Back in March, when Marvel’s Thor was still being filmed, before we knew what the costumes looked like and what the story would be about, Paramount invited me to visit the set with a few other online journalists. Needless to say, I said yes.
While I’ve visited the set of a few other Marvel movies (Iron Man and Iron Man 2), this experience was quite different. That’s because on the set of both Iron Man movies, the filmmakers were very guarded about revealing too much of the story and they played everything very close to the vest. But on the set of Thor, Kevin Feige (The President of Marvel) was willing to talk about everything and he even took us on a tour of the art department which showcased the costumes and sets of director Kenneth Branagh’s movie. While I walked in wondering how Thor could exist in the same universe as Iron Man and Captain America, I left convinced they had figured out how to make everything work. Much more after the jump:
Here’s the deal. While I usually love to write in depth reports of what I saw and did on a set visit, this week has been crazy. As you might have seen, I visited the editing room of three movies (I Am Number Four, Real Steel and Transformers: Dark of the Moon) and conducted in depth interviews with all the filmmakers. In addition, I just posted six on set interviews from Thor (links at the bottom of this article). What I’m trying to say is…I just don’t have the time tonight to write up a full report.
However, two days after the set visit, I sat down with Silas Lesnick from ComingSoon and we recorded an epic video blog which detailed everything we saw and did while on set. We both thought the visit was incredible and we also both left thinking Marvel was doing everything right.
Since I know many of you don’t want to know spoilers, we broke up the video blog into sections. The opening is our thoughts and an overview of what we did. We then go into a more detailed recap. Finally, we enter a spoiler section where we talk about things you might not want to know this far from release and we try and deduce what the spoilers mean in terms of the greater Marvel universe.
Finally, I’ve time indexed (thank you Adam) the entire video blog so you can check over what we talked about and watch the parts that interest you. If you’re wondering about Thor, all I can say is the set visit was awesome and it’s incredibly faithful to the comic. I can’t wait to see the finished film this May.
Thor Set Visit Video Blog
- 0:50 – Quick impressions on what we thought.
- 2:35 – More detailed talk begins.
- 2:45 – Description of Ray Stevenson’s costume as Volstagg, which includes a fat suit.
- 3:51 – Talk about the openness of the filmmakers in talking with the press, specifically Kevin Feige (President of Marvel) and Craig Kyle (Marvel producer and writer), and geeking out with the two over comic books
- 5:08 – Tour of the art department. Descriptions of character designs (lots of helmets, Thor wears a cape), concept art of locations (including Asgard), weapons, characters, as well as vintage comic book art covering the walls.
- 7:07 – Is this a fantasy movie? How much of the film takes place in Asgard?
- 7:22 – What kinds of things were shot in soundstages and what kinds of things were shot in New Mexico.
- 8:00 – Description of the character designs for the Destroyer.
- 8:23 – Will the Destroyer be an actor? Will it have a voice?
- 8:32 – Tour of the stages. Many of them were practical with green screen added. Got to see Oden’s Vault, Heimdall’s Observatory, Oden’s Chambers, the Throne Room. Gold paint on the walls cost $1000 per gallon.
- 9:50 – Specific talk of Heimdall’s Observatory set.
- 10:18 – Clarification on why the Thor characters aren’t really considered gods.
- 11:20 – Talk about the opening scene of the movie, and how that correlates to why the Asgardians look so much like Vikings.
- 11:49 – Resume talk of Heimdall’s Observatory, including talk of the rainbow-bridge’s appearance and practicality in the film.
- 12:30 – How the Thor universe and the Iron Man universe are being connected in the film.
- 12:59 – More talk of the Heimdall’s Observatory set.
- 13:40 – Talk of the Oden’s Vault set, including how certain objects found in the vault play major roles in future Marvel films (including a possible Dr. Strange film).
- 14:35 – Plot points of how what’s inside Oden’s Vault relates to the Thor film as a whole, as well as easter eggs hidden in the vault for fans of the comic books.
- 15:17 – Talk of the Oden’s Throne Room set, including what part of the movie it appears in.
- 16:10 – Talk of the ice planet set, including what events take place there, what part of the movie it shows up in, what characters are involved, and how it’s set up with moveable icebergs set against green screen.
- 17:45 – Major plot points, including how Thor ends up with the hammer and how he goes to Earth.
- 18:47 – Talk about interviewing Jaimie Alexander, who plays Sif. Talks about how she met Walt Simonson and grew up “a nerd through and through.”
- 20:10 – Talk about being able to handle some of the weapons used in the film. Description of the hammer and Sif’s Darth Maul-like sword.
- 21:44 – Reaction to the “sizzle reel” that was shown to the press on set.
- 22:48 – Talk about speaking with Ray Stevenson, including how he describes his heavily costumed self.
- 23:19 – Talk about speaking with Joshua Dallas, who plays Fandral, leader of the Warriors Three.
- 23:44 – Talk about how every member of the crew was super happy to be there.
- 24:08 – Talk about speaking with Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki. Talks about how he originally auditioned for Thor and what his inspiration was for playing Loki.
- 25:37 – SPOILER SECTION BEGINS
- 26:30 – What happens in the New Mexico sequence of the film.
- 27:55 – Talk about the king of the Frost Giants, played by Colm Feore.
- 29:10 – How physical will the character of Oden be?
- 29:42 – Talk about a pre-vis sequence that was briefly seen that involves a battle scene that has big implications for the rest of the film.
- 32:05 – Speculation as to how the movie begins storywise, including a possible major spoiler for one character.
- 33:20 – Talk about Loki’s storyline, including a MAJOR possible spoiler for the ending of the film.
- SPOILER SECTION ENDS
- 36:15 – Talk about how Marvel is going full-force into including all of their movies in the same cohesive universe, after testing the water with the first two Iron Man films and The Incredible Hulk.
- 37:00 – Wrap up of the set-visit as a whole, and predictions as to how the finished film will turn out.
- 38:57 – Talk of Stan Lee’s cameo
- 39:21 – Final thoughts, how the Thor set visit compared to Iron Man and Iron Man 2 set-visits.
For more THOR coverage: