ByEleanor Tremeer, writer at
MP staff. I talk about Star Wars a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it. Twitter: @ExtraTremeerial | Email: [email protected]
Eleanor Tremeer

The universe is vast and complicated, thanks to the many different movies in the MCU. There's a challenge here that's faced by other superhero franchises too: How do you make costumed heroes, and the worlds they inhabit, seem real to a modern audience? In the past, other superhero movies have not been so successful, aging so poorly that they now look melodramatic and silly. (The 90s and early Noughties were a dark time for superhero films, is what I'm saying.)

However, Marvel Studios has managed to create movies that might be outlandish and fantastical, but also seem tangible — and this is thanks in a large part to the production team, including production designer Charles Wood, who recently spoke to about this.

Unifying The MCU

The planet Xandar in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'. [Credit: Marvel Studios]
The planet Xandar in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'. [Credit: Marvel Studios]

When asked how he and his team managed to bring the different worlds of the MCU together with our own, Wood explained that really it has everything to do with costume.

"The only unifying thing I would say is that these characters, these larger than life characters, our unifying thing is trying to settle them into whatever worlds we find them in, in a way which is viable. In a way that an audience can look at Captain America, in a Captain America outfit, put him into a farmhouse in upstate New York [in Avengers: Age of Ultron], and believe that guy could exist in that world. Or putting Doctor Strange [in full costume] in a townhouse in New York... The biggest challenge that you take from one Marvel film to another is to try to make these worlds realistic, tangible, viable."

And if that's not an excuse to rewatch Steve Rogers literally tearing wood apart in the backyard of Clint Barton's farmhouse, I don't know what is.

Wood explained that making these very unrealistic situations feel realistic is crucial to the success of the MCU — though it isn't easy.

"Yeah, it is mad stuff, it keeps me on my toes! The thing about a Marvel film, and I suppose many films, is you can confuse an audience very quickly, and you have to try to delineate one world from another very clearly, without making it feel too delineated."

This was certainly a challenge in , as the new Sorcerer Supreme quite literally leapt between dimensions on a regular basis. But this isn't a new challenge for the MCU designers — the movies have always shown different worlds in this fictional universe, and with the introduction of the , we're only going to see more new planets in . In fact, Wood himself confirmed that the movie would explore "many, many more worlds." And with Wood and his team at the helm, we can be sure they'll all be visually delicious and nicely integrated with the rest of the MCU.

Tell us in the comments: Which is your favorite MCU world?

Asgard in 'Thor'. [Credit: Marvel Studios]
Asgard in 'Thor'. [Credit: Marvel Studios]



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