Last night Marvel Studios did something it’s never done: Before the junket screening of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, they opened the doors to their Burbank offices to select members of the press to showcase how their movies get made. Over the course of about an hour, I got to visit a number of rooms and saw concept art from some of their upcoming films like Captain Marvel and Ant-Man and the Wasp, watched raw dailies from Black Panther, saw how they review VFX shots by watching cool footage from Spider-Man: Homecoming, learned about some new characters from Thor: Ragnarok, and hung out in their common room to watch a cool featurette on the making of Black Panther. For the notoriously guarded studio, it was very cool to see where the magic happens.
Even though a lot of what I saw was great, I think one of the highlights was getting to see concept art of Brie Larson in costume as Captain Marvel. As you might imagine, Marvel is using the comics as a foundation for the design of the costume, and the comic book cover pictured here is close to what I saw. And while the Marvel representatives we spoke to said everything is still being figured out, another one of the concept art images featured Larson as Captain Marvel fighting what appeared to be a very large mechanical creature/robot and it looked very cool. I definitely think they’re on the right path.
A little bit to the left of the Captain Marvel concept art, we got to see a bunch of key frames from Ant-Man and the Wasp. Ant-Man director Peyton Reed, who was in attendance, explained that a key frame is when the filmmakers and concept artists think of something cool and draw up what it might look like. But Reed was quick to point out that it doesn’t mean it’s definitely in the movie. They’re just working out ideas to see what sticks.
However, near some of the key frames they had concept art of Ant-Man’s new costume (which looks very similar to the last one) and concept art of the Wasp’s costume from Ant-Man and the Wasp. While the costume is exactly like you’d expect, the helmet is a brighter silver than Ant-Man’s helmet, and it’s all based on Pym technology rather than Stark’s so it has a different look and feel.
Another highlight of the tour was getting to watch raw dailies from Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther. Unlike the finished film which looks perfect, when watching dailies from set you get to see and hear exactly the way the camera took in the information. Warts and all. You see the blue screen all around the walls that will be filled in during post-production. You get to see exactly what Chadwick Boseman was looking at when engaging the other actors on set. It was a rare look at the way a movie gets made and not something a studio usually allows reporters to view.
Overall, as a big fan of all the Marvel movies, it was very cool to see how the various departments work together to bring their films to life. I was able to snap some photos from some of the public areas which featured some costumes from their films as well as a great comic book library, so below you too can get a peek inside the Marvel Studios headquarters. Hopefully one day the studio will offer something similar for the public so regular folks can see how movies are made.