We already know that Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones) wasn’t the only director to shoot scenes for Thor: The Dark World, with – SPOILER – Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn filming the mid-credits sequence (much to Taylor’s displeasure).
Well, now it’s been revealed that Tim Miller (who happens to be attached to Fox’s long-gestating Deadpool solo movie) and his Blur Studio VFX house were also responsible for the opening prologue, which sees the Asgardians battling Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), Algrim the Strong (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim 5000 years before the events of the movie. Miller, executive producer Craig Kyle and editor Wyatt Smith oversaw the live-action shoot in London, leading to a final sequence of 75 shots, of which more than a third were entirely CGI courtesy of Blur’s VFX supervisor Kevin Margo.
“This project hit on so many sweet spots for Blur, combining live action performance with photo-real CG action, actors and sets,” said Miller in an official press release. “This was one of those projects where everything just lined up. Our vision for the prologue seemed to sync perfectly with what Marvel felt the film needed, and they were a great collaborator the whole way through.”
“This scene was taking place 5,000 years before the rest of the film,” Miller tells FX Guide. “So we had lot of latitude on how we could change what they had shot for present day Svartalfheim and how we could adapt it. Right now it’s a graveyard for the Dark Elves but in our sequence it’s a vital planet where the Elves live. We had to make it seem like the last battle in a long war and the Asgardians are about to overwhelm them before the secret weapon is unleashed. We worked out some elaborate fight scenes, not knowing exactly when we started what the running time had to be. We knew the goal was three to four minutes – they wanted us to make it huge and epic, big, really big.”
Thor: The Dark World is out now in cinemas with a cast that also includes Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Rene Russo (Frigga), Stellan Skarsgård (Erik Selvig), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Ray Stevenson, (Volstagg), Zachary Levi (Fandral), Kat Dennings (Darcy Lewis), Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif), and Tadanobu Asano (Hogun).