Marvel's Phase Two: 'Thor: The Dark World,' 'Cap 2: Winter Soldier,' 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and 'Avengers 2' -- EXCLUSIVE

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Image Credit: Jay Maidment

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Thor: The Dark World

(due Nov. 27)

Chris Hemsworth’s thunder-summoning god was banished to Earth to learn humility in 2011’s Thor, but he’s still grappling with his responsibilities as a leader and protector. “I would say there’s a question of what happens when you’re now seemingly ready for something, but don’t necessarily want it anymore,” Feige says. “That’s part of his internal struggle.”

This sequel will spend more time in the galactic stomping grounds of the hammer-wielding hero as Thor brings his astrophysicist love (Natalie Portman) to the celestial realm of Asgard for safekeeping when life on Earth becomes too dangerous for her to stay there alone.

The threat this time: Malekith the Accursed (Christopher Eccleston), a sorcerer and leader of the chaos-craving dark elves. He first appeared in the comics in 1984, and struck up an alliance with Thor’s similarly anarchy-inclined brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston, returning as one of the Marvel movies’ favorite love-to-hate villains.)

“Tony Stark wasn’t perfect at the end of Iron Man 1, and I don’t think Thor is perfect at the end of Thor 1 — particularly in his relationship with his brother, considering what he went through in Avengers,” Feige says.

Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor is picking up the reins from Kenneth Branagh for the sequel. Based on the just-released first trailer, some fans have remarked that The Dark World has a distinctly Tolkein-esque vibe.

“Alan is bringing a grittier, more visceral, more textured patina to the designs of the worlds, and to Asgard in particular,” Feige says. “It’s less to chase either Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings — because you’re not going to catch up. But part of the fun of Thor over the other characters is he doesn’t have to stay on Earth. We visit a few of the other realms in this new movie.”

One of those realms is known as Svartalfheim – the domain of Malekith. Fans can probably agree The Dark World is a better subtitle than Thor: Svartalfheim, no?

NEXT PAGE: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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