New 'Thor' Poster Offers Uncanny Valley of Snow and Gods

Marvel Studios has released a new poster for October's second solo outing for its God of Thunder, hinting at the movie's threats and the studio's love for unrealistic retouching of images.
Marvel Studios

What information can be gleaned from the newly released poster for Thor: The Dark World, due in theaters October 30?

Well, there are plenty of familiar faces to be found, in addition to stars Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman: fan-favorite Tom Hiddleston, of course, but also Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins and Jaimie Alexander as Sif -- as well as obscure spoilers about the weather (snow for the Frost Giants) and great balls of fire falling from the sky, heralding the previously unannounced Jerry Lee Lewis CGI cameo (Okay, maybe not).

What is most obvious, however, is how unreal it all looks. It's not as if the original Thor movie had a grittily realistic aesthetic -- the scenes on Asgard looked particularly fake -- but this poster is weirdly unconvincing on almost every level: Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth look to have been taken from entirely different shots and Photoshopped together, despite theoretically touching, and even Thor's hammer -- an actual, honest-to-goodness prop -- seems to be added after-the-fact, thanks to the retouching done on it.

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(The less said about the quasi-Chris Eccleston face in the background, the better; I become weirdly hypnotized by the fact that the eye on the left is considerably larger than that on the right.)

This isn't the first time a Marvel movie's poster has had this level of uncanny valley-ness; the Iron Man 3 posters from earlier this year were similarly heavily retouched. It could be intentional; instead of aiming for realism, maybe the posters are meant to evoke something more than realism: supra-realism, perhaps? If that's the case, however, the supra-real looks a lot like someone learning how to use Photoshop.

It could be worse, of course; it could look like this.