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Christopher Eccleston Signs On To ‘Thor 2’

The former ‘Doctor Who’ star will play Malekith

Christopher Eccleston has finally given us an excuse to write about him again, and it has nothing to do with “Doctor Who.”

Eccleston, who played the ninth Doctor in the 2005 revival of the BBC series, has been cast to play the villain Malekith in the upcoming “Thor: The Dark World.” That film, starring Chris Hemsworth, is a sequel to the 2011 film that earned $449.3 million worldwide.

Malekith, according to The Los Angeles Times, is the ruler of the dark elves of Svartalfheim within the Asgard territory in the comics. Served by Bitterhand, Wormwood and Grendell, Malekith has an array of abilities that include teleportation and the creation of illusions.

Eccleston will take over for Tim Middleston, who played the villain Loki in both “Thor” and this year’s “The Avengers,” which is so far the top-grossing movie of 2012, and the third highest-grossing film of all time domestically.

While most of the cast will remain the same — including Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins, the creative team at the helm will be much different.

Don Payne, who wrote the screenplay of the first film with Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz, will return for this film, but this time he’ll be joined by “Falling Skies” creator Robert Rodat. Kenneth Branagh, who directed the first film, is being replaced by “Game of Thrones” director Alan Taylor.

Taylor, a celebrated television director, will direct his first feature length film since 2003’s “Kill the Poor” for IFC Films.

Since his one-season stay on “Doctor Who,” Eccleston has remained quite busy. He appeared in a handful of first-season episodes of NBC’s “Heroes” in 2007, and then played Destro in 2009’s “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.”

He most recently appeared in the British miniseries “The Shadow Line” with Chiwetel Ejiofor. Eccleston also appeared in this year’s “Blackout” with Olivia Cooke and Dervla Kirwan. He just finished work on the film “Song for Marion” with Gemma Arterton and Terence Stamp.

Eccleston won an International Emmy in 2011 for Best Performance by an Actor for his work in “Accused.”

“Thor: The Dark World” premieres in November 2013.

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