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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  • http://www.beatific-design.com Beatific

    Is there a new Thor movie being released? Perhaps Collider should post a few more articles about it?!

    • Romsy

      Obviously the embargo Marvel imposed on anything they got from the set visit was lifted today smart guy.

  • http://www.beatific-design.com Beatific

    Is there a new Thor movie being released? Perhaps Collider should post a few more articles about it?!

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  • Tim

    Peter has gotten so much better with his interrupting problem. Didn’t even get frustrated once watching this one.

    Thanks for the vid.

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  • Radox

    Wow this, sounds a lot bigger in scale than I had anticipated. I especially like the details about how we see the reactions of the Asgardians to Odin sending down Thor, and the idea that Thor’s breaking of the bifrost has thrown the Nine Realms into chaos with no Asgard to mediate.

    Theory: Ever since the Avengers 2 teaser dropped I’ve been thinking that the scene in Iron Man 3 (where the Mk 27 wakes Tony and Pepper up) was actually a hint to a growing AI consciousness. The earthbound hints to a ‘singularity’ in this, make me think it could be the same: It’s the technological singularity, and Ultron is coming.

  • http://delusionallosers.wordpress.com/ Anthony Donovan Stokes

    This brings up an interesting question. Why isn’t Joss Wheedon doing a pass on every script? I mean I have faith in the writers who are very talented, but you have one of the best dialogue writers in the business you don’t think it’d hurt to have him punch up the script. Isn’t that what he’s payed to do?

    • Strong Enough

      its not like he is above the writers marvel hires. they get some good screenwriters. but i’m sure its artistic integrity. you trust the talent of the person next to you and their artisitc vision for the project and to interject into EVERYTHING would put a damper on marvel projects. the reason they are so successful is because every marvel movie doesn’t sound like a whedon project but is totally different. you have him punch up every script which is not only stressful and pratically impossible it will hinder the movie instead of letting it shine

      • http://delusionallosers.wordpress.com/ Anthony Donovan Stokes

        He is above the writers. He’s one of the best dialogue writers in the business and made the best superhero movie of all time. I’m not saying he do a full overhaul, but simply punching up the script and adding some touches is good for any script. And these movies take years to make he swooped in and wrote two scenes and I have a feeling we’ll be able to point them out in the movie as stand outs.

      • Strong Enough

        No he isnt’t above all writers. just because he knows how to make dialogue flow doesn’t mean he is the best. Marvel employees great writers. hell Shane Black is better than Joss Whedon. But like I said to hire writers for a project and work their ass off then have Joss swoop in for the hell of it (and for no reason) is stupid. Not only is it tiresome for Joss since he has his own problems with AV2 but totally unessecary. He only did it for Thor because they had a problem. And lets not act like Joss is some golden writer and his midas touch will save marvel movies. they all have been pretty good so far.

      • http://delusionallosers.wordpress.com/ Anthony Donovan Stokes

        He is on the level of Tarantino and Sorkin along with Black. Wheedon should punch up the dialogue. This can only help. I mean yeah he shouldn’t come in and just rewrite entire scenes unless asked to. And He rewrote Captain America and Thor. Ironman 1 Favreau asked several writers their opinions and we got a great movie. The more creative input the better as long as the people know what they’re talking about and Wheedon certainly does.

      • Strong Enough

        Or it can result in Cowboys and aliens lol.

      • http://delusionallosers.wordpress.com/ Anthony Donovan Stokes

        Not with a punch up of dialogue

      • Strong Enough

        Too much of anything is always a bad thing. I hear what you’re saying but not every movie would be better with a Whedon shot to it’s DNA.

      • http://delusionallosers.wordpress.com/ Anthony Donovan Stokes

        Did Thor and Captain America have his DNA? And even if it had a touch that means it’s consistent, good dialogue is good dialogue. You like movies with weak dialogue then good for you personally that’s all i want out of these movies. A good punch up writer only takes what is there and makes it a little better, so no it can’t hurt it can only help.

      • Strong Enough

        As far as i know thor and captain america where not touched by WHedon. But not every script needs a punch up. if marvel hires great writers and they turn out a fantastic script there is no need to hand it over to joss. Each marvel movie has their own flow and style. you don’t need Joss’s dna on every marvel movie. thats what made IM3 a treat for me. It didn’t feel like avengers 2 spin off. You only fix what is broken.

      • http://delusionallosers.wordpress.com/ Anthony Donovan Stokes

        Captain America was heavily punched up by Wheedon. And almost EVERY marvel movie other then Ironman 3 has had a punch up or a re-write. Ironman, Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Avengers, Thor, and quite possibly Ironman 2. Some writers are great at story and character not so much with dialogue. You’re in opposition for the “principle”, but little do you know that’s a traditional thing with big blockbusters. Wheedon re-wrote Captain America’s scripts, did you say to yourself ” wow this sure sounds like Joss Wheedon”. if so then you have a point. otherwise it just seems like you’re trying to argue on principle instead of objectively. I could care less about the writer’s integrity if their script sucks. that’s all that matters

      • Strong Enough

        I don’t think Whedon even touched captain america let alone any of the other marvel movies you mentioned. if you can come up with a source, cool but I think he oversees everything and lets the writers do their thing. Besides if that was the case IM2 would have been a better movie. and I’m all for Joss coming in and fixing problems but if if the script doesn’t “suck” then why have him do a pass on it? You want to take these scripts and pass them through a whedon grinder just so he can give every marvel movie his flow of dialogue? like other writers aren’t capable of giving great dialogue on their own? I’m all for having a great script but avengers is Joss thing. Every other marvel movie needs to shine away from what he is doing. that is their secret to success. besides it’s too much work anyway. writing one script alone is a fuckin headache. trust me i know.

      • http://delusionallosers.wordpress.com/ Anthony Donovan Stokes

        Wheedon had a hand in writing Captain America, but with the other movies no he did not. check out his Wikipedia filmography it says Captain America. Ironman had a number of writers come in and a punch up, Edward Norton punched up Incredible Hulk, Wheedon had help with the avengers script. The way it works is that if you don’t contribute over 33 percent of a script you don’t get credit, so it’s hard to say, but most studios have writers come in and re-do dialogue.

        And no i don’t want every movie to have wheedon dialogue. Once again you didn’t even realized he punched up Captain America so there goes your argument. Every script should be as good as possible. every line should be great. And all he’s doing is reading a script and punching up the dialogue when he can. That would take no time he wrote Cabin in the woods in like a week.

        I don’t think you realize what a script doctor is or does.

      • Strong Enough

        You don’t even know if he touched the dialogue or not in Cap. It may have been a similar problem like Thor 2 lol.

        I know what a script doctor is. I know he fixed up Toy Story. and I think i’m seeing we are on the same page. we both agree a script should be fixed up if it has problems. or if the story isn’t working, a re-write of course. everyone knows that. story come first. But i think i disagree with you on using Joss for every marvel film and use him to fix every script (if it has a problem). I guess it’s just a matter of opinion. I don’t hold him as high as you do in regards to writing even though I am a fan.

      • http://delusionallosers.wordpress.com/ Anthony Donovan Stokes

        He is on the level of Tarantino and Sorkin along with Black. Wheedon should punch up the dialogue. This can only help. I mean yeah he shouldn’t come in and just rewrite entire scenes unless asked to. And He rewrote Captain America and Thor. Ironman 1 Favreau asked several writers their opinions and we got a great movie. The more creative input the better as long as the people know what they’re talking about and Wheedon certainly does.

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