‘Thor: The Dark World’ finds its villain: Christopher Eccleston bound for Asgard

Wide Screen

When geek universes collide, things are sure to get interesting. According to reports, a small-screen Time Lord is set to battle the Norse god of thunder on the big screen.

Deadline reports that Christopher Eccleston, a former Doctor Who and star of films like "Shallow Grave" and "G.I. Joe," has officially joined "Thor: The Dark World." Eccleston has been chosen to play Malekith The Accursed, a villainous dark elf who has long been a thorn in the side of Thor and company on the comic book page. With shooting on the film set to begin this month, Eccleston is an eleventh-hour replacement for "Casino Royale" actor Mads Mikkelsen, who had been in talks for the villain role before dropping out due to scheduling conflicts.

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Thankfully Eccleston is more than up to the task, as "Thor 2" won't be the first time the ex-Doctor has gone toe-to-toe with super-powered beings. The English actor had a small but memorable role as Claude Rains, a man with the power of invisibility, on the NBC television series "Heroes." Unfortunately for Thor, Malekith's powers are a little more imposing: the evil elf possesses super speed, strength, and intellect, and can wield powerful magic that can only be countered with iron. Where's Thor's Avengers buddy Tony Stark when he needs him?

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Star Chris Hemsworth revealed that director Alan Taylor ("Game of Thrones") plans to take the characters back to their Viking roots for the hammer-throwing sequel, putting more emphasis on the mythological elements and less on the hard science fiction that dotted 2011's "Thor." Coming from the gritty and violent world of "Game of Thrones," HBO's landmark fantasy series, it's no surprise that Taylor would favour this new direction.

Marvel has scheduled "Thor: The Dark World" for a November 8, 2013 release.