50 Things to Know About THOR: THE DARK WORLD Plus Spoiler Free Video Blog Recap

     October 1, 2013


Almost a year ago, I got to visit the set of director Alan Taylor‘s Thor: The Dark World with a group of online reporters when the production was filming at Shepperton Studios outside London.  While I expected the sequel to continue the storyline of the first film and hopefully explore more of Asgard and the nine realms, I was quite surprised to learn how much bigger the sequel is and the way Marvel and Taylor are pushing forward exploring more of the universe.  Of course we’re going to catch up with all the characters of the first film and how things have progressed after the events of The Avengers, but we’re also going to spend an enormous amount of time on Asgard and exploring more of the nine realms.  In addition, we’ll be meeting a number of new characters and some of them are not too happy with Thor and his friends.  It should make for some epic showdowns.

If you’d like to know more, hit the jump to either watch a video blog recap of my set visit, or to read 50 things to know about the film.  Thor: The Dark World opens November 8th.

thor-the-dark-world-poster-finalSince I know a lot of you are like me and hate spoilers, I’m offering my recap of the set visit two ways.  You can either watch a mostly spoiler free video blog recap that I did with Peter from Slashfilm, or you can read a list of 50 things to know about the film which definitely contains a lot more info.  While nothing in either part will ruin the movie (I’d never do that), the video is safer if you just want to hear about the set visit without many specifics about the story and events of the film.

Here’s the video blog and further down the page are the things to know.

Thor 2 Video Blog Time Index:

  • How Thor 2 compared to the first Thor set visit.
  • The incredible sets.
  • How Marvel felt they missed the mark in Thor by not showing anything on Asgard outside the palace. The Dark World will.
  • 3:15 – The sequel will show more of the nine realms and the sequel will be epic and expansive.
  • 3:30 – How we did a 2 day set visit and on the first day we got to see 2nd unit film a prison sequence on Asgard.  We try and describe the dungeon.
  • 5:15 – How the film features more of Thor and Loki’s relationship after the events of The Avengers.  Plus what the cast said during the interviews.
  • 6:00 – Where the film takes place. Half on Earth and half in the nine realms.
  • 6:45 – How Marvel thinks of Thor: The Dark World as The Empire Strikes Back of the Thor storyline.  Also info on when the film takes place with regards to the other Marvel films and the darker storyline.
  • 8:00 – Our thoughts on the sequel and how Marvel is going intergalactic.
  • 10:30 – The dark elves.
  • 12:00 – The Asgard pub.
  • 13:20 – How director Alan Taylor is making Asgard feel real and lived in.
  • 14:15 – Janes (Natalie Portman’s) apartment in the film.  How the film takes place in London.
  • 16:00 – How Thor: The Dark World filmed on the same stage that Star Wars filmed in.
  • 17:20 – The incredible practical makeup.
  • 18:10- The war room and what we learned.
  • 20:00 – Has Joss Whedon looked over the script.
  • 20:30 – How they didn’t want to create locations just in a computer.


thor-the-dark-world-poster-loki50 Things to Know About Thor: The Dark World:

  • The film takes place a year and a half after the first film and after the events of The Avengers.
  • The sequel takes place half on Earth and half on Asgard/other planets.  We’ll get to explore more of the nine realms.
  • Jane (Natalie Portman) is not pleased with Thor and how he came back to Earth in The Avengers and not for her.
  • The film starts on Earth and shows some kids dealing with an issue affecting the larger universe.  This “singularity” is changing the rules of the universe and it will come into play throughout the story.
  • The cast and filmmakers all talked about how the sequel has a much darker storyline.
  • Odin broke a lot of rules to get Thor to Earth in The Avengers.
  • The sequel will show the bifrost getting fixed and we’ll see a new version.
  • A lot of problems are taking place in the nine realms because the bifrost was down and no one could deal with them.
  • We’ll see the dungeons of Asgard, where a lot of the film takes place, including a prison break (by the Marauders). We also get to see Loki locked up.
  • Alan Taylor felt the look of the first Thor was too shiny and new, so he wanted to ground the film visually in a more Viking or Medieval look.
  • The decision to post-convert the film to 3D wasn’t made until halfway through filming. Taylor didn’t radically alter his directorial approach to the film after he learned that it would be 3D.
  • thor-the-dark-world-poster-idris-elbaWhen Taylor signed on to direct, he brought in a new writer and took the existing script in “a very different direction.”
  • The villains and the arc of Jane’s relationship were agreed upon early, but Taylor pushed to bring back more characters from the first film.
  • Taylor considered the script a work-in-progress during production.
  • The dark elves have existed for a very long time and Thor’s grandfather fought them.  They’ve been missing for five thousand years before they show up in the sequel.
  • When approaching Malekith, Taylor wanted him to be on a righteous revenge mission that the audience can kind of sympathize with, not unlike J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek.
  • The film depicts the aftermath of The Avengers and the audience will get to see how the Asgard community reacts.
  • There’s a whole scene dedicated to whether Loki feels regret for any of his actions from Thor or The Avengers.
  • There’s a degree of mutual recognition between Loki and Malekith.
  • The Marauders are from outside the nine realms and they banded together to become space pirates.
  • Hiddleston knows the character of Loki so well that he offers ideas up to the filmmakers and Marvel, some of which are in the film.
  • We’ll see Loki in a different costume.
  • thor-the-dark-world-natalie-portman-posterThe film features many locations including the training grounds of Asgard, the streets of Asgard, a pub (on Asgard), the Observatory (which is being rebuilt), the throne room, the hall of science, an Asgard skiff, the outskirts of Asgard, the dark elves ships, and many more.
  • The toys kids play with in the Asgard pub are otherworldly (you might see some flying toys).
  • The production filmed some scenes on the same London soundstage that George Lucas used for Star Wars and Stanley Kubrick used on 2001.
  • The film is using the Alexa camera.
  • The production is using the name Thursday Morning as the working title.
  • The first villain Thor fought in the comics makes an appearance.
  • The dark elves pull themselves through space rather than push.  To do this they use captured black holes.
  • In the Hall of Science on Asgard we’ll see models of the big bang and a large tree (which might be the tree of life).  We’ll see the nine realms floating around the tree.
  • The Asgard skiff (which is featured in the film) might explain where the Vikings got their inspiration.
  • Stonehenge plays a role in the sequel.
  • The seeds of future movies are definitely planted in the sequel.
  • London is attacked in the sequel and a huge action sequence takes place there in the 3rd act.
  • All the sets are new in the sequel.
  • The sequel is using 75% of Shepperton Studios.
  • Marvel wanted an original look for the dark elves and they spent a lot of time working on the design.
  • We’ll see Odin on Earth.
  • thor-the-dark-world-jaimie-alexander-posterOdin’s vault is not in the sequel.
  • We won’t see Thor wearing his helmet in the sequel and Loki will only wear his for a few moments.
  • The costumes are all new.  While they might look similar, if you put them side by side you’d see the differences.
  • Heimdall has a much larger role in the sequel.
  • They filmed on location in Iceland and Norway, in addition to London.
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. has no jurisdiction in other worlds, so they don’t play a major role in the film.
  • The production created 40 different dark elves costumes.  Twenty of them were the main ones and the costumes were more detailed for camera close-ups while the other twenty weren’t as detailed.
  • The production created about a dozen variations to the Marauder costumes.
  • Joss Whedon gave his seal of approval to the story but they were still hoping he’d do a pass on the script.

For more Thor: The Dark World set visit coverage:

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