Chris Hemsworth’s announcement that the upcoming “Thor: Love and Thunder” finished production this week got Marvel fans talking, as they were treated to a behind-the-scenes look of his new superhero physique. But the MCU has a grand tradition of showing glimpses behind the curtains. Variety has gathered some of the studio’s best on-set photos, from 2008’s “Iron Man” through the MCU’s most recent theatrical release, 2019’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”
As amazing as the completed visuals look on the big screen, there is a thrill to seeing the makeup, green screens, wirework and the cameras zooming around in reality. MCU director Joe Russo spoke to Variety in 2019 about the secret to directing these massive spectacles.
“It’s already abstract working with a green screen and green props that are standing in for digital props,” he said. “And if you’re dealing with abstraction and your direction is abstract, I think it tends to turn into mush. So you have to create an emotional life in the simplest way possible that will translate on screen.”
Yet future Marvel productions have the potential to be more grounded in reality, if Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige’s experience working with Chloé Zhao on “Eternals” is any indication.
“We cut a little sample reel together I remember, to show [Disney higher-ups],” he said. “And it was so beautiful, and I had to keep saying, ‘This is right out of a camera; there’s no VFX work to this at all!’ Because it was a beautiful sunset, with perfect waves and mist coming up from the shore on this giant cliffside — really, really impressive stuff. Then seeing ‘Nomadland’ after we had shot ‘Eternals,’ you go, ‘Oh! That is not just what she wanted to bring to Marvel, to get out of a virtual green screen world,’ which is often the case in our films.”
Check out photos from all of the past productions below.