Producer Craig Kyle Talks the Involvement of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Film’s Design and Locations, and More on the Set of THOR: THE DARK WORLD

     October 1, 2013


If you’ve been waiting to find out as much as you can about Thor: The Dark World, you’re in the right place.  When I visited the set of the Marvel sequel a year ago while the production was filming outside London, I participated in a group interview with producer Craig Kyle and he revealed a lot of information.  Here’s a tease of how he described beginning of the film:

“The Bifrost was destroyed at the end of the first Thor.  Odin had to break a lot of rules and laws and take a lot of himself to send Thor to Earth in The Avengers, and during that time when they couldn’t jump from Asgard to the other worlds, chaos reigned, and so we come into a time of real strife in the nine realms.  We’ve got Marauders who are moving from world to world that are pillaging and attacking helpless because you know the cops can’t come.”

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  Kyle also talked about the film’s design, locations, why they wanted Alan Taylor to direct, the significance of the Dark Elves, the new cast, whether the success of The Avengers raised the Thor sequel budget, and so much more.  Hit the jump to either read or listen to the interview.

While most on set interviews take place at a table or by the person’s chair, the interview with Craig Kyle was done while walking around the sets. This is why it might read a little bit weird.

If you’d like to listen to the audio from this interview click here.  Otherwise the full transcript is below.  Thor: The Dark World opens November 8th.

Note: This interview is loaded with specifics about the movie.  If you’re trying to stay spoiler free, I’d advise skipping this until you’ve seen the movie. 

thor-the-dark-world-poster-chris-hemsworthCRAIG KYLE:  Kevin sends his personal hellos, he was sorry he missed this roundtable. He knows you all so very well.  Obviously you got a quick little sneak peek. I’m gonna take you through the bulk of what’s on the wall here, so you actually know, what you couldn’t spot already, and I do have a little something extra for you that I got permission from Kevin to share with you guys, so I think you’ll enjoy that, and I want to say thanks for coming out.  You’re like the closest extension of us out there, so we’re always grateful to have you out here. 

Hope you guys had a good time, hope you had a good time with Chris [Hemsworth] and Tom [Hiddleston].  Those guys are amazing, they’re the best, and their work in this movie is the best they’ve done yet.  I know Chris was kind of fucked up yesterday, but he looks great.  By far the best looking Thor we’ve had.  He just looks amazing.  Loki we’ve really kind of had for a while now, so he just, since The Avengers, he got his long hair, he looks tremendous.  Just speaking specifically about, you know, the vision for this second story in Thor and third part in Avengers, which we do take into account, this is setting high expectations at least for the Thor story, a darker era.  You know, I can’t say the Empire Strikes Back of our storyline, but if it was, wouldn’t that be amazing? 

Just to kind of catch you guys up, this doesn’t fall right after the first Thor.  It does fall right after Avengers.  It’s been about a year and a half, two years since the first movie.  Promises were made, I’ll came back for you, Jane Foster [Natalie Portman].  He did come back, not for here, that’ll be awkward when they hook up again, I’m guessing.  What’s wonderful about these films is so many of you guys know the books.  We read them for the ongoing stories and then we love these big disaster moments that draw all these lives together. 

Again, for so many people out there that never read comics, they wouldn’t understand how good these stories can get, and that now we have a lot of draft off of after Avengers.  Our guys, who have amazing arcs coming in their own lives, had to step out, deal with this big threat, and now come back.  Well, now all those threats continue to send ripple effects throughout our whole cinematic universe.  We have Iron Man, Tony Stark, who’s torn up from being in the effects of that combat.  You have Thor, who had to take the prisoner Loki back to Asgard to be dealt with, and this time he’s going to be locked up in a cell where he’s not gonna have control.  You have Erik Selvig [Stellan Skarsgard], who had a god in his head, messing around for an entire movie, which probably isn’t good for your psyche. 

You know, lots of these threats continue to just spread outwards in ways that only deepen the stories we’re about to tell in these individual sagas.  It’s truly our job to bring the books to life in the way that made them so popular when we were all kids, and it’s a big duty, but we’re doing our best. 

thor-the-dark-world-alan-taylor-jaimie-alexanderAnyways, we brought Alan Taylor [director] on, and he’s done such amazing work on Mad Men and Game of ThronesThe Sopranos and Rome.  We had spent a lot of time in the palace of the royal family and kind of come during a time of celebration.  The Bifrost was destroyed at the end of the first Thor.  Odin [Anthony Hopkins] had to break a lot of rules and laws and take a lot of himself to send Thor to Earth in The Avengers, and during that time when they couldn’t jump from Asgard to the other worlds, chaos reigned, and so we come into a time of real strife in the nine realms.  We’ve got Marauders who are moving from world to world that are pillaging and attacking helpless because you know the cops can’t come, and we just catch into, we put it to a story in a way finding out where the hell is everybody?  I think we do it in a way that’s really great. 

I’m going to take you through some of the visuals that are up on the wall and quickly kind of show some of the story elements we’ve got going.  Then I can answer some questions for you guys at the end.  Probably not most of them, but some.  I will also tell you, this is no bullshit, Chris came out of the tent yesterday and said that those guys are great, they’re fun.  They know their shit.  He’s like, they’re tricky, but they know their shit.  It’s a view shared by all of us that, yes you are tricky, but you know your stuff.  You guys love it.

Question:  Are we going to see the Bifrost get fixed in this film?

KYLE:  You’re not. That’s the thing we talked about, and again, I’m gonna catch up with that artwork, so you guys are actually gonna see.  I’m gonna start with the last frame, which is embarrassing.  No we’re not, because that’s shoe leather we didn’t really want to get into, but you’ll see that it’s not the Bifrost that it was.  It’s a brand new structure, it had to be rebuilt. I’ll kind of go under, and catch up to that in one second. 

We start off with a very small way on Earth, and you get to meet these kids who are running around this abandoned warehouse, they’re having some fun.  Some of their toys start to take off and act in really weird ways, and they get into this warehouse, this massive cement truck, and it’s floating about three inches off the ground, and one of them’s brave enough to touch the bumper and it suddenly starts to rotate like a massive planet.

Obviously things on Earth are not as they should be and this is the beginning of an element that’s spreading across the universe.  We’re probably right now the singularity.  It’s basically like a flex in the universe.  If you could think that there’s fault lines across the cosmos, they expand and contract about every five thousand years, and they’re felt on every world.  This is the first sign of it on Earth, and what is initially very fun and playful and cool ultimately will build across many planets and be very disastrous. 

thor-the-dark-world-dark-elvesWe transition from that and reveal Dark Elf ships.  They haven’t been seen in five thousand years.  As far as anyone knows, Odin was a child the last time they were dealt with and they needed to be wiped, so when they return it’s not good news

What are they called again?

KYLE:  The ship is called The Ark, and then this is the Dark Elves, and at the beginning of the film, once they awaken, Malekith [Christopher Eccleston] who we all know is the in the film ultimately, sends out spies to go find out what’s up with the universe.  They’ve been gone for a long time and they need to know what’s going on.  That’s The Ark, that’s their singular mothership and the smaller crafts you see here are the Harrows. 

Do you have to name these things because you have to sell the toys?

KYLE:  No.  We’ll see if they make the toys.  I’m not a toy guy.  I mean, I collect toys, but I’m not peddling the toys, I’m here to peddle the movie.  You guys want to know what a Dark Elf looks like?  If you guys saw the plaque, that’s what they look like.  Now I think the rendering that we actually built looks better than this, but this is kind of the Dark Elf storm trooper.  It kind of represents the creatures that they once were. Adewale [Akinnuoye-Agbaje] as Algrim.  He’s the second lieutenant of our big bad Malekith, and that’s Chris Eccleston.  I don’t know if you guys are going to get a chance to see him today, but he’s going to be out and about.

Are his eyes different colors?

KYLE:  Yes, on the damage side they are.  Sorry it’s a little blown out.  I’ll adjust it a bit.  This is Vanaheim, one of the first worlds we come into the film after we see the kids and the Dark Elves, and this is a very peaceful world that has been run over by the Marauders I was talking about.  This is one of the place where we get to meet our heroes for the first time in the film.  If any of you guys have internet connections, you’ve seen a lot of this footage online, shot in the woods in Norwood, but this stuff we got is even better, but this is the veneer.  Although their a warrior race, they’re not quite as advanced as the Asgardians, and they’re not prepared to handle the onslaught of the villains from the various worlds outside the nine realms.  So what it is is a ragtag band of space pirates basically, that have just come together to steal as much as they can.  You know, and as we expand further into the stars, and we reach you know, stories like Guardians of the Galaxy, it shows you that it’s a rich marvel universe out there.  We’re all getting to just scratch the surface of what can be out there. 

thor-the-dark-world-chris-hemsworthHere’s a big spoiler.  We have a stone man from Saturn in this film that does face off with Thor. You’re the only ones to see the picture and understand what that is. For those of you that don’t, these are the first guys that Thor ever fought in the comics, so it’s pretty epic that we got to bring them out.  We’ve actually got a full sized bust of this guy that’s pretty sick.  Are you guys going to the armory later today?  You should ask, we have this club.  You should ask to hold it.

Then Asgard.  Like I said, the first time around, we got to see Asgard, and all of its beauty.  The Ascension Ceremony and all that, everyone had their costumes all buffed and polished, but we didn’t really get to see the other shades of it where the normal folks live, the darker underbelly.  This time we’re going to get out there and explore as much of Asgard as we really can.  It’s really important for us, as we move further out in the stars, we move deeper into the worlds that we’re visiting and the characters themselves, just so that people like our girlfriends and wives and buddies who don’t read comics and scared it’s gonna be, you know, nameless films that I won’t name that we know exist, so we just have to make sure we’re always bringing great story to each character and depth and detail. 

So basically the prisons of Asgard are different than the prisons of Earth.  This is the dark side of Asgard that if you were to see it, you don’t usually get to see anything after.  A fitting home for a character like Loki.  There he is, and then across the cell you see these horned characters and Marauders and various demons, and his cell does have a little bed and a couple of books that Frigga [Rene Russo] brought down there, just so he can be as comfortable as possible, but as far as Odin’s concerned, you’re staying.  Tom Hiddleston is once again doing a tremendous performance for us.  Seeing new shades of his character that we haven’t seen in the past two films. 

Oh, we saw him yesterday.

KYLE:  Oh, you did?

thor-the-dark-world-tom-hiddlestonYeah.  We also saw a prison break.

KYLE:  You did?  Oh great.  Well there you go.  It looks better than that.  Rene Russo, beautiful as always.  She actually returns to us next week, as Frigga. T his is a set you’re going to walk into today.  It’s going to be dressed in two different ways.  We have Frigga’s chambers, and then we get to the Hall of Science, which I’m going to show you in a minute.  Again, this film’s got a lot of location work, so we’re in Norwood, where we shot our initial fight.  We’re in Iceland.  We’re all over London later on on shoot, and we’re getting a lot of elements here to build the shores of Asgard we saw.  Usually from the air, but never close to, and from here you’ll find the Asgardian training grounds where all they’re training for the battles that are currently happening all across the cosmos.  So we get a chance to actually have Thor and his father reconnect after he comes home from a successful journey.

That was the set where we saw the guys?

KYLE:  This is like, because they’ve been going through a few troops right because they’re trying to reign in the universe, they’re coming up in the ranks.  Odin’s in full warrior mode, so we don’t see him in all of his more royal settings, he’s more of a general and watches over his troops, training his men. Most of them are largely similar to the previous film.  I’ll tell you if this one is inaccurate, if you’ve seen the shots of Zach [Levi], they got a lot coming out, his face, he has blonde hair, he has a blonde goatee.  It looks fantastic, but that costume is accurate.  He came on board, he’s just unreal as Fandral, just doing a brilliant job for us.

Again, just showing you more shades of Asgard that we hope to show, just deepening the audience’s experience.  What’s really important this time around is, you know, this a world built by Thor’s great-grandfather, grandfather, and father, and we won’t be able to show enough of the architecture.  Just like the observatory, we’re not gonna cover, hey, how’s the building doing?  We’re just gonna show people, and you’ll see different kinds of materials, and age damage, building up to the golden palace that we already see, and the golden towers that look beyond it.  So all it is, again, is just showing the age and the time, and again, this is another great example where it’s very rough, but we’re inside an older structure, and this, as you can see, is Odin’s palace, just shows that Odin’s always kind of watching over you, no matter how far out you are.  This architecture’s not correct, but, it gives you a sense of, so this would have been a structure, perhaps Thor had built, and since then this structure has come up beyond it.  Just showing again the history and making Asgard more real at a visual glance.

thor-the-dark-world-chris-hemsworth-idris-elbaWe spend a lot of time at the pub.  We actually get to meet some of the folks from the books, Volstagg’s family, Fandral’s maidens.  We get to see who the hell these guys fight for when they’re out there every day, and get to spend some time in the pub. So it looks much better than this. It’s a really, really wonderful environment — rich, full and lively, and music, and mead.  It just feels exactly like you want it. Warriors come home and tell exaggerated stories, especially Volstagg and the mission that was just accomplished.  You really get a sense of the warrior nature. Jaimie Alexander, always beautiful, and she’s had a slight redo on her costume.

So the Observatory, there you go.  You can see that in the design, the beams are still being put up.  It’s still in the middle of being rebuilt, and what that allows for us to provide is once the Bifrost is fully operational, whirls, it becomes a viewing onto the curvy cosmos.  You’ll see celestial bodies and planets and all kinds of little  wonders of space that we weren’t allowed to before because of how the structure was built, so it actually allows us to do unique visuals, and it still has all the gears and the various elements that people liked from the original design.  While not complete, it works. 

Heimdall [Idris Elba] also has some extraordinary scenes in this film, a much larger role, and he turned out to be a fan favorite in the last film.  We were lucky to have him come back to us, and that’s his redesign.  Shiny sword in his hand, but kind of a gunslinger, rocket element, so he just looks tremendous.  It looks amazing on him.

This is an important element to the story, that is Jane Foster, and she should not be standing that close to that.  We brought out Chris Eccleston and a bunch of Dark Elves and Adewale and Chris and Tom and did a lot of great work out here, those first and second unit.  We’ll do a lot of VFX, but for whatever’s with us, thank God, and we’ve got some extraordinary stuff, and the boys are tortured.  It’s really cold, and sometimes fans on while it was cold.

This was in Iceland?

KYLE:  Yeah, it was all in Iceland, yeah.

thor-the-dark-world-asgardAre those real shots, or are those concept art?

KYLE:  Those are all concept art, but it was based on the shots we had taken on scouts.  Then we went back to those places and actually shot it all up, so it was amazing.  So this is the Hall of Science again, and what you’re gonna see today.  It’s gonna be a pretty neat spot, that we need to explore, and we’ll go into the various breakthroughs and discoveries of the Asgardians, where you’ll see functioning models of the Big Bang; all these wonderful technologies that no human has laid eyes on before.  Inside it’s going to be this living tree, which we will believe is kind of an intercell, the cosmic tree.  You know, the effects and woes and success of the universe are kind of spoken through this living object.  So should the end of all things ever come, this’ll probably be the first thing to fall.  We have a really tremendous scene in here with Thor and Odin.

We didn’t see it.

KYLE:  Great, so he looks, like I said, this was a concept design.  The final look and hair I think exceeds where this design went, but he really looks tremendous in this film.  The throne room is one of the few connecting pieces that we have from the first film that we’re bringing back in this one, and again it’s just we’ve added some more detail and some additional elements, again to show the many ages of kings who have come before Odin. 

You saw most of this.  This is recent additional, a lot of concept design, so… the Harrows, and they have a unique black hole kind of engine, where they actually kind of pull themselves through space as opposed to propel themselves.  That was an idea that Alan Taylor was really excited about, so they’re very unique in the way they move through space and they way they do damage and hurt people.  There’s some scale reference on The Ark. 

We’re actually going to be putting some boats, both in the seas and the skies, in this film.  You’re actually gonna see where the Viking ships came from, and the MCU.  We’re going with the idea that the Asgardians came to early man, met the beginning of the Viking people.  They had ships like this, their technologies inspired the Vikings to build their longboats and their various structures.  So we’re turning history inside out, so instead of the Vikings creating the gods, the gods created the Vikings.  We get to see what’s the Asgardian take to inspire what we know on Earth so well, and we have a pretty spectacular scene in one of these skiffs. 

thor-the-dark-world-chris-hemsworth-3Are those wings?

KYLE:  Yeah, basically, there’s different kinds of sails, depending on how fast a ship goes, it has to have different kinds of mechanics.  Then again, just to show you again, how Asgard will look from a distance — it is showing the wild and actually shooting on location.  Then we can lay in these elements, but it’s about just getting to know Asgard better as an entire realm as opposed to a very specific place.  There’s some good examples of a very early test we did, these last two.  This one is especially great.  We shot some stuff in Norway, and we added just a few elements, none of these buildings or anything are final, but it gives you a sense of, “Oh, I understand why that would be built there, and there’s Odin’s palace way off in the distance.”  You just get a sense of a realness to the world, and then when you see one of these skiffs, moving through the water and then suddenly take flight towards Asgard without using the water at all, it just keeps that whole curvy, you know, Lee Simonson Asgard alive.  Always keeping the high tech elements there, like the Rainbow Bridge, but doing it in a way that really feels relatable.

Producer Craig Kyle



on Page 2

thor-the-dark-world-christopher-eccleston-2Is there poverty in Asgard?  Do we see any of that?

KYLE:  Uh, not in this movie, but there are different classes.  I mean, they are just a people.  There are bar maidens and bartenders.  We always have to debate, are they all gods?  I guess if they all came to Earth they would be, but here they’re just people with kids and jobs, and they look after each other so I think there’s this probably a society that wouldn’t allow anyone to fall that far.  I think everyone’s got to have a purpose.  It’s a question, we’ve never gone too far down that path, but I think it’d be a pretty horrible shame if Thor’s like, “I’ll go protect Earth, but my own people?  Meh.”  So I think it’s important that we look after the Asgardians in a way that feels right, but it’s also like, hey, some people have got to wash dishes and they own bars. 

What’s lovely about the pub is you feel like these guys have been coming here since their first fight.  There’s old shields on the wall. It’s a wonderful feeling of children running in and sitting on laps.  All the dads and wives drink mead and revel and tell stories.  There’s just this homeyness to it where you’d say, “I’d love to live in a place like that.” And they’re all shapes and sizes.  They’re not all coming off the model runway.  They feel like real folks.  Voluptuous, skinny, not the hottest, just it feels real.  They can’t all look like Chris.  How could they?

So again, and then I have a couple shots of the final battle. We got a stake in this for sure, but before I let you guys go, I want to show you one more thing.  This is what Kevin said I could show you.

Where was that supposed to be?

KYLE:  Earth.  Alright, so this only has about the first three and a half weeks of work in it, ultimately, but it’ll give you a little taste of something we’re doing, and it does explain a little bit of the make of what I’m saying.  We had to absolutely come back and answer all the questions and promises from the first movie. We have to acknowledge what happened with the Avengers, because why the hell wouldn’t we?  We also had to a find a way for people to come in and go, I’m not into superhero movies, I’ll try it, you know, and we hope we don’t burn them.  But in this film you can’t sit down and just go along for the road.  We did create a new character, a guy named Ian, who is Darcy Lewis’ [Kat Dennings] intern, so our intern has an intern, and he’s kind of the fresh human eyes in this experience, like Darcy was so well in the first film.  Again, start small with these kids, then we show the threat, we meet our heroes and friends, find out where our folks are from Earth that we love so much, and the story just kind of rolls out at a very comfortable pace, so I think we’ve done enough handholding to allow anyone to come in, but also keep it pace-y and payoffs for people with us for so many movies. 

[Shows the press the first trailer].

KYLE: It’s gonna be good.  It is really, really good.  So that’s kind of dog and pony, but you know, being on both movies, seeing the process, knowing the pieces as they come in, I can just tell you that I think people are going to be really pleased.  If they loved Avengers, I think there’s a lot for them here. If they loved Thor, it only gets better.  I don’t know.  I mean, we’re very fortunate coming in having so much to work with and such talented people involved.  The team here is extraordinarily talented, which you’ll see as you go around and see the pieces being made, and Alan Taylor’s brought a rich and real vision to this film, and I think it’ll really connect with everybody.  Look at Game of Thrones, you know, connecting to such a wide audience.  My wife saw the White Walkers thing, and at first she’s like, “Oh my God, kill me!”  And then she’s hooked with the first episode. 

That’s our job.  We drag our friends to the theater sometimes and it’s on us to do it the next time.  I think we’ve got a really special film here, and this is just a small, small piece of what’s being done.  That’s kind of the way to go.

thor-the-dark-world-stellan-skarsgard-kat-denningsWe don’t see much of Earth there.  Does that mean, besides the couple of bits in there, does that mean much less Earth than the last movie?

KYLE:  It’s about a fifty-fifty split.  Like I said, that’s only a few weeks of footage to be honest, that we were able to put together so quickly, and a lot of Earth is still to come.  No, there’s a good amount of time we spend there. It’s half on Earth, and half on other worlds.  A good chunk on Asgard, but we are on other worlds as well.

We saw a few shots of Stonehenge in there.  Are we gonna get a big, fat story there?

KYLE:  It definitely plays into the storyline, yeah. 

Do we see Odin’s vault again?

KYLE:  The vault isn’t in here, but you can, like I said, you can see the prison and other sides of Asgard you’ll see, but the vault doesn’t come into play here.  Not in this story. 

Who’s playing this Ian character you mentioned, the intern?

KYLE:  Jonathan Howard.  He’s a wonderful actor.  I think he was in World War Z. He’s really tremendously talented.  We had a bunch of guys come in, and Kat Dennings was such an amazing breakout for us, and then she went on to star in 2 [Broke] Girls.  It was tough.  This guy had to earn his place in a group of three did so well — Natalie, Stellan, and Kat — and he came in, and he’s just this lovable, sweet kid, who just can’t catch a break with Darcy, or anyone else on the team to be honest.  The way he kind of flounders and struggles to kind of find his footing with this gang is tremendous, and his small little story in this evolves beautifully. 

Stellan, is he in it?

KYLE:  Oh yeah.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  There was a shot of him with Alan.  Yeah, he’s definitely in this.  Couldn’t do it without him.

How did the success of The Avengers — you had a budget for Thor, and then each of these movies is getting bigger and bigger.  Has that impacted the single films’ budget?

thor-the-dark-world-chris-hemsworth-anthony-hopkinsKYLE:  I mean, again, I can’t get into finances too much, but we never spend less than we need to make these movies what the audiences demand.  If we start just cranking these things out with no money and no… you can just tell.  You can just tell, all of sudden, when you look at the bottom line and not the experience with the fans, but it wasn’t like, hey, Avengers made a lot of money, let’s just start throwing money at the screen, because that’s not the success either.  Lots of films have made a mistake, and we can just fix it with cash, but I think as you see the sets and you get to see the exteriors we’re working with, we just went out there.  Spent more time outside of sets to just really capture the environments and the worlds, to get in there and prove the costume wasn’t — it’s just about elevating everything.  So Marvel’s always going to do what it takes to meet the demands of our very demanding fans, as you guys know.  But also the other fans we’ve just earned, they deserve it.  So we’re budget conscious, but we’re not going to harm a film for the sake of a dollar. 

Are you trying to stay away from S.H.I.E.L.D. for this movie?  You’ve kind of had S.H.I.E.L.D. in the previous movies.

KYLE:  Yeah, this story involves Earth to a large degree, but the comics are the best example.  S.H.I.E.L.D doesn’t always get involved and the Avengers aren’t always there. There are threats that need to be dealt with on an individual basis, so S.H.I.E.L.D doesn’t have much of a presence at all in this movie.  It just depends on what the specific threat is, and since so much of this also involves other worlds, you know, S.H.I.E.L.D has no jurisdiction there.

This is part of the Phase Two as Kevin has said it.  You guys are in production with Iron Man 3, you are getting ready for Captain America.  You have all these other films including Avengers 2 announced.  How much are you now laying groundwork in this, or at least setting possibly a few things up that will payoff in Guardians of the Galaxy or Avengers 2?

KYLE:  You know, I’d say, again, I have to be careful with how I word this, but I think the biggest thing we are is very conscious of what we’re all doing.  We don’t want to paint ourselves into corners and say, “We can’t use him, we just killed him.”  So we have to be very careful how we lay the pieces out, and the threats that’ll build to the greater threat will always be, I think they always start smaller and then build to the next Avengers film.  The thing we need to be careful of, and Kevin says from the very first film, is the bigger picture of these Avengers, of these big group sagas can never overwhelm the individual story. 

thor-the-dark-world-chris-hemsworth-natalie-portman If we do that, we destroy our whole thing, because all of a sudden these guys’ individual journeys as characters just don’t matter anymore. It’s like, well I’ll just wait for them all to get together again.  I mean, Iron Man’s a fucking awesome story to follow. It’s a tragic character.  I can’t wait to see what happens in this next story. Thor I think, is at its deepest point ever.  There’s more humor, there’s more fun, there’s more loss and sacrifice and struggle.  It’s just getting better, and Avengers is only deepening their individual stories, so Avengers should be an additional payoff but not what’s driving everything else, otherwise the individual sagas become worthless.  There are scenes, but they’ll become clearer as we get to Avengers.

You mentioned that we’re looking at the dungeon, and I know from the casting and of course the rumors, are we gonna see some of these fire demons?

KYLE:  You’re gonna see aliens from all over.  Specifically?  You know, we’ll wait and see.  Like I said, we are moving further out in the nine realms of the universe.  Can’t fly too far before you hit something else in the universe.

Where are the Marauders from?

KYLE:  Well basically, we’re considering most of them outside of the nine realms.  There are some from the world we’ve already touched on and mythology speaks of. You’ll also probably see some weaponry inside the armory that’ll be familiar to you guys.  These guys are from all over and they’ve banded together just to be kind of space pirates.  We wanted to keep the widest kind of look and feel of the MCU, and see what could be outside of what just Thor patrols.  It’s also great to see rocket launchers and laser guns and machine guns.  It’s what’s out there.  It’s about time we got out there to show that.  It was exciting.

Is Malekith, the leader of the Dark Elves, is he working for someone else?

KYLE:  That’s hard to say.  I know in the comics he did. 

What’s the difference with having Game of Thrones out there, and with The Hobbit coming back, what sort of difference does this have on this movie, where you kind of have other thing to compare to?

KYLE:  That’s a funny question, because when we first started working on Thor the first time around, Kenneth [Branagh]’s like, “I don’t want like chicken in their beards and bones, you know.  It could look like Vikings in space.”  And if you look in the comics, it isn’t.  This is beautiful fusion of the Viking culture with wonderful advanced technology.  So the science fiction element always needs to be present.  So in the pub, where you’ll see wooden tables and glasses of mead, and families, if you look around the room, the lighting elements are completely other worldly. The toys the children play with are these flying skiffs.  The advancements of Asgard are always present, just to keep that science fiction life alive always, because where we don’t see ourselves in competition with The Hobbit, which such a — we’re all so excited about, we all love Lord of the Rings, we all love what Alan’s done with Game of Thrones, so we love all that stuff — but we’re trying to stay well outside of that competition.  I think, I use those as great examples because of the realism they brought to those worlds.  We stick to the science fiction angle for ours, and keep it unique and very reflective of what we loved in the comics.  If we’ve done our job right, and I feel we’re right on track, it should feel like the Asgard from the first film, and you’re just gonna get deeper exposure to it from both the personal and a walking through the sights and sounds of it as well.  I think we’re really onto something in this one. 

thor-the-dark-world-poster-idris-elbaI’m curious about the action scenes.  Obviously each of these films, you know you’ve been raising the bar.  Talk about how you’re possibly raising the bar in action scenes in this, and also, are there a number of action set pieces?  Are there one or two that are just massive?  A lot of little ones?

KYLE:  There’s action throughout the whole film, and it’s obviously what the story dictates.  None of us, again, are trying to replicate what was in Avengers, but I think this one has an intimacy of combat, so that the losses are deeper, the struggle is more vicious, and more personal.  When you’re in that combat, you really feel it, and the people you are fighting, you actually have to have a little stake in those fights.  The platform where one of these battles take place, because of things with the conversions, take the environment upside down and break a lot of the rules, so I think it’s unlike anything we’ve done yet, and no two action scenes are alike in this film, so I think we surprise and delight all the way to the end.  Plenty to be seen on the action side. 

I’ll tell you some of my most favorite scenes shot so far have been the quieter ones. We’ve really got some wonderful performances out of everyone. From Tadanobu Asano and Chris Hemsworth early on in the film, but then anytime you put Tom Hiddleston and Chris in room, it’s just electric.  It’s just stupid how good they are now.  They have such a shorthand.  Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings, Idris, I mean the names keep coming, and even Jonathan, who just joined us, he’s doing a great job.  We’ve been very blessed with some brilliant casting.  We’ve had wonderful people help us with that, and the talent has only gotten better and better every time they become to us, so we’re really fortunate. 

What was kind of the motivating factor for bringing in Eccleston to play Malekith?  What was it about him?

thor-the-dark-world-poster-finalKYLE:  You look at his work and his range and his ability to kind of step into strange worlds and environments and bring wonderful life and character to them, and there’s also a look to him.  If you have a look at the comics, it’s a tough one, because we obviously had to evolve from that.  He had the look and the feel and the chops that we needed to just bring a more relatable villain.  We’ve gotten Loki, you know, you can’t just be like, “I want to kill everyone!”  So we needed someone who would bring new levels and a real range, and Adawale’s the same.  He’s this wonderful lieutenant. He’s not just this goon he sends off to fight.  There’s a real brotherhood between the two of them, and you believe that they are truly fighting for what they believe is right, and that’s where people enjoy those kinds of struggles.  If it’s just the guy twirling his mustache, then who the hell wants to watch the movie?  And these guys have done a beautiful job bringing life to extraordinary, weird characters.  So it’s been great.

Just looking at Adewale yesterday, he’s hardly recognizable.  Is it gonna be the same with Christopher?

KYLE:  Oh no, no, no.  Don’t worry.  You’ll see both of them.  You do get a good look at them, and they move beautifully no matter what they have on, but you do get to see their faces and see their performance pure.  They’re both really passionate, so we’re fortunate.

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