THOR: THE DARK WORLD Poster Hints That Loki Will be Heavily Featured in the Sequel

As the countdown for Iron Man 3 continues, to its May 3 release, Marvel Studios is already gearing up its promotional campaign for their next blockbuster movie, Thor: The Dark World.

Next week brings Thor fans their first look at the sequel with the release of its first teaser trailer. In anticipation of the trailer's debut, Marvel released the film's first movie poster, featuring the God of Thunder, on Friday.

A big point of note on the movie poster is the billing across the top of it. Missing is the main movie villain Malekith The Accursed, played by actor Christopher Eccleston, while Loki actor Tom Hiddleston gets a top billing. Of course Loki has gained a large following, since he has been in two Marvel blockbusters so far, but his high billing could hint that he has a major role in Thor: The Dark World, and much larger than previously expected.

So what do we (officially) know about Loki in the new Thor film? Not much, but here's the little bit that is known.

We know that Thor and Loki were last seen going back to Asgard at the end of The Avengers, with Loki as Thor's prisoner for the attack he led on New York City. We know that Loki will face punishment for his crimes by Odin. And finally, we know that Marvel Studios is very, very happy with Loki's involvement in Marvel films so far. Marvel bringing him back for the Thor sequel means more mind games and trickery, by Loki, for his own intentions.

Taking all that into consideration it seems quite obvious Loki is, and will continue, to play a major role in Thor: The Dark World along with his involvement in The Avengers Sequel too. Loki failed Thanos in the first Avengers flick so Thanos is probably pretty mad at him, and wants to punish Loki for his failure as well.

Having been defeated by Thor and The Avengers, Loki's back is now against the wall, and he's pissed off Thanos. Not good. This could lead to Loki teaming up with Thor (and possibly The Avengers) in order to fight off Thanos' pending attack in The Avengers Sequel.

You know an evil scheme is at hand when Loki smiles like this...

That is all speculation on our part, but truth be told it is starting to sound like Malekith and his Dark Elves could be more than Thor and his friends can handle, which means Loki's will be needed. If this is true, then it could lead to Loki being freed from whatever prison Odin puts him. Even though Loki should never be trusted, freeing him from the confines of capture will only allow him to continue his own personal vendetta and twisted plots.

That is not a bad thing if you're a fan of the villain and his antics.

Thor: The Dark World hits theaters on November 8, 2013.