As originally reported by Deadline, Eccleston is officially joining next year’s Asgardian sequel Thor: The Dark World. And as Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige hinted back in May, Eccleston will be playing a new villain drawn from Thor‘s comic book mythology: Malekith the Accursed.
Malekith was created by the great Thor writer-artist Walt Simonson back in the ’80s. He rules the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, one of the Nine Realms mentioned in the first Thor movie. Svartalfheim could be the “Dark World” of the sequel’s subtitle (although there’s another theory that the “Dark World” refers to the Asgardian underworld.) In his original comic book incarnation, Malekith allied himself with Thor’s brother/nemesis Loki and wound up controlling the Casket of Ancient Winters, an object of immense power which can bring down the infinite cold of yet another Realm: the frigid Niflheim. (Don’t worry, all these names will sound awesome when Anthony Hopkins says them.)
It’s unclear how much of Malekith’s original story will be present in The Dark World. The character was actually an envoy for one of the great Big Bads in Thor’s history: the fire demon Surtur, a creature so massively powerful that he seems more like a potential threequel villain.