Marvel Cinematic Universe has been around for a long time. That is a good thing, because the longer the movie universe stays active, the greater chance we have of getting quality superhero movies from the franchise. We have received some magnificent movies in the decade-long run of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but the road up until now has not been all smooth sailing. No sir, Marvel is at an industry dominating position today because a lot of hard work, sweat and blood have gone into building the universe we now call the MCU.
The conceptualization was the hardest part and Marvel was quite lucky that they had Kevin Feige in their ranks to guide the franchise through its base creative process. Not only did the visionary create a massive interlinked superhero universe but he also made sure that each individual Avenger had a proper origin story and a substantial foothold in the universe before flinging into a battle with cosmic clones (Chitauri). A lot of finesse is required when one is conceptualizing an entire universe of superheroes so it’s only natural that the creative process evolves and adapts with the changing vision.
Charlie Wen, a concept artist at Marvel studios, has been sharing old concept arts from Phase 1 movies so that the fans can have a look at the second-best ideas that were never implemented, maybe because they were too expensive or because they did not sit well with the whole narrative of the movie. The artist has already shown us how different Loki could have looked in Phase 1 but recently he shared another post on his social media that shows rejected concept art for the realm of Asgard. The post is reproduced below for your scrutiny.
Asgard: First Sketches! I was envisioning Asgard as a realm centered around the mind of Odin. Like the “Wacky Loki” version from earlier, where Loki’s armor responded to his mind, Asgard is centered around Odin’s throne. The layout of Asgard was as interconnected as the knotting of Norse symbols and the Asgardian costumes, reflected in Thor, Loki, Odin, and the Warriors 3 costumes. This interconnectedness stemmed from the power of Odin, and are essentially created by him. The shapes of the kingdom’s layout are influenced by Odin’s mind. (This power of mind is an aspect of Odin’s character that Loki was greatly influenced). Although powered by Odin, Asgard itself responds to the will and mind of its citizens. And like an enormous Swiss watch, the workings of the great realm is timed perfectly. * * * * * * * #asgard #thor #loki #odin #marvel #avengers #norse #keyframe #throwback #conceptdesign #picoftheday #costume #makingof #fantasy #comicbookmovies #design #movie #superhero #conceptart #chrishemsworth #marvelstudios #art #worldbuilding #marvelcinematicuniverse #story #visualstorytelling #academyawards #tomhiddleston #visualdevelopment #swisswatch @marvelstudios @marvel @imcharliewen @twhiddleston @chrishemsworth @anthonyhopkins
It seems that the final adaption that we saw on-screen of Asgard was substantially different than the one presented in this picture. “Asgard is not a place, it’s a people”. That statement rang true throughout the entirety of Thor: Ragnarok maybe because Asgard in the third Thor movie felt so different from the first two times we visited it. Dan Hannah (The production designer of Thor: Ragnarok) had this to say in an interview with comicbook.com about Asgard’s design during the third Thor movie and the challenges the creative team faced.
“We sort of tried to give it more of a humanity, tried to come down to the world of real gods and demigods.” “Of course it would be above and beyond the reach of normal people, but it’s a much more real world… Refugees have been taken out of the city. So we need to get down to that sort of population a little as opposed to the (larger) world. Asgard is the home of the gods, so the assumption is that most of these people here—thousands of them—are some sort of demigods or children of gods. It’s more about the forces of the gods and the effect that they have on the people.”
“It’s home to gods, the previous incarnation was stone and gold.” Hennah continued. “So we stayed with those elements and we’ve stayed with the champions of the architecture to a degree, but also we had this sort of human level of single story, two stories, three stories.”
The entire realm of Asgard was re-skinned to fit the tone of the third Thor movie, and that is fine because art must adjust to the script. That is how the emotion flows to the visual medium of film. And we have to admit that Taika Waititi did a wonderful job of turning the entire character of Thor around from the loser boring snob to a hands-on superhero who is worthy to be called the King of Gods.
The character arc of Thor has been the slowest paced in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, maybe it is the power scaling issue, maybe there is no one in the entire Avengers roster who can currently go against the god of Thunder (Except hulk) but the introduction of Hela into the Thor franchise enabled the directors to forcefully mature the character of Thor.
He went from being a buffoon to a handsome jerk who looks and feels like rugged chiseled lightening. It would be interesting to see how the story develops come Avengers 4.