Natalie-Portman-and-Rene-Russo-in-Thor-The-Dark-WorldFollowing Iron Man 3 in Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor: The Dark World will return us to Earth and Asgard in the anticipated sequel hitting cinemas towards the end of the year.

Like Iron Man 3, the film is set to pick up where The Avengers left off, acting as both a sequel to Joss Whedon’s blockbuster and Kenneth Branagh’s original 2011 movie, Thor.

Marvel treated us to an epic first teaser trailer and poster back in the spring. And now the studio have released a new image of Natalie Portman and Rene Russo, as Jane Foster and Frigga, over on their Australia/NZ Facebook.

Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” continues the big screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself.

In the aftermath of Marvel’s “Thor” and “Marvel’s The Avengers,” Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos… but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.

Chris Hemsworth is of course back in the titular role once more, starring alongside a fantastic cast of familiar and new faces alike, led by Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jaimie Alexander, Kat Dennings, Tadanobu Asano, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Chris O’Dowd, Rene Russo, and Anthony Hopkins.

Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones) is behind the camera this time around, directing from a script written by the writing duo of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Christopher Yost (The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes).

Thor: The Dark World will be released in 3D on 30th October here in the UK, with its US release date following shortly after on November 8th. For now, here’s the latest image from the film, which you can click through to enlarge.