Thor: The Dark World is a 2013 American superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Thor, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2011's Thor and the eighth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film was directed by Alan Taylor, with a screenplay by Christopher Yost and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. It stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, and Rene Russo. In Thor: The Dark World, Thor teams up with Loki to save the Nine Realms from the Dark Elves led by the vengeful Malekith, who intends to plunge the universe into darkness.
Development of Thor: The Dark World began in April 2011, when producer Kevin Feige announced plans for a sequel to follow the crossover film The Avengers. In July 2011, Kenneth Branagh, the director of Thor, withdrew from the project. Brian Kirk and Patty Jenkins were considered to direct the film before Taylor was hired in January 2012. The supporting cast filled out in August 2012, with the hiring of Eccleston, Dennings, and Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Principal photography began in September 2012 in Surrey, England with filming continuing in Iceland and London, before wrapping up in December 2012. Thor: The Dark World was converted to 3D in post-production.
Thor: The Dark World premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on October 22, 2013. It was released internationally on October 30, 2013, and on November 8, 2013, in the United States. The film received mixed reviews, but was a commercial success, grossing over $644 million worldwide. A third film, Thor: Ragnarok, is set for release on November 3, 2017.
Eons ago, Bor, father of Odin, clashes with the Dark Elf Malekith, who seeks to destroy the universe using a weapon known as the Aether. After conquering Malekith's forces, including enhanced warriors called the Kursed, on their home world of Svartalfheim, Bor safeguards the Aether within a stone column. Unbeknownst to Bor, Malekith, his lieutenant Algrim, and a handful of Dark Elves escape into suspended animation.