Cape Town – Thor: Ragnarok opens in South African cinemas on Friday, 27 October.
To celebrate the release of the film we’ve put together some fascinating facts about the flick that will puzzle your mind!
1. What's in a name?
Ragnarok translates to “the end of the universe” in Norse mythology, so it’s fair to surmise that some edge-of-the-seat action is definitely headed audiences’ way.
2. Behind the camera and onscreen
Director Taika Waititi not only directs, but also plays a new CGI character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe named Korg (introduced by Marvel in a 1962 comic book). Waititi is well known for not only directing, but acting in his own films.
On those days when he did double duty as director while also portraying the character of Korg before the cameras, Waititi was required by the VFX team to don the neutral gray motion capture leotard, dotted all over with halved ping pong balls, used for tracking purposes in post-production when the VFX animators create the CG character in the computer. It was a strange sight for everyone on set to see him directing in that getup!
3. First leading female villian
Cate Blanchett’s, Hela, one of Thor’s most formidable enemies from the comics, is the first leading female villain in any of the Marvel Studios’ feature films to date.
4. First feature filmed down under
The film is the first feature in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to shoot not only in Australia, but in the entire Southern Hemisphere.
5. Creating the world of Sakaar
The world of Sakaar in the story is like nothing ever before seen in any of the previous Marvel Studios’ films. Its design was inspired by the comic book illustrations of Jack Kirby, who co-created Thor (with Stan Lee) in 1962. Sakaar is the world ruled by Jeff Goldblum’s dictatorial character, Grandmaster.
6. Wow, that's a big crew!
The two backlot sets at Village Roadshow Studios (Asgard Piazza and Sakaar) are, collectively, equal in size to two American football fields. It took production over four months to build them with a crew numbering over 450 at its largest.
7. Over two-dozen sets
Oscar®-winning production designer Dan Hennah (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit trilogies) and production designer Ra Vincent (What We Do in the Shadows) designed over two-dozen sets (both stage and exterior builds) for the 17-week shoot.
8. 2 500 costumes
Veteran costume designer Mayes Rubeo (Avatar, Warcraft, The Great Wall) made over 2,500 original costumes for the film (depicting both the worlds of Asgard and Sakaar), with all materials sourced in Australia.
9. Fan love
Throughout the four-day shoot in Brisbane, Australia, both Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston took every break in filming to greet the fans by shaking hands, throwing “swag” (posters, sunglasses, T-shirts and such from Thor: The Dark World) out to the crowd, signing autographs and grabbing personal cell phones for that once-in-a-lifetime selfie. Many people (of all ages!) came back, day after day, rain or shine, for hours on end, to catch a close-up glimpse of the actual movie stars.
Chris Hemsworth also had fun handing out pizzas to the Brisbane crowds, which were purchased by the production’s location manager, Duncan Jones.
A local teenager spent all week on location hoping to meet Tom Hiddleston because she had sketched a portrait of Loki that she wanted to present to him. Production arranged for the two to meet in front of the local TV cameras.
10. An unexpected visitor
While shooting an exterior scene in the Australian wilderness, filming was briefly interrupted when a large python fell from the dense trees above. No cast or crew were harmed, and the snake was safely relocated by a professional snake handler, but not before a few brave crew members snapped some pictures.
11. Let's get physical
On days where Cate Blanchett was shooting, before cameras rolled on the first shot, Cate made a habit of leading the crew through a few minutes of calisthenics to start the day off right.
12. Just hopping by
During the early morning hours, before crew arrived for work, wild kangaroos were often spotted hanging around the backlot near the exterior sets of Asgard and Sakaar.
13. A local blessing
On the first day of principal photography, a local Maori tribe performed a ceremonial dance to bless the crew in hopes for a smooth shoot. Eighty-four days of successful shooting later, the tribe returned and delivered a beautiful closing ceremony as a culmination to an incredible experience of filming on native land in Australia.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: