The Secrets Of Thor: The Dark World

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Thor: The Dark World fans, congratulations! You've come to the right website. Following in the footsteps of our Man Of Steel Easter eggs reveal with David S. Goyer and Zack Snyder - as well as our Skyfall writers special, the Iron Man 3 spoiler podcast breakdown and this Star Trek Into Darkness dissection - here are the secrets of Thor: The Dark World, as told by director Alan Taylor, Marvel super producer Kevin Feige and Loki himself (Tom Hiddleston) on our recent spoiler podcast. Fascinating, illuminating and chock-full of spoilers, you're not going to want to read this feature until you've seen the movie, which, handily, is in cinemas right about now.

Loki Trilogy

Feige: “It was always the plan to have Loki have a redemptive death. It was always planned that he wouldn’t really be gone – because in the comic books, that’s not what happens – so there were various discussions as to where we would leave him.”

“We never really talk about a 'trilogy', necessarily, but I like that they are starting to do some Thor marathons around the world gearing up to the release of Thor: The Dark World, and that marathon is Thor, The Avengers and Thor: The Dark World. When people see all three of those, together, particularly with that last shot, you essentially see a trilogy about Loki getting what he always wanted... and taking the most roundabout way he possibly could.”

Feige: “That last scene needed to work for people watching the movie for the first time, who believed that it’s Odin talking to Thor, and then the surprise, but it also needs to work a second and third time. Why is Odin saying those things? Why is Loki saying those things to Thor? They’re very nice things, they’re very caring things, that he says to him. Is it partly because he loves his brother? I like to think so. Is it also because that’s what his brother needs… to leave? Perhaps.”

“But the secret’s are often right in front of you. Right there! On the cover of Empire Magazine!”

Hiddleston: “The way Loki finishes up in the film is the greatest trick of all, because he didn’t betray him. He saved the day… and he ended up on the throne!”

Tom Hiddleston, Loki in chains

Feige: “We always have additional photography on all of our movies, and I like to think that over the years, people realise that means improving the movie. Having new good ideas and having the resources and ability to execute those ideas. So many of the best moments in all of our movies were shot in the post period as part of additional photography. We schedule it for all of our movies.”

Taylor: “It was partly expositional enhancement, and also part of this phase of [realising] how much Loki was connecting with the audience.”

Hiddleston: "I always wanted that scene. I loved doing that scene. There was an idea that it would be assumed on the behalf of the audience: that on the way into prison that Loki and Odin would have had this second confrontation, because Odin hadn’t seen Loki since the end of Thor, where he disappears through the wormhole.”

Taylor: “The other late addition was what seems to be people’s favourite scene... the shapeshifting scene, as he walks out of the prison. That was there to let Loki be Loki.”

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Feige: “Chris Evans was shooting Captain America: The Winter Soldier down the street, so he was able to come in and shoot with us.”

Taylor: “Tom (Hiddleston) did that role and then Chris Evans came in and watched Tom’s performance of Chris Evans, then he imitated Tom’s imitation of Chris Evans doing Loki.”

Feige: “And that will be on the Blu-ray. You’ll be able to see Hiddleston in the Cap suit.”

Hiddleston: “I got into the Captain America costume! I am pleased to say it fits rather well. Didn’t have to make any alterations... I played Loki, dressed as Captain America. Chris was so game. Chris Evans doing an impression of Loki doing an impression of Captain America. It’s kind of amazing.”

Thor: The Dark World

Feige: “There was a showdown, and one of Malekith’s lines there was in the first trailer – he references sacrifices he’s had to make in the past, confronting Odin on what he’s willing to sacrifice, referring to Frigga, who’s at the end of a knife blade – but what happened was, and it was nobody’s fault except our own, really, was that we’d constructed a scene that was a mistake.

“Odin put down his spear, and Malekith successfully got Odin to put down his spear, and then kills Frigga anyway. And the early audiences went, ‘What the hell!? Why would he do that? Odin wouldn’t do that!’ They rioted in the seats. They took their pitchforks and tore up the seats. (Laughs)”

Taylor: “I spoke to Chris Eccleston yesterday, and he was saying that was the scene he missed most. You’ll get to see it on the Blu-ray, but as a part of getting this film more focused, in that particular case, you’re serving big things. Great work was done by all the actors, but frequently the most beloved things have to go.”

Feige: “We did a little bit of additional photography. The version you see in the movie was cut mainly from all the original version of the scene with an additional line here and there. It now has Odin entering afterwards. In other words, the audience could forgive him for being late, but they could not forgive him for wimping out and putting the spear down.”

“We do test screenings and the numbers do not dictate everything to us, but when they are overwhelming, you know something is going on – [but with the changes] they shot up. Suddenly people loved and respected Odin again.”

Thor: The Dark World, Frigga

Taylor: “There had been a lot of development before I got there… but it was pretty clear that Frigga was going to die because there were very few things we could do to pull the brothers together that would believably be emotive for both of them. Actually, the idea for Loki’s death came a little later in the process, and then we had to figure out what that meant to the universe, and how to handle it, and so on.”

Kevin Feige

Feige: “It’s a good question. We have some ideas... I could answer it, but I won’t.”

Guardians Of The Galaxy

Feige: “It’s part of our fun tradition of passing the torch, the next filmmaker filming the tag. Ken Branagh shot the one at the end of Iron Man 2, Joss Whedon shot the tag that’s on the end of the original Thor... So, thankfully, Ray [Stevenson] and Jaimie [Alexander] were able and willing to fly to the Guardians set to shoot that for us.”

“What we're hoping for is the same as with the end credits of Iron Man, where the people who sat through them were treated to Sam Jackson showing up. A small segment of the audience know that’s Nick Fury, and that means it could be The Avengers, [while] the rest were asking, ‘What the hell was Sam Jackson doing at the end of this movie?’ And soon a conversation was developing about who that is and what that means.”

“Likewise, there will be some people here would will be, ‘Oh, that’s The Collector! He’s in Guardians!’ And there will be a lot of people saying, ‘What the heck is Benicio del Toro doing? What is this?’”

Avengers, Agent Coulson and Thor

Feige: “The number of questions I get about bilgesnipe is pretty amazing. It’s a testament to Joss’s line in Avengers (’Thor: The Bilgesnipe, you know; huge, scaly, big antlers. You don't have those?'). It is a frost creature from Jotunheim. A smaller, perhaps baby version, of what we saw in the first Thor, where Thor flew through the back of his head.”

Thor: The Dark World

Feige: “That’s a tip of the hat to the relationship in the comics, because in the comics, yes, Sif does become a great love interest of Thor’s after Jane Foster. If we’re lucky enough to be asked to make additional movies, maybe we could head that way, but for the time being, it was just fun. Jaimie does an amazing job of giving those glances. And yet, she’s noble and a great warrior, and assists Jane along the way.”

Thor: The Dark World

Feige: “We’re thinking about a lot of things [with Loki]. (Laughs) Where we’ll specifically go, we’ll see, but the greatest part of the groundswell for a Loki solo movie is that it means, ‘Yes, we want to see a Loki movie’ but it really means ‘We love Loki, we love what you’ve done with Loki, we love what Tom Hiddleston has done with Loki.’ And I certainly hope that all those people enjoy what we do in the Loki movie that’s coming out… now, which is Thor: The Dark World.”

“Anything is possible. When inspiration strikes and you have the right creative team, you can make a great film out of almost anything. I think it would be challenging [to make a Loki movie without Thor], because so much of what’s great about Thor is Loki and what’s great about Loki is Thor. And both Tom and Chris have been very upfront and honest about that. There are not many singular Loki stories in the comics, I think for that very reason.”

“We wouldn’t do it just because he’s really popular. ‘Quick, make a movie about him!’ We would only do it if we had an idea that could sustain a whole movie. The truth is, there are so many other Loki / Thor stories to tell first.”

Thor: The Dark World Odin

Taylor: “I think when we were picking takes, and when I was talking to Anthony, we wanted that to hang, to teeter, and not be decided. There’s a look in his eye that I think is a glimmer of recognition of who he’s talking to. That could very much be read as ‘I am very sad about the loss of my son.’ Because he’s a brilliant actor he can make both sit together.”

Hiddleston: “I did it, then [the actor who played the guard] did an impression of me. He’s fantastic. He’s an Australian actor. I wish I could remember his name. [He’s called Brett Tucker – check out his imdb page here.]

Tom Hiddleston, Thor: The Dark World premiere

Hiddleston: “Maybe one day we’ll explore what happens after that moment... does Loki reveal himself? What happens to Odin after that? I wonder if there were ever another film – or a tag scene – I wish I knew what was inside Kevin Feige’s brain. I don’t, sadly... Maybe one day we’ll be in a world where you least expect it, travelling through and into a city scape, a metropolis, past some cafes and shops, and you’ll find an old man, sitting on his own, and it’ll be Anthony Hopkins.”

“I think he’s certainly put him away somewhere. I don’t know specifically where. I have many ideas about what’s happened...”