Comic Con: The Marvel panel! Thor: The Dark World! New trailer and clip rundown! Loki arrives!
The Marvel Panel in Hall H kicked off with none other than Kevin Feige taking the stage. After sitting down he's asked what that status is on THOR: THE DARK WORLD, to which...the lights go out (see 2-minute video clip below). Everyone is eager with anticipation, expecting a new trailer or something of the like, but we suddenly hear a familiar voice. A devilish one that has become every bit a mainstay of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as IRON MAN himself: Loki. Much like his chat with Black Widow in THE AVENGERS, the Asgardian god belittles his audience vaguely, until touching on the fact that they "waited in the sweltering heat for hours," which alludes to the infamous line to get into the venue.
And, boom goes the dynamite. The lights go up and it's none other than Tom Hiddleston in full on Loki get-up, fully immersed in character. The crowd lost their shit at this and Hiddleston ate it up, never breaking character and even calling host Chris Hardwick a "mewling quim." Hiddleston/Loki then tells the audience, "You should have let me rule you when you had the chance. Where are your Avengers now? Claim loyalty to me…and I will give you what you need. Say my name.” The audience did as he asked, bigger and louder as Hiddleston continued to repeat himself. Satisfied, he walked off stage, saying, “It seems I have an army. Feast your eyes!”
The lights go out and we are launched into the Comic Con trailer for THOR: THE DARK WORLD, which starts off with a long sequence before segueing into the new, full trailer. Here's the rundown:
The clip begins with Sif battling a group of bad guys in a village with explosions, fire, and swordplay in full effect. Jamie Alexander looks as stunning throughout the clip as she ever has and I think she will win over some more fanboy hearts by the time this one hits. Of course, Thor can't resist a fight and he makes his grand entrance, as we've seen in the first teaser, coming in through the bifrost and getting in on the fight. Sif isn't happy to see him, saying something to the effect of "I have this under control," to which Thor replies, "Then why is everything burning?" Thor jumps into action and this is where the film becomes obviously different than Branagh's original. It's strong, deft, and intricately edited, with Thor taking out villains with massive force. Every hit feels more intense, more visceral than what we saw in the original, complete with the atmospheric, earthy tone of a battle in a real-world environment, rather than on a green screen soundstage.
The clip comes to a close with a giant rock monster approaching the scene, to which Thor approaches, beaming with a smile and addresses the creature, saying, "I accept your surrender," which causes the Asgardian soldiers around him to laugh. The rock creature doesn't find it funny and Thor begins to twirl his hammer before decimating the stone-laced creature into pieces with Mijlnor. This jumps straight into the new trailer, which is chock full of so much new footage that it would be impossible to recount it all.
We see all the familiar faces, including Kat Dennings, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins (who again starts off the trailer with his narration), Rene Russo (getting much more action this time around), the warriors three, and an Asgardian setting that is riddled with detail and depth, something that I felt was sorely needed in the first film. An attack in London sends Thor to Earth, where he saves Jane (Portman) and brings her back to his realm. A new evil has surfaced in the form of Christopher Eccleston's Maleketh, who we still get mostly teases of here. I can't recall any direct dialogue from him throughout.
Thor enlists Loki to his team and once released from prison he's threatened by Ray Stevenson's Volstagg. Then, Jane and Thor approach, seemingly to stop the quarrel, but instead Jane slaps Loki in the face, saying "That was for New York!" Loki smiles and looks to Thor, saying, "Oh, I like her." From here the trailer goes into hyperkinetic action mode with all manner of action shots and closes in on the title. But, just as you think it's over, they jump back into it, showing Loki and Thor fighting each other in front of Maleketh with Thor easily getting his ass handed to him. Loki is doing his usual "villain lecturing" as he beats up his brother, who call Mijilnor to him. While his hand is out, though, Loki moves in and in an instant SEVERS Thor's hand off, before we go to black.
None of the cast or crew outside of Hiddleston as Loki were present for the panel, so there was no Q&A afterwards. My thoughts were immediately that it looked leagues better than THOR, which I still loved. Hiring Alan Taylor was a smart move and I'm so happy he was the one to tackle this one. I know he's had some difficultly with his final cut (i.e. he wants a longer cut), but aside from that this movie looks like it's taken a massive leap forward for the story and characters, while still retaining the heart, spirit, and the humor of the first. I'm glad they didn't lose sight of that and it struck me that even though Taylor's visual style is much different than Branagh's, the model is fully intact. You have to respect how they've managed to change out directors and yet still maintain that all the characters are continuing their story without missing a beat, even if they just look better visually.
THOR: THE DARK WORLD hits theaters on November 8, 2013.
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