Movie magic is more real than ever. Thanks to modern technology, what filmmakers can render onscreen is often remarkable. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken advantage of this technology to create visually stunning films. While critical and fan reception has varied between each film, Thor, Thor: The Dark World, and Thor: Ragnarok have all managed to put visual marvels on display for audiences around the world.
Behind-the-scenes photos offer insight into how this movie magic becomes a reality. The results are fascinating, revealing the painstaking detail that goes into every single scene and setting. Asgard and Sakaar are still treasures to behold onscreen, but it's difficult to ever see these settings and the epic scenes they behold the same way after seeing how they were put together.
The photos reveal the inevitable antics between directors, cast, and crew. These antics were especially prevalent in the making of Thor: Ragnarok given the quirky, comedic, and highly improvisational style of the film. Director Taika Waititi's unique approach allowed for more freedom and ultimately the best final product for a Thor film as well.
Such dynamics also shed new light on the characters and the actors portraying them. The photos help fans fully appreciate the imagination and immersion that actors bring to life. Even if they're working with a blue screen and interacting with someone in a motion capture suit, they still sell the scene and don't make audiences doubt the onscreen authenticity for a second.
Without further ado, immerse yourself in Thor: 20 Behind-The-Scenes Photos That Completely Change The Movies.
20 Perfecting A Fight Scene
The final showdown between Thor and Hela is easily one of the most epic sequences in Thor: Ragnarok. Even the most epic fight sequence has to be slowed down in order to be executed properly, though.
It begins with nailing all the movements of Hela. Cate Blanchett was so natural in the role of Hela that it's almost a shock to see her wearing a motion capture suit. Both Blanchett and her stunt double, Zoe Bell, have to get every detail exactly right, including the specific way director Taika Waititi wants Thor to be choked in this moment. Magnificent VFX work along with the feats of both Blanchett and Bell makes Hela terrifying to behold in the scene that audiences know from the film.
Even though Thor's life and the existence of Asgard is on the line, it looks odd to see Chris Hemsworth so relaxed. None of that is evident in the movie, when he fights with everything he has against Hela. It's an important reminder that even star actors need moments to put their guards down, especially in between takes as they're going to be using every ounce of energy they possess when the camera starts to roll again.
19 Fleeing Hela
What's striking about this photo is that it combines both an impressive physical set and blue screen. The Rainbow Bridge of Asgard is a wonder to behold in all the Thor films. This moment in Ragnarok where Heimdall led the survivors of Asgard across the Rainbow Bridge works largely because of the multi-faceted setting.
It's also important to notice the number of cameras at work to show this moment from all angles. This relies on the actors playing the Asgardian survivors to sell the scene just as much as Heimdall himself.
Idris Elba and the other actors in this scene are able to use the physical set to help ground this moment of desperation and hope. The blue screen adds to this by depicting the Rainbow Bridge in all its colorful glory and connected to an Asgard now under Hela's control.
18 Hobo Odin
Anthony Hopkins is known for playing distinguished characters. It's part of the reason he was such a great choice to play Odin in the first place. That precedent makes this set photo all the more jarring in what fans have come to call "Hobo Odin." At one point, the plan was that after being exiled to Midgard/Earth, Odin would be living as a crazed homeless man on the streets of New York City.
Director Taika Waititi decided to change the nature of Odin's exile and his demise after a test screening. He said that the test screening audiences were left too sad and bummed out by the once mighty Odin trapped in New York. It ended up clashing too much with the overall tone of the film. As such, Odin's final moments were adapted to the more peaceful version audiences received in the theatrical version of Thor:Ragnarok.
It would've been an incredibly different dynamic for Thor and Loki to discover their father and see him perish in the manner depicted in this behind-the-scenes photo.
17 Loki Is Worthy
Only those deemed worthy can wield the hammer known as Mjolnir. Tom Hiddleston knew Loki was never going to be written as worthy onscreen, so he had to take matters into his own hands behind-the-scenes.
The smug satisfaction at his own cleverness and triumph is pure Loki material to the point that this moment almost seems like it could be a deleted scene.
The idea of Loki wielding Mjolnir is equally intriguing and terrifying. It would've completely changed any of the Thor movies, if he'd ever found a way to get his hands on the prized weapon. Just imagine Loki with Mjolnir in one hand and the scepter holding the Mind Stone in the other. It looks like this photo will have to serve as headcannon for Loki achieving this particular feat.
16 Loki Has Fans Too
In Thor: Ragnarok , it's clear the Avengers have made themselves many fans. While searching for Odin in New York City, some of those fans posed for a picture with Thor himself. Earth and New York City, in particular, aren't as fond of Loki given the Chitauri invasion he led during The Avengers. Even bad boys have their fans. This photo shows Loki getting to pose for a picture with his own fans.
It would've made the scene far more hilarious if this happened to Loki seconds after Thor had his fan picture. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston have a fantastic dynamic, and could definitely have played a moment of delightful arguing over how anyone on Earth could like Loki after his invasion. Not only would it have been amusing, but it also could've served as a uniquely meta moment for the MCU.
15 Getting Affectionate With The Allfather
Director Taika Waititi actually shared this behind-the-scenes photo via his Instagram account a few months before Thor: Ragnarok hit theaters. It accurately depicts the quirky fun of the film. Ultimately the photo ended up being a bit of a misdirect as it teased a much more eccentric version of Odin than the one fans ended up getting in the theatrical version of Thor: Ragnarok.
Loki would definitely be jealous. Doesn't he deserve love too?
There's something strange about seeing Chris Hemsworth giving Anthony Hopkins such a big smooch, since Thor's relationship with Odin tends to be quite strained. It's amusing to think about how different the movies would've been if Thor and Odin had more of this kind of affection in their relationship. If anything it probably would've made Loki even more jealous of his brother.
14 Lady Sif The Silly
Portrayed by Jaime Alexander, Lady Sif is an impressive Asgardian warrior and loyal to Thor and the Warriors Three. She takes her loyalties and her fighting very seriously and that is constantly reflected in her attitude.
That makes it all the more amusing to see Alexander putting on such a silly face on the set of Thor: The Dark World. Filming the Battle of Vanaheim was likely an intense shoot and physically draining. It's understandable that Alexander would want to let off some steam, after all the focused energy and coordination of the battle scenes. Sif's dynamics with Thor and the Warriors Three would be incredibly different if she was silly like this. Perishing via Thanos' snap probably won't help her develop more of a sense of humor, though.
13 Darcy And Thor
Many viewers weren't fans of Darcy Lewis--played by Kat Dennings--in Thor or Thor: The Dark World. Darcy's humor and her dynamics with other characters didn't resonate well with many fans, leaving many to be pleased by her absence in Thor: Ragnarok.
This behind-the-scenes photo offers a glimpse of a different dynamic that possibly could've changed fans' minds, if only slightly.
With Thor's cape wrapped around her and stoically staring upwards, there's something immediately more appealing about Darcy's character. Kat Dennings and Chris Hemsworth are goofing off, but more importantly the picture shows them having a connection. Thor and Darcy never really connected that well in the movies, which negatively influenced the group dynamics and Darcy's inability to win over fans. If she and Thor had more of the chemistry and connection hinted at by their real-life counterparts in this photo, Darcy might've worked better as a character.
12 Hulk Hands
Onscreen, the Hulk can be a pretty scary dude. That makes this photo all the more hilarious as Mark Ruffalo is anything, but scary in this photo. His goofy expression contrasted with his giant Hulk hands are hilarious and over the top, just like Thor: Ragnarok itself.
The photo may be goofy, but it does change the way we think about how Ruffalo and the many individuals behind the MCU films make the Hulk scenes work. Something as ridiculous as enormous Hulk hands is actually part of what's used to bring his scenes as the giant green rage monster to life. Whether intentional or not, the green color scheme of photo makes it even better at showing Ruffalo in a Hulk mindset with not only the obvious hands, but the green floor and recycling bin as well.
11 Satellite Lab Rig
This may not look like much, but it's actually the secret behind one of the most visually stunning sequences in Thor: Ragnarok. The film featured a slow-motion flashback sequence showing how Valkyrie and her fellow warriors were defeated by Hela many years ago.
The flashback was heavily used in the film's marketing and remains one of the story's most memorable moments.
The film worked with Satellite Lab's cutting-edge technology to execute such a breathtaking scene. This behind-the-scenes photo shows the rig used by Satellite Lab. It combines moving light with high-speed imaging. With the addition of some masterful VFX, this technology is the key to creating a scene like Valkyrie's flashback.
10 When The Director Is The Film's Funniest Character
Korg was already one of the most hilarious characters in Thor: Ragnarok, to the point that it's difficult to imagine how the actors interacting with him didn't constantly break out laughing. This photo highlights the interaction with Korg was even more amusing challenge than what fans initially thought.
Director Taika Waititi not only did the voice of Korg, but also did the physical work for the character via motion capture. Lest Chris Hemsworth or anyone else forget who their director was playing, Waititi is also shown to have Korg's face hovering over his own head.
With all these factors at play, it's even more impressive that Chris Hemsworth and all the other actors who interact with Korg were able to stay in character. This photo arguably more than anything else epitomizes the ridiculously quirky and fun nature of this movie, including behind-the-scenes.
9 Fan Away!
Hela's powers and even her mere presence were formidable, solidifying her as one of the MCU's most impressive villains. It's a little less impressive when someone is blowing a literal fan in Cate Blanchett's face in order to convey some of that power and presence.
Creating a terrific villain like Hela requires the incredible likes of Blanchett, but also requires the smaller and less glamorous details as well.
The photo is an important reminder that the simplest tools can be used in order to create the most compelling onscreen effects. The fan is the cherry on top of a greater sundae, a sundae founded on many elements including Blanchett's acting performance, inspired costumes, the intricate physical set design, blue screen, and the soundtrack that accompanies the scene.
8 Blue Screen Fireworks
Few characters in film have a better entrance than Valkyrie on Asgard's Rainbow Bridge in Thor: Ragnarok. Armored, cape billowing and sword at her side, Valkyrie confidently strode onto the Rainbow Bridge with fireworks erupting from the Grandmaster's stolen ship.
Tessa Thompson had the costume, props, and her own marvelous performance to execute such an entrance. Nailing those elements are even more important when seeing that she didn't actually have the Grandmaster's flamboyant fireworks blazing behind her.
It is remarkable what a blue screen can be used to create, but oftentimes it only works if the actors can bring that setting to life through their performances. That's exactly what Tessa Thompson did here, completely owning one of the best moments in Thor: Ragnarok.
7 Kissing And Training
Taika Waititi went above and beyond the role of director while making Thor: Ragnarok a reality. Not only did he do the motion capture and voice work for Korg, but he also helped Chris Hemsworth train for his fight scene against the Hulk.
The photo certainly teases what could've been a very different ending to Thor and Hulk's fight in the arena with an unexpected kiss.
In this photo he even puts on Hulk hands and attaches a Hulk-esque head as part of their training. While their training was purposeful, in the spirit of the film it looks to also be bizarre and highly enjoyable all at once with Chris Hemsworth kissing the Hulk-esque head attached to his director. The level of collaboration and comfort between Waititi and Hemsworth is delightful to witness.
6 I'm Very Upset
After Thor escaped with the Grandmaster's prized champion the Hulk, the Grandmaster was displeased to say the least. He brings Valkyrie and Loki before him to say "I'm very upset!" All while hovering on a platform in front of them.
This scene is even better to watch with this photo in mind, seeing that Jeff Goldblum delivered his lines while on a physical, hovering platform. It's fitting that Goldblum's Grandmaster could feel superior--it's clear even by the way he holds his body in this photo--and display his immense displeasure by being placed physically higher than Tom Hiddleston and Tessa Thompson. This is way better than effects being added in later to elevate the Grandmaster.
5 Loki Gets It Just Right
Critical and fan reception was mixed for Thor: The Dark World. Practically everyone agrees that Loki is one of the best parts of the film, with his irresistible charisma and electric chemistry with Chris Hemsworth. After serving as the primary antagonist in the first Thor and The Avengers, Loki was able to embrace more of the antihero role in The Dark World.
While Loki was an anti-hero in Thor: The Dark World, he was still scheming to take the throne.
Tom Hiddleston makes it all look so effortless onscreen, which makes it all the more intriguing to see him in this behind-the-scenes photo. Here he works with director Alan Taylor to make sure he gets every facet of this scene just right. What looks effortless onscreen has a lot more to it behind-the-scenes.
4 A Bed Fit For A Hulk
The Hulk may not be real, but the bed created special for him in Thor: Ragnarok sure was. Intricate detail went into every facet of the bed that not only would fit the size of the Hulk, but also would serve as a bit of backstory for his time on Sakaar. The idea was that the bed was made from the skull of one of the opponents that Hulk had defeated during one of the gladiatorial matches within the Grandmaster's arena.
Perfecting the bed to fit this backstory in reality certainly must've helped Mark Ruffalo feel like he was the mighty Hulk, lounging on the bed made from the bones of one of his legendary conquests on Sakaar.
3 Double Trouble
The moment Hela blinded Thor during their fight was a shocking one. It truly exposed the ruthlessness of Hela and the stakes of the impossible situation the heroes faced. Extensive makeup work was done on Chris Hemsworth's real eye in order to make the scene work.
Talk about Thor twinning.
Hemsworth wasn't the only one who received the extensive work, though. His stunt double Bobby Holland Hanton also received the same detailed makeup work. Thor lost his eye to Hela in a large-scale fight sequence, so naturally Hemsworth's stunt double was in on a lot of the action. Whether it was Hemsworth or his stunt double, both needed to immerse themselves in the aesthetic of Thor's drastic wound and new look.
2 Thor Vs. Hulk's Arm
Thor versus Hulk was long teased as a highlight of Ragnarok, but the two heroes first fought in The Avengers. In order to show the Hulk's unparalleled strength and size even against the likes of Thor, Chris Hemsworth had to grapple with a physical arm accurate to what the Hulk's appendage would look like in the movie.
Everything about this fight scene feels more authentic when re-watching The Avengers as Hemsworth had to face off against an arm featuring all minute details of the Hulk, down to his texture and bone structure.
This experience definitely helped create the foundation and precedent for the epic gladiatorial arena fight on Sakaar that the characters would experience in Thor: Ragnarok.
1 It's All In The Body Language
She may wear a CGI suit and be surrounded by a blue screen, but the trick of making Hela work lies in Cate Blanchett's terrific performance. Blanchett is so natural in the role that it's hard to envision she's not wearing every detail of Hela's ornate costumes at every single moment when filming. Her facial expressions and the way she holds her body are essential to pulling off such a natural performance, with her stunt double also working on perfecting every aspect as well. These are the details that communicate Hela's attitude and the way she carries herself.
Work, work, work, and pose.
Even so, it's difficult to completely unsee this image and forget that Blanchett actually wasn't wearing the costume for much of the filming. It's a testament to her performance that that doesn't come across onscreen as Blanchett makes Hela always feel natural.
What is your favorite behind-the-scenes photo from the Thor movies? Let us know in the comments!