5 Marvelous Secrets Chris Hemsworth Shared on the Set of 'Thor: The Dark World'

The mythical realm of Asgard looks a lot like England. 
 
That’s not a coincidence. The magical home to the hammer-wielding warrior Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been re-created on the vast sound stages at the legendary Pinewood and Shepperton studios outside London. Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins and the cast and crew of the upcoming sequel Thor: The Dark World have taken up residence here, planning the next steps in the classic Marvel hero’s journey from arrogant fighter to worthy king. And Marvel, as well as Walt Disney Studios, fulfilled the lifelong dream of this particular comic book fanatic by inviting me to the set to watch them play for a few days.  
 
The Dark World director Alan Taylor and his crew had been filming for weeks when I arrived last November with a select group of journalists to cover Marvel’s Thor sequel. We were able to tour Asgard – a realm constructed from a mix of physical sets and digital wizardry. And we interviewed key members of the cast, producing team and creative crew. We learned that The Dark World tracks Odin’s son (Hemsworth) back to his home world following the events of Marvel’s The Avengers. But it isn’t going to be a triumphant return for Thor, and he’ll soon have major problems to contend while attempting to ascend to Asgard’s throne. 
 
Knowing that the latest full trailer for Thor: The Dark World will arrive on Wednesday, August 7, Marvel let us pull back the curtain on an in-depth conversation we enjoyed with Hemsworth in a tent outside of a MAJOR battle he was engaging with… well, that part of the visit, I can’t reveal. Instead, here are the five most mind-blowing items Hemsworth was able to share with us about Thor: The Dark World during our visit to the London set. 
 
 
1. We’re going to travel beyond Asgard. We’re going to see the Nine Realms.
 
Hemsworth admits that Taylor’s film will split a fair amount of time between Earth and Asgard, as Sir Kenneth Branagh’s initial Thor film did. On our set visit, in addition to being able to tour Odin’s throne room and Frigga’s bed chambers, we also walked through the replica of Jane Foster’s London apartment. So The Dark World will occupy familiar locations. 
 
But we also will get to see several other worlds that are crucial to Thor’s story. 
 
“We cover more ground than we did in the first one,” Hemsworth told us. “The scope of this just feels massive. We were just in Iceland for a week, and there’s volcanic lava, rock, mountains and snowcapped mountains and [locations] we didn’t see in the first one.  So it already feels like there’s a bigger expanse to The Dark World.
 
2. Thor’s relationship with his father, Odin, now has universe-shattering consequences. 
 
The relationship between Odin (Anthony Hopkins), ruler of Asgard, and his cocky son Thor drove the narrative of the original film. When we enter The Dark World, Hemsworth knew that Thor has earned some respect in his father’s eyes, but the sequel needed to increase the conflict between the two Asgardian legends to raise the stakes. 
 
“The conflict between Thor and Odin was, I think, so great in the first one, and [we] didn’t want to repeat that,” Hemsworth tells us. “They disagree -- as I think they always will at times. But there’s a far greater respect from each other. So it becomes, I guess, a more mature conversation, but there’s more at stake this time, too. It’s not sort of just their individual egos. The whole universe is at stake [in the sequel].”
 
3. Even more important, Thor’s complicated relationship with Loki will cause major headaches, as well. 
 
When last we saw Thor, he was transporting Loki (Hiddleston) back to Asgard to answer for his crimes in New York City. We pressed him as to the state of his relationship with his half brother at the start of The Dark World
 
“I can’t say too much,” Hemsworth chuckled, dancing around one of our many questions for fear of giving plot points away. “We wanted to keep in mind that Loki did just try to kill [me] for the seventh time and, Earth… you know, that was a big war.” 
 
As we prodded, Hemsworth did finally admit that Thor and Loki have “a common need” in this sequel, and it might require that they team up against the film’s other villain, Malekith (Christopher Eccleston). 
 
“You know the scene in Avengers when Thor says, 'Be careful how you speak. Loki may be crazy, but he’s still my brother'? That kind of sums up [their relationship]. He’s a screwup, but he is my brother. And I don’t think they’re going back to being best friends, but they’re still… I think Thor’s at a loss about how they got to this point, you know? And I think that in this film, he certainly can acknowledge now with a maturity that, okay, he should have been more aware of Loki over the years, and where he was positioned and all of this, and what maybe that led him down a certain path. So I think there’s maybe sort of an empathetic view for Loki that no one else can have because they’re not bound by blood.”
 
 
4. Alan Taylor is bringing that grounded reality he also tries to inject into Game of Thrones
 
Hemsworth enjoyed working with Branagh, but loves that Taylor – a veteran of HBO’s Game of Thrones – is able to bring that dirty, rough visual style to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 
 
“We all sort of knew where [The Dark World] was headed, but Alan took it to that next level,” Hemsworth said. “You can even see with the set design that he wanted to ground it in a more organic tone. Game of Thrones obviously is set in a reality-based world, but there are fantasy elements that are quite prominent in this. It’s similar to what we got going over here.”
 
5. Thor’s sequel leads to The Avengers 2, but it’s also a stand-alone adventure for the Asgardian god. 
 
“They all link up in some way,” Hemsworth tells us about the single-serving Marvel movies, from Iron Man 3 to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. “But I think Marvel is pretty adamant about them being their own stories. I was sort of wondering, ‘Are we going to start doing cameos in everyone’s film?’ But I guess that would take away from the impact of all of us when we do finally come together.” 
 
And they will come together, at least one more time, in Avengers: Age of Ultron, due in theaters in 2015. A new Thor trailer arrives on Wednesday. Until then, here’s the latest teaser. We’ll have plenty more on The Dark World closer to the film’s release on November 8. 
 

 
 

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