Christopher Eccleston, the British actor who not so long ago helped to resurrect Doctor Who, is rumoured to be in talks for the role of the villain in Thor sequel, The Dark World. If he secures the role in the film, which follows on from the events of Avengers Assemble and has already begun production, it is thought that he will play Malekith the Accursed, ruler of the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim.
In an interview with blog I Review Too… earlier this year, stuntman James Grogan let slip that he and his colleagues had been asked by director Alan Taylor to play ‘elves’, leading to conjecture that the main foes in The Dark World will be the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, one of the nine worlds that exist in the original Marvel Comics series.
Danish actor Mads Mikkelson (Casino Royale, Clash of the Titans) was to have played the main antagonist, but withdrew from the role due to scheduling conflicts. Chris Hemsworth will return as Thor along with Tom Hiddleston as Thor’s troublesome brother Loki. Natalie Portman will once again play Jane Foster, Thor’s love interest.
While Thor, released in 2011, was directed by Kenneth Branagh, The Dark World is being helmed by Alan Taylor. An HBO veteran, Taylor has had a directional hand in almost every major US television series of the past ten years, including but not limited to Oz, The West Wing, Six Feet Under, Sex and the City, Lost, Rome, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones. He has also directed three feature films; The Dark World will be his fourth.
If Eccleston does secure the part of the evil Elf King in Thor: The Dark World, which will be released in the UK on November 8th 2013, he will be the latest in a very long line of British actors playing villains. While we may know him best as a troubled but cheeky Time Lord, Eccleston has proved himself more than capable of tackling darker roles, such as that he took on in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later. If he does land the part of Malekith, he’ll certainly bring some gravitas to this rather unusual role.