2017 will be noteworthy for Marvel Studios, if only because it will be the first time that the studio releases three film installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe within a single year. One of the 2017 MCU movies – James Gunn’s cosmic sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – has already wrapped principal photography. Meanwhile, filming is now underway on director Jon Watts’ Spider-Man solo movie (with Captain America: Civil War‘s Tom Holland back as Peter Parker), Spider-Man: Homecoming, in addition to What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople director Taika Waititi’s Thor/Hulk team-up adventure, Thor: Ragnarok.
For some time now, Ragnarok has been formally scheduled to start filming in Queensland, Australia on July 4th of this year (today, at the time of writing this) and photos from the movie’s set have since made their way online, showing very Asgardian-like buildings mid-construction. Production on the third Thor movie is indeed moving forward as planned, as is further evidenced by the well wishes sent Waititi’s way by some key behind the scenes players at Marvel Studios.
Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito posted a message to his official Twitter account, wishing Waititi and his Ragnarok cast/crew the best on the project, now that principal photography is underway. Meanwhile, Ant-Man (and future Ant-Man and the Wasp) director Peyton Reed likewise sent his regards to Waititi – who then responded in his customary good-humored manner (see below).
As reported by the GCB, the Ragnarok production is expected to last through to late October (not including the inevitable “pick-up photography” or reshoots down the line). Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, will be close to his family and home throughout the production – though, GCB also reports that Hemsworth’s family is staying at a “home-away-from home” on the Gold Coast during filming. Hemsworth’s costars for the movie include his fellow Aussie actor Cate Blanchett (playing the villainous Hela in Waititi’s MCU film), as well as additional MCU newcomers in Tessa Thompson (Creed) as Valkyrie, Jeff Goldblum (Independence Day: Resurgence) as The Grandmaster, and Karl Urban (who will reprise his role as Bones in this month’s Star Trek Beyond) as Skurge.
Returning MCU players in Thor: Ragnarok will include Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk, and Loki himself, Tom Hiddleston – who, as it were, was in Australia filming his (human) role for the upcoming Kong: Skull Island not too long ago – late 2015, in fact. Australia in general has become an increasingly popular spot for big-budgeted Hollwood tentpoles to film (thanks to the incentives offered by the government), with Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales having filmed there back in 2015 too – and Ridley Scott being in-production there on Alien: Covenant now, even as the cameras start rolling on Ragnarok.
Doctor Strange opens in U.S. theaters on November 4, 2016, followed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.