This Friday brings one of Marvel's mighty heroes back to the big screen in "Thor: The Dark World," but the return of a force of good also means a new evil foe for him to contend with.
That's where Malekith the Accursed comes in. The ancient being has a major beef that dates back to the early days of the universe, and now he's got an eye to serve up some revenge very, very, very, very cold.
Before "Thor: The Dark World" hits theaters, here's the rundown on everything you need to know about the latest villain of the Marvel universe.
Malekith the Accursed first appeared in the pages of Marvel Comics in June of 1984 in "Thor" #344. As an ally to Loki, he quickly established himself as a villain and one that didn't mind harming the good people of Earth to get what he wanted. Just like in "Thor: The Dark World," Malekith enlists the strongest of the dark elves, Algrim, to assist him in his battles against the god of thunder. Unlike the film, he uses Algrim as bait for Thor, a betrayal that ultimately leads to Malekith's apparent death in the comic book. Malekith later reappeared, alive and well, in 2009 in the pages of "Incredible Hercules.
Return of the Dark World
For Malekith's role in the story of "Thor: The Dark World," an opening narration from Odin takes us all the way back to the start of the universe as we know it. The Dark World that the title refers to and Malekith's original home predates the one that Asgard and Earth inhabit. When the nine realms were originally created, they essentially destroyed Malekith's home, so you can imagine why he's none too pleased with all of us.
Bringing the ruler of the dark elves to the big screen required the actor who played him, Christopher Eccleston, to wake up at 2:15 in the morning to get his pale-faced makeup done. He usually hit set eight hours later. "By that stage, I'm really anxious to do my job," Eccleston told us. "There's a great deal of very talent people who have been working on me for six hours. Costume, makeup, doing their work. Then the onus is on me to do mine and to do justice to that extraordinary creation." But in practice, all of that lead-up may have helped the character in the end. "I'm pretty angry by that stage," Eccleston said. "I'm feeling pretty malicious by that point."
The role of Malekith also involved speaking in the character's native tongue, a language that Eccleston developed with director Alan Taylor and his co-star Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. The three actual languages, including Finnish, inspired the fictional dialect.
"Thor: The Dark World" opens in theaters on November 8.