You had me at "Kat Dennings."

The absurdly plush actress was one of the comic highlights of the first "Thor," so it was great news to hear that she's coming back for the sequel.  I know there were many people who thought for sure that the sequel would lose some of the key cast of the original just because they had trouble imagining Natalie Portman doing a comic book movie sequel.

Sounds like everyone's onboard for "Thor: The Dark World," a title I like a lot.  In general, I love how the Marvel sequels seem to be using subtitles instead of numbers.  It also sounds like they're taking existing storylines from the comics and tweaking or expanding them so they fit into the continuity established by the movies.  Great idea.  It gets fans excited because they know generally where things are headed, but there's enough invention going on that everyone's got surprises in store for them.

Today, it appears they've added Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje to the cast
, and he's playing not one but two roles.  Sort of.  It's interesting how the casting announcements start to really spell out what we can expect from the film.  By announcing that Akinnuoye-Agbaje is playing Algrim The Strong and Kurse, it seems clear that they're sticking somewhat to the events from Walter Simonson's run on "The Mighty Thor."  Algrim is part of the same race of Dark Elves as Malekith the Accursed, set to be played by Christopher Eccleston, and he was sent against Thor in battle.  While they were fighting, Malekith betrayed Algrim, hoping to catch Thor off-guard and destroy him.  Thor survived, but Algrim was almost destroyed by the lava he fell into, losing his memory completely.  The Beyonder healed him and gave him additional power, turning him into Kurse, designed to finally kill Thor in hand-to-hand combat.

Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor, of course, and Tom Hiddleston has been announced as Loki again.  We'll see the Warriors Three again, with Ray Stevenson and Tadanobu Asano reprising their roles with Zachary Levi stepping in as Fandral.  Jaimie Alexander has been Tweeting photos of her training sessions for Sif, the role she played in the original, and we know that Idris Elba is also set to slip into his Asgardian gear again to play Heimdall.  Anthony Hopkins returns as Odin, and now both Portman and Dennings will represent the Earth contingent as Jane and her friend Darcy with Stellan Skarsgard also returning as Dr. Erik Selvig.  I'm excited to see what Alan Taylor does with the film.  His work on "Game Of Thrones" has been tremendous, and this is a nice match of director and subject matter, with potential for some major excitement.

We'll see for ourselves when "Thor: The Dark World" arrives in theaters November 8, 2013.