrayal (to obvious). To me it pertains to the words 'Mysterious'.

Malekith may as well just be a front and center villain, a puppet voluntarily or involuntarily doing a deed for a shadowed master. Most comic book fans can hazard a guess as to who this puppeteer would be. But instead of a full blown second half reveal and then face-off, I would rather save this villain for the third installment bringing Thor's 'Humble King' and Loki's 'Redemption' arc to a close. 

'Ultimate Sacrifice'- The last two words really stand out, once again the trailer gives hints to this so called sacrifice. The trailer seems to depict Jane Foster in heaps of trouble, this could relate more to the fact of her 'fish out of the water' situation due to her having no god-battle experience. 

Most rumors point to the aging Anthony Hopkins leaving with Odin's death, possible but I could see him playing a cameo if not a part in the third movie having him...SPOILER WARNING...die! 

So what's the Ultimate Sacrifice? Of course it's Jane Foster, but not in the way you think. I will explain how Thor's sacrifice ends up later. 
 
From the trailer, the major point we can see is the visual and directorial style of Alan Taylor. While the first film had Marvel's brand of comedic/scif-fi/action palette mixed with director Kenneth Branagh's grandiose Shakespearean style, the second seems much more grittier, realistic and as the title suggests; Dark. Alan Taylor seems hellbent on giving Thor the Game of Thrones makeover.   

The trailer also seems to hint at the expanded role for Lady Sif (Jamie Alexander). There's a hint of envy in her part regarding the relationship Jane shares with Thor and we also see more of her in action. Kudos to Marvel Studios, they have always been able to place their female comic book characters in a positive light. Her armor is much more practical than what most comics would give, while there's a shot of her and Frigga (Rene Russo) holding battle equipment in the Asgardian throne room.

Of course I also forgot to mention that London seems to be the major destination being attacked, in Midgard. Figures, considering the villain is portrayed by British talent; Christopher Eccleston. Also Star Trek was shot in London, is that why they left the enterprise for Malekith to use? 



One big thing to note is the 'there was darkness' line, during that segment we witness a shadowy figure looking trapped within a chamber of sorts. In my opinion I think that's Malekith trapped in the vessel (seen attacking London) by what I pointed out as the mystery villain.

The most vital shot provides the cheesiness of the previous film. A very corny 'Noooo!', is shouted by Thor as he witnesses Jane being levitated dangerously by Malekith. This scene includes the line 'Ultimate Sacrifice', most would think it entails Jane's death but that would be too obvious to place in the trailer yet could be a vague signal. 

Finally there is the major confrontation between Loki and Thor. Loki has let his hair down (literally) and this film promises to explore and interesting equation between the two brothers. What the trailer suggest is the necessity for Thor to team up with Loki, but the exciting situation seems the year after The Avengers has had a lot of love lost between them. 


Rumors

-The major rumor is that Odin will die. This is mostly due to his smaller scope in the promotional material especially the trailer.

-Also Jane Foster seems headed out, through death or just like that. Why? Natalie Portman wasn't too happy after Patty Jenkins and Marvel studios departed poorly. Jenkins and Portman are good friends, as such she wasn't too happy to be part of the film however Portman had contractual obligations. Portman might just be on the outs, Marvel is known to be stingy as well as a bit heavy handed when an actor doesn't fall in line with them (e.g. Edward Norton who played Hulk).

-Chris O'Dowd has been cast as either Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil or as Dr. Donald Blake.

-Loki will be much more bad ass than he has been in the previous films, his role will end with up being heroic in nature. 


Script Predictions



A gritty vibe in the halls of Asgard,a weakened Odin sits on his throne looking grim as the people whisper in hushed tones. Before the All Mighty is brought a silenced but rebellious Loki. Shots of Frigga saddened, Sif smug and Thor disconnected. 

Odin speaks, and the crowd is silenced, "Loki Odin...Loki Laufeyson, I hereby sentence you to imprisonment in the isle of silence for your treason against your King and his people, as well as those atrocities commuted on the people of Midgard." Odin chokes with the final words, and departs without any words forthwith. 

*Marvel and other Logos flash*

The sounds from a year back occur when Loki asked Thor 'What dark energies did the all father have to conjour...' A surge flashes through the insides of a darkened chamber. There standing trapped is a shadowy figure, he here's a stirring and is blinded by a glow of red as the ominous sound of 'DOOM' rings through the chamber. 

The mysterious entrant speaks, "How Long has it been since the All Father left you to rot here in your own vessel? How long have your people suffered? What's wrong Accursed one, you look shocked?"

Trapped, he tries to get out in vain and in desperation answers "I am Malekith, not Accursed. How are you free?"

To which the hooded figure replies "It seems the gods above us have been gracious. Darkness threatens to swallow them whole, where their godhood ends my Saga begins. For this I will need you...and before you ask...in return you will have Svartalfheim, your people and an eternal winter."

A devilish grin appears on Malekith's face, he is freed and as the shroud lifts his accursed face comes into light.

*'DOOM' sound and End Scene, Title flashes Thor: The Dark World*



Jane Foster alongside her intern Darcy has been intensely at work, trying in vain to discover a method of travel from Midgard to Asgard. Her repeated failures make her question whether the two worlds are separate for a reason, she is constantly watching the accounts of the now dubbed 'Battle of New York/Avengers Assemble' and wonders how Thor showed up. 

She has been trying to get her normal life going and has taken a job in London where she had her beginnings and where she is in a re-building relationship with her ex-boyfriend Dr. Donald Blake (Chris O'Dowd). She also has to contend with her dim witted assistant Darcy (Kat Dennings) and Darcy's equally dim witted intern. 

Thor has been witnessing this for over a year now, her struggles to cope with this problem and her budding romance with Blake. He wishes to go back to Earth, where his father's kingdom would rather prosper in his leadership.

Battles have been raging across the nine realms, for reasons unknown; the Dark Elves have grown ever more militant where as the Frost Giants are still sour over the matter of their near extinction thanks to Loki and Thor. 

Odin has been in the Odinsleep for far longer than before and the realm decays from this. A battle weary Thor grows evermore distant from his friends and especially from Sif. He rarely visits his father or mother, who have shown a lack of interest regarding his affection with the 'Mortal'. 

It is when disaster strikes, a rather large and fearsome vessel attacks London. The Dark Elves herald their and their leader Malekith's arrival to the nine realms. Jane is caught in the brunt of the attack, with many a people disguised in human form attack as part of Malekith's army. 

Thor, Sif and the Warriors Three are also under attack by Dark Elves when they head to Alfheim seeking aid from the Light Elves. Thor heads off against a ferocious Dark Elf knows as Algrim and his team. While Algrim escapes wounded, Thor captures an elf who can transport from one place to another. Using this Thor takes a portal back to the battlefield and defeats the Dark Elf forces. The warriors assess the wreckage and Thor decides he must have a word with his Mother and Father.

Frigga is at the Isle of Silence visiting her step-son Loki. She tries to assure him that he is a good man and that hopefully this punishment will make him realize the error of his ways, and he will redeem himself eventually. Loki is spiteful and questions why Frigga worries for him and all her 'children' when in truth they are not born from her. A despairing Frigga walks away while another figure witnesses these events. 

Thor meets with his saddened mother and sleeping father since a long time. He wishes to know why the Dark Elves have grown so militant, he has no recalling of such audacity from them in the past even though they have been unruly. Frigga tries to explain but Odin prevents her, he wakes up and instead replies himself;

*From the Trailer* "Some believe that before the universe, there was nothing. They're wrong. There was darkness. And it has survived." 

Odin urges Thor, that to save the universe the Asgardians need aid from the other races and with the Bifrost gone, Loki is the only way by which Thor can reach these realms including Midgard. Odin asks if Thor truly does love the mortal, and if such he must remember that she will have to face the trials. 

Loki is supposed to be brought to a prison cell in Asgard to personally face his 'brother'. Heimdall arrives to take him to which Loki retorts "Is it possible Heimdall, no tears for my predicament." 

(A nod to the comic book source material, where Heimdall cried at the tree which was a prison for Loki. Tearing at that tree would eventually free Loki, a very corny method I must say)    

 Loki would try to escape but be eventually subdued by the blind guardian proving his toughness. 

Back at Svartalfheim, a wounded Algrim reaches Malekith's chambers. Malekith offers to heal Algrim by making him powerful beyond imagination. He coaxes the Dark Elf into an experiment, to transform him into the all powerful creature called Kurse. 

Thor visits Loki in another prison.



*Bits and more from the trailer*

Eventually Loki is freed and he gets to work alongside the imprisoned Dark Elf in mimicking the Bifrost portal. 

Jane Foster is brought to the London Police at the area which got attacked by The Dark Elves. At this point, Thor arrives from the portal and whisks away with Jane. Here she is put through a few tests  so as she can survive in Asgard.

*The taking her to Asgard and the scene of Jane lying on a blue rectangle seen in the trailer*

Jane while initially confounded and angry at Thor for just whisking her away, understands that he needs her help with the science of Midgard against Malekith and his forces. With her by his side, they must travel through the realms for those who can prevent the world from falling into chaos.

Thor struggles but succeeds in convincing Sif and The Warriors Three that their place is in Asgard, to protect it while he, Jane and Loki scour the realms. The three go to the realms where they first meet with the Dwarves of Vanaheim, once again visit the war ravaged Alfheim and get reassurance of aid from the light elves and their in exile older brother Tyr. 

They also reach the desolate frozen wastelands of Jotunheim where Loki is eventually captured by the Frost Giants. Here Thor does battle and frees Loki but is unable to convince the Giants for any aid. Loki channels the full force of his magic and threatens to destroy Jotunheim, Thor who is prepared to defeat him fro such an insolence is stopped once Loki uses this magic to prove that he is the King and rightful heir to Laufey. The giants are subdued but Thor is none too happy.

Loki quips "Let me teach you a lesson 'Brother'; A King rules through any means necessary, but you wouldn't understand because all you are is a Soldier."

Here while resting is where Kurse and a group of Dark Elves lay siege on Jotunheim. Thor is injured alongside Jane in the process. The trio are saved by Hela and transported to the land of the Undead; Hel.

There is a fleeting mention to the father/daughter relationship of Loki and Hela. Hela toys with them, and warns them of the malevolent force preparing to plunge the world in Darkness and also of the threat that Malekith poses. She is careful to keep these two entities separate, in turn confusing yet confiding in Thor and Loki.  

They return to Asgard having gained the aid of Tyr, the Einherjar from Valhalla and the Frost Giants. For one day Thor and Jane get to rest, and reassess what their relationship is. Jane Foster dresses as a princess of Asgard, Thor seems enamored where Odin and Frigga a bit wary. Loki is up to his usual mischief as he coaxes Sif to battle Jane, but instead Sif ends up humiliating the god of mischief. 

Asgard is soon under siege by Malekith and the Dark Elves. Malekith strikes upon everyone and Frigga tries in vain to protect Jane Foster who is also harmed. Odin is shown to be powerless, where as Loki nowhere in sight. 

As the battle within Asgard rages on, Loki fends off Dark Elves trying to capture the Casket of Ancient Winters. After which, a large shadow looms over him. Thor on the other hand, is battling out with Kurse reeking havoc across the halls of Asgard. Doom spells across the realm and even the aid of the other races is to no avail. When the battle subsides, Thor goes in search of Loki in a fit of rage. 

He finds his 'Brother' beaten and battered having failed to protect the casket, Thor for a moment reconciles with him and both head to the throne room. For a second Loki hesitates and looks at another spot in Odin's vault that is empty. He mutters for forgiveness to himself. 

*This is where I will stop, this is my script prediction. Beyond here I have no Idea where the climax of the film would occur and how it could be played out*

However I do have a ending planned and after credits zinger, the kind that Marvel specializes in.

First the end; 

After the battle is over, Loki runs away going into hiding so as to escape his former captivity. Jane is brought in full view of the Asgardians. If she is to profess her love for Thor she must pass the trial of the Gods. Jane declines to do this, as she feels proving her love alone has no value. She decides to leave back to Earth and questions whether these two worlds were meant to be separate for a reason. A few months later, Thor is with Heimdall who sees her happily having dinner with Dr. Donald Blake and the guardian also sees a glint on her fingers. Thor is joyous for her and Sif tries to console him, but he simply states "That he did not deserve her, her life would have forever been in peril. He needs to be with someone who can stand and face the dangers he must face." To this Sif smiles. (I know it's cheesy, but what the heck.)

The scene shifts to the fiery realm of Muspelheim where an ominous DOOM rings through the realm. A brilliant and fiery sword is pulled from the flaming depths of the realm, the words Twilight ring as well. As a gigantic demonic hand holds the blade. A full view of the colossal demon is seen among his hordes of creatures, he bellows "Let the Surtur Saga be told!" Once again a DOOM rings across the realm and the screen fades to black.




Next: Thor The Surtur Saga


Fan Cast

Chris O'Dowd as Dr. Donald Blake



Chris has already been cast in the film but in an unspecified role. He joked during an interview that he was doing the role for fun and might be playing Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil. To me this is ambition speaking, but he might just be playing the mild mannered alter ego of Thor; Dr. Donald Blake. In the previous movie Blake was mentioned as an ex for Jane, Chris was seen shooting a dinner scene alongside Natalie Portman which kind of makes him a guy she's dating in the film. What better way than to introduce an important part of Thor comics as well as the future husband for Jane Foster.   

Eva Green as Hela Cameo


 

She seems to be someone who can pull of a negative role and a witch like character, the way she did in Camelot. Her acting is top notch, and by this year she will already have experience in comic book movies with Sin City 2 and the 300 prequel. For such a role, I realize that somebody would already have been mentioned in the cast list but I think Marvel Studios could either keep it a surprise or for this movie since Hela is only making a cameo somebody low key could fill her shoes. Whichever way, Hela will become an important figure in the Thor movie franchise and thus I choose to cast her now.

Charles Dance as Surtur Cameo


I did it, I cast the big Lion Tywin Lannister as major league baddie Surtur in the cameo zinger role. He has this booming voice and intimidating presence that makes me feel that Dance would be a perfect thespian to play the fire demon Surtur. 

The big question would be whether he'd consider taking on a role in a comic book movie. Then having seen that his filmography includes the likes of Underworld, Alien 3 and Your Highness, Thor is a big step up. Not to mention that he would be directed by his GoT director Alan Taylor and working alongside iconic British actor Anthony Hopkins. 

So there is my fan cast for the new big additions to the Thor Universe in this second film.


By Odin's beard...


...'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia

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