Thor: Ragnarok Visual Effects Supervisor Jake Morrison opens up about the difficulties of creating Kronan Korg on the big screen, especially with director Taika Waititi also playing the mo-cap character.
Ragnarok was a refreshing take on Thor’s standalone series with a more comedic approach to its story. And while Waititi’s brand of humor is prominent during the whole film, he was able to act in some of the funny bits himself as Korg. Joining the ranks of Jon Favreau as a Marvel director who also appears in his movie, the New Zealand-native filmmaker also officially joined the MCU as an actor by playing the soft-spoken Kronan being who Thor met in Sakaar before he went on to battle Hulk.
Speaking with Comicbook.com to celebrate the official Digital HD release of Ragnarok, Morrison shared how difficult it was to bring Korg to life, made worse by the fact that Waititi both played him and was the director of the film. From his inception, Marvel already knew that Korg will be a motion-captured creature, meaning his final look on the movie will be heavily CGI-d. But apparently, the visual effects team had a harder time than originally presumed after the filmmaker would come up with additional punchlines for his character.
“One is, it’s the director. So, you’re dealing with an actor who’s actually really the director, and then is 100% a visual effect. And then the second part of that, is you’ve got to have them form comedy, which as anybody will tell you, I think all actors would, drama is hard, but comedy is significantly harder.
“So, the fact that, that would rest firmly upon the visual effects department shoulders, the fact that we had to make the audience laugh, we had to completely bring them into the story and make them believe the character, even though he’s 7’6” rock monster made of 1,300 rocks or whatever that it was. And literally each rock you had to move against each other, but never deformed or look like latex. They’re all sort of impossible tasks… And again, I think it’s one of those thing where if we’d failed … it was almost 2,700 shots in the whole film, which I think weighs in about 98% of the film went through the visual effects department.”
Fortunately, Morrison and his team’s efforts were worth it. Korg has not only become a successful new addition to the MCU, he also quickly became a fan-favorite with the future movies already lined up for him and his buddy, Miek. As for Waititi directing, we’re uncertain if he’ll be back to helm any Marvel films in the near future, considering that Ragnarok is supposedly Thor’s last standalone. But both him and Kevin Feige have expressed desires to collaborate again with one another.
As previously reported, Waititi has also played a few other mo-cap characters in Thor: Ragnarok, including a body double for Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, the facial profile for Surtur (Clancy Brown voiced though), and one of the three-headed aliens named Haju. However, Morrison didn’t reveal any experience when it came to working on the aforementioned characters with Waititi during post-production of the movie.
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