By Marc Strom
After foiling his half-brother’s attempts to first take over Asgard and then Earth, you’d think Thor would take a nice, long vacation.
Unfortunately for the Mighty Avenger, the universe just doesn’t want to give him a break, as Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” sends him on his most dire adventure yet in theaters November 8.
|Chris Hemsworth stars as Thor in "Thor: The Dark World"|
Chris Hemsworth has donned Thor’s cape three times now since audiences first saw him in 2011’s “Thor,” but this time around the character will have to grapple with even more responsibility than ever before.
“Thor’s journey picks up from where we left [him in] the first one,” reflects the actor. “[He’s] about to take on the throne, about to earn him the right to the king. [He’s] now coming to the realization of what responsibility comes with that, and also Alan [Taylor, director of “Thor: The Dark World] keeps talking about the sort of dark side of that responsibility, and the secrets [that come with] being king. [He has to] become very political about what people need to know and what they want to know.”
The relationship between Thor and his half-brother Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, stands at the center of the upcoming film, as the two reunite…but whether they come together as friends or foes remains to be seen.
|Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) together again in "Thor: The Dark World"|
“[It’s] great to have some meatier stuff with Tom,” remarks Hemsworth. “The ongoing question from Thor about what is it that Loki wants, and why, and how did we come to this? I think we get to kind of possibly attack some of those questions properly.
“You know the scene in Avengers when Thor says, careful how you speak. That he may be crazy but it’s my brother, [that] kind of sums up [our relationship]. He’s a screw up, but he is my brother. I don’t think they’re going back to being best friends, but I think Thor’s at a loss about how they got to this point, because for him, I think [this] came out of nowhere.
“I think that in this film he certainly can acknowledge with a [level of] maturity that, okay, he should have been more aware of Loki over the years and where he was positioned and all of this, and why maybe that led him down a certain path. There’s maybe an empathetic view [Thor has of] Loki that no one else can have because they’re not bound by blood.”
|Thor faces a Kronan in "Thor: The Dark World"|
Thor has also had a fairly contentious relationship with his father, Odin, in the past, as the first “Thor” began with the Allfather banishing his son to Earth and stripping him of all his powers. But while Thor and Odin may not see eye-to-eye this time around, don’t expect things to become quite as extreme as they previously did.
“The conflict between Thor and Odin was, I think, so great in the first one, and we didn’t want to repeat that,” adds Hemsworth. “So certainly they disagree, as I think they always will at times. But there’s a far greater respect from each other. It becomes, I guess, a more mature conversation, but there’s more at stake this time, too. It’s not just their individual egos, there’s the whole universe at stake.”
Joining the returning cast is new director Alan Taylor, who takes the reigns from Kenneth Branagh for Thor’s second solo adventure. As a director on HBO’s “Game of Thrones ,“ Taylor brings a new approach to Thor’s world, but he, the actors and the producers all agreed on where our hero’s journey would take him next.
|Star Chris Hemsworth and director Alan Taylor on set of "Thor: The Dark World"|
“We all sort of knew where it was headed,” says Hemsworth. “ Alan [wanted to] take it to that next level. You can even see with the set design [his desire] to ground it in a more organic tone. ‘Game of Thrones’ obviously is set in a reality-based world, but there are fantasy elements which are quite prominent in this. It’s similar to what we [have] going over here.
“We cover more ground than we did in the first one,” the actor continues. “[Thor doesn’t just stay] in Asgard, we certainly venture out into the big universe. But the scope of this just feels massive, you know? I mean we were just in Iceland for a week, and there’s volcanic lava, rock, snowcapped mountains, and we didn’t see that in the first one. So it already feels like there’s a bigger expanse to it.”