'Thor' Sequel Casts Christopher Eccleston As Its Villain

The 'Doctor Who' actor joins the cast of 'The Dark World' as Malekith, ruler of the dark elves.

Step aside, Loki. You might be the god of mischief, but your thunderous warrior of a brother is facing a decidedly darker soul come his upcoming movie.

At long last, the villain of "Thor: The Dark World" has been announced, and an actor to play him has been found as well. Christopher Eccleston, perhaps best known to the Comic-Con crowd for his brief season-long turn as the Time Lord himself on "Doctor Who," has joined the cast of the "Thor" sequel as its villain, Malekith the Accursed. In the comics, Malekith is the leader of the dark elves, a deadly species living on the faraway world of Svartalfheim. Additionally, the Malekith of the comics also had a strong connection to the artifact called the Casket of Ancient Winters — an item desired ever so much by the frost giants of Jotunheim in the first "Thor" movie. Its inclusion again here is almost a foregone conclusion.

In joining "The Dark World," Eccleston takes on a role that actor Mads Mikkelsen was once circling. Malekith seems a better fit for Eccleston, who boasts more of a suitably wiry and energetic quality than the traditionally imposing and brooding Mikkelsen. Besides, even without "Thor" in his future, Mikkelsen is doing just fine; he's set to take on the iconic role of Hannibal Lecter in a new NBC series (aptly titled "Hannibal") all about the horrific cannibal.

Eccleston's casting as Malekith is sure to please "Game of Thrones" fans as well. The British actor was long considered a fan-favorite for the pivotal season two role of would-be king Stannis Baratheon, a character ultimately played by Stephen Dillane. Alan Taylor, one of the most frequently used directors on "Thrones," is the director of the "Thor" sequel. Consider this the closest we'll get to an Eccleston-"Thrones" collaboration, then. Regardless, with Malekith and presumably the Casket of Ancient Winters on its way, winter is most assuredly coming for Thor.

Starring Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman, "The Dark World" hits theaters in November 2013.

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