THE DARK ELVES
One of the more interesting aspects of the sequel is the introduction of the Dark Elves and how they would look in the movie compared to how they were depicted in the comics where Malekith almost had the appearance of a court jester with a face that was half white and half black. Christopher Eccleston’s Malekith is a lot more fearsome with half of his face badly damaged under his mask.
Along with his second lieutenant Algrim, they lead an army of Dark Elf “Storm Troopers” who are clearly more alien in appearance as well as looking more war-like and wearing masks that mirror the black circles for eyes with what looks like tears coming down from them, which mirror Malekith’s blank stare from the comics . They’re black shell-like armor looks more like muscles than any familiar substance, creating a contrast to the Asgardians’ colorful costumes, and they all have a spikey weapon attached to their arm. We spent some time in the design room where they have constructed 20 individual Dark Elf uniforms, all of which are sculpted specifically for the stuntmen that are wearing them. Although Kurse’s outfit is also made up of separate plates, we were told his transformation will be heavily enhanced by CG as well similar to how Bruce Banner is transformed into the Hulk.
To create Svartalfheim, home of the Dark Elves, they shot in Iceland to take advantage of the country’s black rock landscape, although they created part of it on the backlot for the final battle (which was being shot on our previous day on set).
To get an idea of the relationship between Malekith and Algrim, we got to watch an early scene on the Ark between the two of them in which they seemed to be speaking in some form of Elfish and it’s the first time we see Malekith without his mask. Malekith seems to be injured as he stumbles onto the bridge barefoot and is joined by Algrim who is wearing his mask.
While we didn’t have a chance to speak with Christopher Eccleston–he was far too busy being evil–we did get a chance to talk to his second-in-command, played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, best known for playing Adebisi on HBO’s “Oz” and Mr. Eko on “Lost.” The journalists all gathered in his trailer between scenes for a quick interview noting that without his mask, he had long white hair, tied into a ponytail, and had pointy ears as well as sensors on his face and a noticeable scar on his face. It was quite a contrast from seeing him on set as Kurse the day before.
Q: Do you get to use your an accent in this one?
Q: How long is the makeup process for you?
Q: How much did you know about the characters?
Q: How is it wearing the costumes all day?
Q: Who are most of your scenes with?
Akinnuoye-Agbaje: I’m lucky. I get to play scenes with all of the main characters. Probably the most time I spend is with Christopher Eccleston. You know, he plays Malekith and we are very much bonded in our vision of the world and our purpose in the movie so we spend a lot of time together. But I’ve got great scenes with Tom Hiddleston, I’ve got great scenes with Chris. Fortunately, the Kurse, Algrim characters traverse all are characters so it’s really a nice role to play but the most is with Chris (Eccleston).
Q: What is the dynamic your character has with Malekith?
Q: Algrim is also a military man who leads men while Kurse is all about rage so is that true when you become Kurse, that he doesn’t have the military rigidity?
Q: Has the script changed a lot since you first got involved with the project?
COSTUMES AND WEAPONS
Normally, the costume department would be the part of the set visit where we start to zone out, but for this one, we spent some time with Simon Brindle, billed as the film’s “costume armorer” and for good reason since they’ve modified all the Asgardian costumes from the first movie so that they’re made to look sturdier for battle, adding metal and leather to all the familiar outfits, including Thor’s. As had been mentioned by the actors, there are different versions of their costumes in this movie with Thor having an “action version” of his costume as well as one he wears during more laidback moments with different colored capes to go with each one. Being that Odin is mainly in military mode for this movie, he mostly wears a war helmet with large horns.
The propsmaster’s weapons room, on the other hand, was something to behold as it was covered from floor to ceiling with a wide array of weapons, not just for the Asgardians but also the weapons assembled by the hundreds of Marauders during their journeys through space. These included all sorts of knives and lances and clubs, as well as sniper rifles, gattling guns and even a rocket launcher, so the Marauders seriously mean business. The Dark Elves’ weapons were even cooler including a backpack gun that transforms into a blade and a lance that had an end which looked like a star-like pike. There were realistic looking rubber versions of these weapons for the battle scenes and we were told that they used a lot of 3d prototyping in designing the weapons.
They also had on display Thor’s “hero hammer” which was made out of metal and weighed 30 lbs. as well as a lighter version which weighed just one-and-a-half pounds for long shots. Most of the journalists decided to pose for pictures holding Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, but we decided to be different and posed with Hogun’s cool-looking mace. (Although honestly, the best part of that photo on the above right is that you can see many of the cool weapons we mentioned behihd us, and you can click on the picture to see a larger hi-res version to get a clearer look at them.)
We watched more filming on the Dark Elves ship and then towards the end of our second day, we had a chance to speak with director Alan Taylor, and you can read that full interview on the next page.