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Christopher Eccleston revealed as Malekith the Accursed in “Thor: The Dark World” set photos

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World, meet your Malekith the Accursed.

New set photos from the British shoot of “Thor: The Dark World” have made their way online and reveal how Christopher Eccleston looks as the movie’s main villain, the Dark Elf leader Malekith. While he looks a bit different than he did in the “Thor” comic books, this Malekith definitely is an intimidating figure.

It will be interesting to see if there are any additional features or effects added in to spruce up Malekith’s look later, but at least he has the same two-tone face from the comics. Meanwhile, his army of Dark Elves look battle-ready in the scene that they’re filming, and their helmets that completely cover their faces don’t reveal if they have any other similar features to their incarnations in the graphic novels. These images are more a tease than anything else for their final reveal, which hopefully will come once “Thor: The Dark World” unveils a trailer.

“Thor: The Dark World” is due in theaters on November 8, 2013. It stars Chris Hemsworth, Hiddleston, Christopher Eccleston, Kat Dennings, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Zachary Levi, Alice Krige, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Richard Brake, Clive Russell and Idris Elba. The film will follow the plot line of Thor’s confrontation with Malekith the Accursed and the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim made popular by the comic books.

What do you think of your first look at Malekith the Accursed? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

Major “Iron Man 3″ and “Thor: The Dark World” spoilers leaked

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If you don’t want to be spoiled for “Iron Man 3″ or “Thor: The Dark World,” stop reading now.

Andrew Lawden has give we spoiler hounds enough information to keep us happy for… well, for at least a week. The actor and Marvel employee appeared on Bombad Radio Podcast (via /Film) to talk about “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace,” but ended up sharing a lot of details about two movies in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase 2.

First up (and the less spoilery of the two, because we already saw most of this in the “Iron Man 3″ trailer) is the showdown between Iron Man and The Mandarin in “Iron Man 3.”

“Well, there’s going to be a big fight sequence with The Mandarin, who’s the main villain, which will involve none other than forty different iron man suits. There’s an amazing rescue where The Mandarin basically wants to bring down the American government and kill the President, and he launches an attack on Air Force One,” Lawden said. “All of them — the President and his men and staff — get sucked out of the plane, and Iron Man rescues them by forming this amazing human chain in the sky.”

He continued, “There’s some pretty spectacular stuff that goes on. There’s an amazing sequence where he has this rooftop house that he builds to store all his Iron Man suits, and it gets attacked by The Mandarin and these gunships […] I was shocked to discover there are like forty Iron Man suits written into this feature in various ways…so that’s going to be pretty impressive. But apparently he needs this Iron Man army to go up against The Mandarin’s forces.”

The “Thor: The Dark World” spoilers are a bit more serious (especially because we don’t know much about that movie), so read on with caution.

“Thor becomes reunited with Jane who becomes possessed by a Dark Spirit, which is connected with the Dark Elves; a race the Asgardians have fallen out with many years beforehand,” Lawden said. “The Dark Elves attack Asgard, and they take a huge hit. So Thor has to rebuild Asgard by putting together an army to go and take the battle to the Dark Elves and defeat them. But the only way he can do this is – he needs to cross over to the Dark World, and the only person who has access to the dark side of Asgard is his old brother Loki, who at the beginning of the film is locked up in prison.”

He continued, “So what happens is Thor basically has to negotiate this truce with Loki, and he goes on this great trek with Jane, all three of them. They go to this far side of Asgard, which is being shot in Iceland, where they train and assemble an army to go and attack the Dark Elves’ world.”

And now for the biggest spoiler of all, so seriously don’t keep reading if you don’t want to know, is one of the events that happens during the Asgardian attack.

“But the exclusive twist… is that one of the things that happens during the Asgardian attack is that Thor’s mother gets killed,” Lawden said. “So it becomes like a vengeance thing. And they were keeping very tight-lipped about what actually happens with Loki, you don’t know whether he redeems himself or he’s still the bad egg.”

So there you have it. Were those good enough spoiler warnings for you? “Iron Man 3″ comes out May 3, 2013, while “Thor: The Dark World” is due out November 8, 2013.

Are you looking forward to these two movies? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

“Ant-Man” officially announced with a 2015 release date

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It’s official: “Ant-Man” is getting made, and it’s coming out November 6, 2015.

That means that “Ant-Man” will be the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase 3. In all likelihood, it probably also means we can expect to see whoever gets cast as Ant-Man make a cameo appearance in “The Avengers 2,” which is due out on May 1, 2015.

Disney announced this exciting news and a whole bunch more in a press release earlier this morning. It included some updates to their other upcoming Marvel movies, so take note. First off, both “Iron Man 3″ and “Thor: The Dark World” will be released in 3D, though neither were shot in the format. Also, “Captain America 2″ is also officially called “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” As neither “Captain America” nor “Guardians of the Galaxy” have started shooting yet, don’t consider this news to mean that neither of those will appear in 3D either.

This is pretty exciting news for Edgar Wright fans. He’s currently hard at work shooting “The World’s End,” but it has long been speculated that he could move on to “Ant-Man” after he wrapped that movie. Though Marvel seemed to support this new project for a while, the green light seemed to hinge upon the fan response to the sizzle reel he screened at San Diego Comic-Con. We still haven’t seen it yet (and are bitter about it) but apparently it was good enough that Marvel wanted “Ant-Man” on their line-up.

With that movie set in place, it will be interesting to see what other films populate Phase 3. If there are only four movies total until “The Avengers 3,” will Marvel opt to introduce more new characters or keep bringing back Iron Man, Thor and Captain America for more? And will we ever get a “Hulk” standalone movie? Hopefully we’ll get some answers over the next year or so.

Are you glad “Ant-Man” is getting made? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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