New Thor Character Banners Blast In

It's a sword-swinging Fandral scandal

Thor lives in that genre border country where sci-fi meets fantasy, and these two new promo posters showcase both elements of the franchise. Two of the biggest stars of Thor: The Dark World, Fandral (right) and Volstagg (centre), get their moment in the sun. The other member of the Warriors Three, Sif (Jaimie Alexander), was posterfied early this the week.

Fandral and Volstagg, aka Zachary Levi and Ray Stevenson respectively, step into the ass-kicking arena here in a way that will make Fandral's crazed fanbase literally explode with delight. We're not sure what Volstagg's fanbase looks like, but we're pretty sure we wouldn't want to meet it in a dark alley.

But what's afoot for the warriors, and why all the sword swinging and axe-wielding? "Asgard at the beginning of the first film was at a time of peace," explains producer Craig Kyle. " Now our guys have been fighting for over a year, constantly. It's a time of war.

"When the Bifrost was broken at the end of the first film, Odin had to conjure a lot of dark energy and go through a lot of personal sacrifice to try and get his son back to Earth. And it was a one-shot deal. If Thor didn't succeed, without the Tesseract he couldn't have got back again. And in our film, finally the Bifrost has been rebuilt, but during that time, when the cops were largely cut off from the rest of the universe, you had miscreants that came in from outside the Nine Realms, pillaging and destroying and causing havoc. So that's what our guys have been doing now - trying to put all these fires out across the Nine Realms."

Returning cast include Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as the treacherous Loki, Natalie Portman as scientist Jane Foster, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Rene Russo as Frigga, Stellan Skarsgard as Dr Selvig, Kat Dennings as Darcy, Alexander as Sif, Stevenson as Volstagg and Levi as Fandral. Among the newcomers are Christopher Eccleston as big bad Malekith and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Algrim.

Thor: The Dark World is out on October 30 in the UK. America will see the be-maned one from November 8.