In this digital age, it's hard to get excited about an art exhibit (sad, but true), especially if it's an exhibit in a modern art gallery. Imagine the irony when I heard an exhibition entitled Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe was coming to the QAGOMA here in Brisbane, Australia.
I gleefully handed over the entry fee to get a peek inside, and I was not disappointed. What I thought would be a few pieces of concept art on the walls with costumes littered throughout was a well thought out, fully immerse #MCU experience. Each room had a different feel and tone, covering all the entries in the ever-expanding MCU saga.
The highlight, however, was the large amount of pieces on hand from #ThorRagnorak, filmed on location here in Queensland, Australia. Exploring the set pieces and props I learned a couple of things about the upcoming film:
1. Sakaarans Are From Sakaar
Yes, now that I'm saying it out loud it seems obvious, but it looks like the "paper people" from Guardians of the Galaxy may be making a comeback, as a large portion of the film will be taking place on their home planet, Sakaar. The costume for a Sakaraan was on display next to a model of the capital city (which looks incredible, by the way).
On Sakaar, fighting in the arena is highly valued, and a large part of the plot will center around both Thor and Hulk as contestants in these games. Check out the large dome in the center of the Sakaaran capital city in the image below — that huge pillar is the arena! The designers wanted to make it large in contrast to the rest of the city to exaggerate how deeply they value the gladiator tradition.
2. Jack Kirby WAs A HUGE Influence
Looking at all of the set pieces for the new film, and finding bold colors and odd shapes abound; Jack Kirby's mark is clear. The production designers themselves stated in a video playing on loop within the exhibit that his work was a huge reference point for them.
Believe me, watching them walk through the streets of the Sakaar set, there is no denying his influence on Thor: Ragnarok.
3. Hulk's Been Here For Awhile
Another large set piece on display was this ornate bed upon which Hulk lays his sweet head. The designers based it on an upside down weasel head, which they assumed to be one of Hulk's conquests in the arena — that he then turned into a bed.
They also made the bed too high off the ground for a normal human to get into quickly, but the right size for Hulk. This leads me to two questions:
- How long has Hulk been here exactly? It must've been since the events of Age of Ultron, because he seems to already be well established in the world of the Sakaaran arena.
- How does Bruce Banner factor in? If the bed is made for #Hulk and not a human, what has become of Bruce? Has Hulk taken over completely? Or, does Bruce simply have more control over Hulk now? #Marvel released a film still with Bruce and Thor reuniting, so there must be more at play here.
I look forward to seeing how it all plays out this November when Thor: Ragnarok is released.
A Few More Highlights
Other than pieces from the new Thor film, this exhibit was chock-full of MCU paraphernalia. Here are a few more highlights:
If you find yourself in the Brisbane area and are a fan of the MCU, this is one modern art gallery exhibition you DON'T want to miss.
What are you most excited to see in Thor: Ragnarok?