Christopher Eccleston
Credit: BBC
  • Movie

Christopher Eccleston already has infinite geek cred thanks to his shortlived-but-memorable role as The Doctor on the 2005 comeback season of Doctor Who. Since then, he’s popped up on television (he played an invisible man back when Heroes was good) and in movies (as the baddie in the unfortunate G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.) But now he’s bought a ticket on the Marvel Express, toot-tooot! As originally reported by Deadline, Eccleston is officially joining next year’s Asgardian sequel Thor: The Dark World. And as Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige hinted back in May, Eccleston will be playing a new villain drawn from Thor‘s comic book mythology: Malekith the Accursed.

Malekith was created by the great Thor writer-artist Walt Simonson back in the ’80s. He rules the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, one of the Nine Realms mentioned in the first Thor movie. Svartalfheim could be the “Dark World” of the sequel’s subtitle (although there’s another theory that the “Dark World” refers to the Asgardian underworld.) In his original comic book incarnation, Malekith allied himself with Thor’s brother/nemesis Loki and wound up controlling the Casket of Ancient Winters, an object of immense power which can bring down the infinite cold of yet another Realm: the frigid Niflheim. (Don’t worry, all these names will sound awesome when Anthony Hopkins says them.)

It’s unclear how much of Malekith’s original story will be present in The Dark World. The character was actually an envoy for one of the great Big Bads in Thor’s history: the fire demon Surtur, a creature so massively powerful that he seems more like a potential threequel villain. And of course, there’s the biggest question of all: Will they paint Eccleston’s face half-blue and half-black, like Malekith in the comics? After all those Frost Giants slaughtered in Thor 1, how many blue people can a single franchise sustain?

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  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 130 minutes
  • Kenneth Branagh