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Hammer down: redesigned Mjolnir in 'Thor: The Dark World'


A major co-star will be getting quite a facelift in Thor's upcoming new film, "Thor: The Dark World."
 
That's right: Mjolnir, his trusty hammer, will be spruced up for the film, according to Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International. "The design of Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer, was changed from the version Thor wielded in 'Marvel’s The Avengers.' 
Chris Hemsworth reprises his role as the god of thunder in "Thor: The Dark World."

The new hammer has more of a sense of history and age to it and its grip is more aligned to the hammer used in 'Thor,'” it said. And Mjolnir is getting not just a stunt double but 29 of them, all with various weights for different uses.

Aluminim Mjolnir 
 
While the master hammer is made from aluminum, it is replicated in different materials and weights, including a “soft” stunt version. Five of the 30 versions will be used most often, including the “lit hammer” that lights up when lightning strikes.
 
Meanwhile, the inscription on Thor’s hammer, written in Norse runes, translates to: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”
 
As for Thor himself, he will have 15 sets of costumes due to the number of stunts and action scenes. And Odin? He'll have six repeats of his costume. Meanwhile, the dark elves will get 40 suits worked on by 100 technicians from designer David White.
 
Stuntmen and extras playing the dark elves went through a training period where they practiced standing tall and proud, since the dark elves are portrayed as noble people. White designed the helmet so the eye line was slightly pulled down, forcing the actors to tilt their heads slightly up and back, resulting in a proud, strong feel.
 
On the other hand, Christopher Eccleston and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who play the dark elves Malekith and Algrim, respectively, had to memorize their dialogue written in an elven language specifically written for the film. 
 
In “Thor: The Dark World,” the thunder god battles to save Earth and all the nine realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. 
 
An ancient race, led by the vengeful Malekith, returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. With an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must take a dangerous and personal journey, that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
 
Nine realms
 
In the upcoming film, more of the Nine Realms will be introduced to offer a better understanding of the history and complexities of Thor’s universe.
 
The Nine Realms, taken from Norse mythology, refer to the nine worlds that are supported by Yggdrasil, an immense ash tree, central to Norse cosmology. Asgard is depicted at the top and Earth, known as Midgard, in the middle.
 
In the original “Thor,” Yggdrasil was established as a cosmic structure formed by a series of interwoven wormholes linking the nine worlds (realms) together. 
 
Biggest set
 
The Medina/streets of Asgard set is the biggest set ever built for a Marvel film. One can actually walk around the streets of Asgard and see shops, pubs and the training ground.
 
An aerial camera crew flew to the Dettifoss waterfall in Iceland to film the cascading waters from every angle so the waterfalls ringing Asgard could be rendered realistically. Filming in Iceland involved locations so remote the crew had to drive for hours from the airport just to get to their hotels. To get to the fields of volcanic ash that stood in for “The Dark World”, they drove for up to two hours more.
 
The film was shot between October and December 2012 at Pinewood Shepperton Film Studios in England, with key locations in London—Greenwich, Wembley, Borough Market and Hayes, and Stonehenge in Wiltshire. 
 
For the dark elves’ world, Svartalfheim, the filmmakers chose Iceland for its black, volcanic landscapes.
 
Triptychs, etc
 
The crew also dropped 4,000 letters over historic Greenwich, England: 2,000 on one side of the river and 2,000 on the other side of the river, explaining to the residents what was going to be happening.
 
At famous Stonehenge, the crew also faced a challenge: after getting permission from English Heritage, the filmmakers learned there were many rules on filming there, including one where shooting had to take place early in the morning before opening, which only gave the film crew about three hours before they had to pull back for wider shots once the stones were opened to the public.
 
"Being a heritage site, no one was allowed to touch the stones or walk on any stones, so a lot of logistics had to be applied to the filming there," Disney said.
 
The film is to open in the Philippines on Oct. 30 in IMAX 3D, Digital 3D, 2D and regular theaters. –  KDM, GMA News 

Photos courtesy of Walt Disney Studios
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