Chris Hemsworth (Rush), Natalie Portman (Black Swan), Tom Hiddleston (War Horse), Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs), Stellan Skarsgård (Good Will Hunting), Idris Elba (Pacific Rim), Christopher Eccleston (Shallow Grave), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (The Bourne Identity), Kat Dennings (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist), Ray Stevenson (The Other Guys), Zachary Levi (Tangled), Tadanobu Asano (Battleship), Jaimie Alexander (The Last Stand), Rene Russo (Get Shorty), Clive Russell (Sherlock Holmes), Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids)


Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones), director; Christopher Markus (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe), Stephen McFeely (Captain America: The First Avenger) and Christopher Yost (film debut), writers; Kevin Feige (Marvel’s The Avengers), producer; Brian Tyler (Iron Man 3), composer; Kramer Morgenthau (Fracture), cinematographer; Dan Lebental (Cowboys and Aliens) and Wyatt Smith (Nine), editors


It’s been a year since the events of The Avengers, when the demi-god Loki (Hiddleston) caused havoc on Earth and his brother Thor (Hemsworth) was sent in to help stop him. Now, Thor must battle a sinister force older than the universe itself, led by Malekith The Accursed (Eccleston), in order to save the Nine Realms from falling to darkness. During his journey to restore peace, Thor reunites with Earth lover Jane Foster (Portman) and seek help from the imprisoned Loki…


Two of the biggest breakout stars from Marvel’s ambitious “Avengers Initiative” series of films were Chris Hemsworth as Norse God of Thunder Thor and Tom Hiddleston as the villainous God of Mischief Loki, both of whom now have their serious separate fan bases. Their initial popularity, as well as their charm and likability, is just one of the many factors that is going to lead to Thor: The Dark World’s inevitable success with fans and box office alike.

Of course, any Marvel movie these days is guaranteed to be a smash hit – Iron Man 3 remains this year’s highest-grossing film, and that came out way back in April! – but Thor is an interesting franchise because its success is not just based off its affiliation with the comic book company. Both Hemsworth and Hiddleston’s star powers have grown exceptionally after their franchise debuts in director Kenneth Branagh’s 2011 movie Thor, but both have used their careers wisely.

Hemsworth, for instance, has since appeared in another studio blockbuster, Snow White and the Huntsman, and even worked with Ron Howard in last month’s Rush. Hiddleston, meanwhile, has had much more of an interesting career dabbling in big dramatic productions like The Deep Blue Sea and the BBC’s Shakespearian mini-series The Hollow Crown (he will also perform Shakespeare’s Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse this December) while still retaining that loyal fan base fondly known as the Hiddlestoners.

But Thor: The Dark World does not entirely rest on their shoulders, as it boasts fine supporting players like Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba and former Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston. Not to mention confident direction from Game of Thrones helmer Alan Taylor, including high-tier action set-pieces, a sense of adventure and awe, and Chris O’Dowd in a tiny cameo. What more epicness could you ask for from a Marvel movie?

Find out for yourselves if Thor: The Dark World lives up to its incredible hype, thanks to the staggering popularity of Hemsworth and Hiddleston and the promise of a continuation for Marvel’s new Phase 2 line of films. Why can’t 2015 and The Avengers: Age of Ultron get here any faster?



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