We know that Mads Mikkelsen is in serious talks to play the villain in Thor 2. So the question becomes: Just which villain will he be playing? Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige has ruled out at least one serious possibility. (SPOILER ALERT for anyone who still hasn’t seen Avengers.) In a new interview, Brit film magazine Empire asks Feige about the possibility of a Thor 2 appearance by Thanos, the death-obsessed demigod who was pulling Loki’s strings in The Avengers. After indicating that Thanos will be saved for the future (Avengers 2, perhaps), he promised: “There will be a major new villain [in Thor 2]. A major, major new antagonist…”
In the comic books, Thor has typically faced three species of villains: evil Asgardians, earthlings infected by Loki’s magic, or near-omnipotent superbeings. Feige hinted at the nature of that antagonist by talking a bit about the overall feel of the sequel: “We’re going to see the other side of Asgard. It’s not all polished and golden in this film.” Feige’s hint about the movie’s setting implies that the baddie in Thor 2 will be from the “other side of Asgard.” When reached by EW, Marvel Studios declined further comment on the nature of Thor 2’s villain or setting. But speaking as a Thor scholar, I think there’s only one character that Mads Mikkelsen could possibly be playing…(Theory Alert!)
In the great existential bloodfest Valhalla Rising, Mikkelsen played a mysterious Norse warrior who carried an axe. That describes one of Thor’s oldest enemies: Skurge, also known as the Executioner. Like Loki, Skurge is half Asgardian and half Frost Giant. Unlike Loki, Skurge is not much for talking – he’s more of a speak-softly-and-carry-a-huge-axe sort of guy. It’s a role tailor made for Mikkelsen. And there’s even a piece of comic lore attached to the Executioner that just might be the inciting incident for the Thor sequel: Way back in his first appearance, the Executioner kidnapped Thor’s lady love, Jane Foster. The first Thor movie found the Asgardian hero as a fish out of water on Earth; maybe the second movie will be about Jane having the same experience in the cosmos?
Now, if Mikkelsen is playing Skurge, then he’s probably not the only new baddie in the Thor sequel. The Executioner comes as a package deal with a femme fatale named Amora, better known as the Enchantress – a character who has been romantically linked with both Skurge and Thor.
Problem: Feige, in his Empire interview, only mentions one major new villain. Maybe it’s a bluff? Or maybe they’re saving the Enchantress for Thor 4: Thor Past Midnight? We’ll know more soon – Thor 2 is set to start filming this summer, with an eye toward a November 2013 release.
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