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THE FATE OF THE GODS Asgard is in danger. While Thor, the son of Odin, has been imprisoned on the far side of the universe, an all-powerful new threat – the ruthless Hela – prepares to unleash Ragnarok upon his homeworld. Stripped of his mighty hammer, Mjölnir, Thor faces a race against time to return to Asgard to stop the coming of Ragnarok, and the end of Asgardian civilization. But first he must fight to survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger – the Incredible Hulk!
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C O NT E N TS 06
CHRIS HEMSWORTH – THOR
CATE BLANCHETT – HELA
MARK RUFFALO – HULK/BRUCE BANNER
TESSA THOMPSON – VALKYRIE
GODS AND MONSTERS
THE WORLDS OF RAGNAROK
TOM HIDDLESTON – LOKI
JEFF GOLDBLUM – GRANDMASTER
TAIKA WAITITI – DIRECTOR
ON SET: MAKING RAGNAROK
CHRIS HEMSWORTH THOR
THE POWER WITHIN In Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, the son of Odin faces the greatest danger of his life – the destruction of his entire civilization... Actor Chris Hemsworth, who has wielded the mighty Mjölnir as Thor since 2011, reveals how he feels about returning to the character that made his name, and what to expect from the new movie.
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CHRIS HEMSWORTH THOR
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CHRIS HEMSWORTH THOR
01 Thor (Chris Hemsworth) awaits the Grandmaster’s Champion in the Sakaar arena 02 Thor sports a new look in Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok after his arrival on Sakaar 03 Hemsworth and co-star Tessa Thompson on set with director Taika Waititi 04 Thor and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) go undercover on the streets of New York City
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hor: Ragnarok Movie Special: It has been seven years since you first played Thor onscreen. How do you perceive the character now? Chris Hemsworth: On one hand, it seems like a lifetime ago that we were shooting the first film, but on the other, it seems like yesterday. We had no idea if it was going to work, if there would be a sequel, or if there would even be an Avengers film, so it all had a different energy. But with this film, in particular, there has been a massive gear-shift in the storytelling, and in my approach. That was all birthed through the director Taika Waititi, and his sense of humor. This has been one of the most exciting and fun sets I’ve ever been on.
“This has been one of the most exciting and fun sets I’ve ever been on.” Can you describe an average day on set working with the movie’s director, Taika Waititi? There’s lots of music, some dancing, lots of jokes, craziness and insanity. Lots of fun, you know? Just trying things out and then seeing how wacky we can make it, or where we could push it. You feel okay trying something you’ve never tried before, because you know you’re in safe hands. I think everyone has felt like that on this film.
What kind of threats does Thor encounter in this film? Thor comes from a world where he is by far the most strong, able, and powerful character, and ends up thrust into an environment where nobody cares that he’s a prince of Asgard. He lands on this planet, Sakaar, which is ruled by the Grandmaster, played by Jeff Goldblum. He’s insane, and colorful and hilarious, and wildly fascinating. Thor is the Grandmaster’s prisoner, and his powers have been reduced due to these obedience discs that are attached to him. But the Grandmaster offers him a deal, and says he can win his freedom in the gladiatorial ring if he can beat his champion, this unbeatable force.
CHRIS HEMSWORTH THOR 02
BEFORE AND AFTER Forced to fight in the arena, Thor loses his long golden locks. Will the loss of his hair affect his strength? Chris Hemsworth doesnâ€™t think so. He tells us that initially Thor thinks it might affect him, before coming to the realization that the power is within him and not linked to anything like his hair or his hammer.
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CHRIS HEMSWORTH THOR
05 Thor powers up for battle 06 Thor meets an old friend, Bruce Banner
So Thor says, “all right, point me in his direction.” He has no idea who or what it is he’s about to face in the arena, and then out bursts the Incredible Hulk. Initially Thor thinks, “oh, great, we’re buddies. We know each other,” and Hulk kind of registers it for a second, and then his berserker nature kicks in. And then they beat the hell out of each other!
“I pinch myself all the time and think, man, how did I stumble upon this [role]?”
Tell us a little bit about Hela – the first female villain in Marvel Studios’ Cinematic Universe. Cate Blanchett is one of the greatest actors there has been,
and I was just so excited to see what she would do. Hela has this insane attitude, and yet at times you find yourself kind of empathizing with her but
(played by Mark Ruffalo) 07 Thor heads on a journey of self-discovery in the new movie – but how will he fare?
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then going, wait a second, she’s destroying things! I think that conflict within an audience makes for a far more interesting journey. What has Thor meant to your career as an actor? Everything. I pinch myself all the time and think, man, how did I stumble upon this? What did I do right to deserve any of this? And then you get to look at the character and go okay, that worked, or that didn’t work and then have another go at it. You don’t get that with any other film. It’s such an opportunity to grow as an actor. I just love it.
CONCEPT ART – THOR FACES FENRIS With acid for saliva and striking eyes, Hela’s dog Fenris was realized onscreen through the use of a motion capture suit fitted to a real dog (art by Alexsi Briclot)
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CONCEPT ART â€“ HELA ARRIVES IN ASGARD The massed forces of Asgard unite to defend the city against Hela, the Goddess of Death (Art by Jackson Size)
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CATE BLANCHETT HELA
BRINGING DEATH TO LIFE Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett plays Hela – the first major female supervillain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Australian actress explains how she and the producers of Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok brought the Marvel villain to life, and what it was like working with fellow countryman Chris Hemsworth for the first time.
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CATE BLANCHETT HELA
T 01 Hela, played by Cate Blanchett, basks in the death and destruction in the battle scenes of Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok 02 Hela, the Goddess of Death, provides an intimidating threat for
h or: Ragnarok Movie Special: Tell us about Hela, and what attracted you to doing this movie. Cate Blanchett: What interested me is that in Asgard, the people who live there, live for a really long time, and Hela’s the Goddess of Death. So what happens when death is banished from a world? You get a lot of problems in a world when you think death doesn’t exist. It means life becomes difficult to navigate, because there’s no time frame. I think that’s a really interesting place to start as a character, as an entry into the film, because in the beginning you don’t know who she is.
Thor and his comrades 03 Hela prepares to unleash Hell...
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How did you go about bringing Hela to life? Hela absorbs power until she
“You get a lot of problems in the world when you think death doesn’t exist.” becomes all-powerful, and we tried to show that visually, when her suit starts to repair itself. Then we found these make-up tutorials on YouTube, a lot of female fans were designing their own Hela make-ups. They were making Hela’s make-up half exquisitely beautiful, and half ravaged mask of death. So we talked to the producers about this, and to
Taika, and asked if we could do something with that. That’s why you can see the veins underneath her skin. Is this the most physical role you’ve ever done? I think so. I’m pretty physical when I’m on stage, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was quite physical. But I think in terms of handto-hand combat, definitely. That’s been part of what I’ve relished, actually. Also working with Zoe Bell, who is the most extraordinary stunt person but also a wonderful actor. We’ve had this really symbiotic relationship. She’s been teaching me how to mime better, but also to say that this moment leads here, and that there’s an opportunity if you wanted to do something in
CATE BLANCHETT HELA 01
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CATE BLANCHETT HELA here. So it’s not looking at a fight in the traditional way, that it’s a series of punches and kicks, and knocking someone to the ground. There’s a psychology in it, which has been really fun to play with.
The sets are incredible. How do physical environments help actors? I was really surprised at how built the world was. I think I was expecting a lot more blue screen. And obviously there’s going to be layer upon layer in that strudel. But the Asgardian plaza, it’s got a river running through it. I mean, it looks like it should be a hotel in Dubai! I wanted to get a room. But what is ingenious about it is that it’s a ring with steps. It’s incredibly ingenious the way the whole thing’s been put together so that you can shoot it from many different angles. And, of course, when you’re doing as many stunts in that set as we’ve been doing, you want to be able to get a lot of angles, and make the whole stunt dynamic. How did you enjoy working with Chris Hemsworth?
“The best villains are those you kind of love, and hate what they do, but you kind of understand it. There’s a logic to it. Hela’s not just completely nuts.” People assume because you’re Australian – and we’re a relatively small company of actors, often working abroad – that we all know one another. But I had never met Chris. We’ve got friends in common, but I’d never met him. And I have to say, I’ve never met a more generous, ego-less performer than Chris. He’s incredible to work with. And he holds this whole behemoth together. A lot of us are riding on his shoulders, and what shoulders they are. I mean, he can carry us. What’s fantastic about this is that he and
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Taika have managed to turn any expectations that people have about what a Thor film should be.
And how was it, working with Taika Waititi? I’m sure everyone’s the same with Taika. The minute you meet him you just think, “I’ll do anything for you. I don’t care what you want me to do.” I just absolutely loved him. What’s great about Taika is his humor, it’s so particular, so unique and quirky, and irreverent. I think it’s the happiest film set I’ve worked on.
CATE BLANCHETT HELA 04 Cate Blanchett as Hela with Karl Urban as Skurge 05 Cate Blanchett’s stunt double discusses a scene with director Taika Waititi 06 Cate Blanchett in her incredible Hela costume
‘IT’S LONELY BEING DEATH.’ Cate Blanchett: “Skurge is the only one who bows down to Hela. She wants an ally and a guide, but he’s also got a beating heart, and it’s that human side that she fears might betray him.” 06
MARK RUFFALO BRUCE BANNER / HULK
RAGE HARD Mark Ruffalo talks about playing two sides of the same coin... Bruce Banner and the Incredible Hulk!
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MARK RUFFALO BRUCE BANNER / HULK
h or: Ragnarok Movie Special: You’ve played Hulk four times now. What are the big changes this time? Mark Ruffalo: Well, basically, Banner’s been inside the Hulk for the last two years. I imagine he’s gone into a deep rest. And during that rest, all the tragic things that have made him unable to enjoy his life have been erased. So when he comes awake he realises that he’s free of the Hulk. Hulk no longer turns into Hulk depending on Banner’s anger. Hulk is now prescient. He can be sad, happy. He’s speaking. He’s not only alive because of rage, so we can start to have more geography in the character’s emotional life, his intelligence, what he does, what he eats, if he sleeps, all the questions I’ve been dying to ask for years since
“There’s something very childlike about the Hulk.” playing this part. And Banner is free to be unguarded with himself, his emotions, the way he lives his life. Now you have this pent-up human being who has done everything he can to curtail his emotional life, his attachment to things, places. And that has a deadening effect on him. And in this movie he gets to let it all out. So there’s this wonderful exuberance and sense of joy and curiosity that he would never afford himself with a sword of Damocles Hulk hanging over him constantly. Is it difficult playing both Hulk and Banner? I get to play two totally different characters which is really fun. Hulk has changed. There’s not that component of rage all the time. So he’s doing normal things now. He has to eat. He has to bathe. He sleeps – all the things the Hulk
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MARK RUFFALO BRUCE BANNER / HULK
Banner and Hulk are opposite sides of the same coin. There’s the pacifist and the warrior... and yet there’s not one without the other.
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MARK RUFFALO BRUCE BANNER / HULK never did because you don’t do that when you’re in a full rage, right?
What is Hulk’s relationship with Banner now? It’s contentious as hell. They’re in absolute opposition to each other but we keep hearing Banner repeating a slightly different version of the same lines that Hulk has in his personality. The blur between Hulk and Banner is really wide now, but they still meet somewhere. There is a line between them that meets. So there’s a lot that they share in common and I think that’s the key to the future of the Hulk and Banner’s relationship. What is their relationship with Thor in this movie? Hulk has become champion of this planet and doesn’t turn into
“The blur between Hulk and Banner is really wide now. ” Banner anymore because he’s always fighting and raging. It’s good luck for Thor, because he needs Hulk to save Asgard, but at a very inopportune moment Hulk turns back to Banner, and he can’t get Hulk back again. What do you think makes Chris Hemsworth so great as Thor? Chris Hemsworth is as close to a god as you could possibly get, I think! He’s talented. He’s beautiful. He’s super smart. He’s strong. He’s a great actor, and he’s fun. And he’s a physical genius. And what’s really fun about this movie is he just breaks loose. I think it’s great for Chris because he’s getting to do things in this movie that he’s never been able to do. And he’s sort of recreating the character as well.
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BRUCE BANNER / HULK 01 (Previous page) Friends reunited: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finally learns what happened to Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) after the events of Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Age of Ultron 02 (Previous page) Mark Ruffalo returns as Bruce Banner/Hulk 03 (Previous page) Someone just made him angry – the Hulk hulks out 04 (Previous page) Thor and Hulk discuss fire, water and how similar they are... 05 The Incredible Hulk faces the formidable fire demon, Surtur 06 Mark Ruffalo with Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Chris Hemsworth as Thor 07 The Hulk – ready for battle
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CONCEPT ART â€“ HULK Hulk, whose costume is usually restricted to little more than a pair of torn pants, has several looks during Marvel Studiosâ€™ Thor: Ragnarok, including gladiatorial armor (right). Art by Ryan Meinerding.
TESSA THOMPSON VALKYRIE
THE VALKYRIE RIDES AGAIN Tessa Thompson, star of Creed, Westworld and Veronica Mars, tells us all about taking on the role of the ultimate Asgardian warrior...
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TESSA THOMPSON VALKYRIE
hor: Ragnarok Movie Special: Can you tell us a little about Valkyrie? Who is she and what is her role in the movie? Tessa Thompson: A tragedy has left her life in tatters and she’s disappeared to this corner of the universe on Sakaar to forget about her past. Then with the universe in danger, she meets Thor and Banner/Hulk, and she reluctantly becomes a part of their team to try to save Asgard, in its darkest hour. But I think in some ways while she’s daring to lose her life she’s regaining a sense of the life that she’s lost. Can you tell us a little about the audition process and how you got the role? You have a proper camera set up and you’re reading opposite other people, and you’re dressed as the character. And you’re in full make-up, and they give you a sword. It’s unlike any audition process that I’ve ever been through because it requires so much imagination. You realize that you’re just playing. You’re just coming to play. So that’s basically what I did.
How did you tap into the essence of the character? We were doing this scene, and it’s quite a dramatic scene in the context of a movie that wants to feel pretty comedic. And something about it just didn’t really feel right, and they had to do a make-up change on me anyway. So we decided to break for lunch. And there were all these sandwiches behind me and they said do you want to stop for lunch? And I was like, no, no, I’m not really hungry. And then I looked again, and I was like, maybe I do want a sandwich. And I just decided to eat it in my scene, and it was in that moment that I kind of found the pulse of Valkyrie that she’s someone that has a kind of irreverence about her. She’s the kind of woman that would just eat a turkey sandwich in the middle of a very dramatic exchange with someone. How do you feel about the role of Valkyrie? I’m one of the clumsiest people you will probably ever meet. So playing a character like Valkyrie, when you get a sword it dares you to just be stronger and more
“There’s a kind of irreverence about Valkyrie.”
TESSA THOMPSON VALKYRIE 02
01 Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie 02 The battle-hardy Valkyrie attempts to find herself again in Marvel Studios’
Thor: Ragnarok 03 The Valkyries face Hela – and defeat – in Marvel Studios’
Thor: Ragnarok 04 Valkyrie makes her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok
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TESSA THOMPSON VALKYRIE 05
TESSA THOMPSON VALKYRIE 05 Tessa Thompson creates a powerful presence as Valkyrie 06 Valkyrie is the master of many weapons 07 Valkyrie comes face to face with Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston 08 After facing tragedy, Valkyrie faces new challenges on Sakaar
confident and more sure of your footing than you ever are in your life. And that’s a fun place to be in. I pinch myself even today when we’re shooting a big fight sequence. How physical has this role been for you? Really physical. I mean Valkyrie is an elite fighter, even if she’s out of practice. She’s an incredible fighter. She’s as strong as Thor. She doesn’t have a hammer, but she can wield a sword like nobody’s business. And she’s incredibly agile. We wanted to find a style that we haven’t seen before that feels different than Black Widow, that feels different than the way you see most women fighting in film in general, which is usually really upright and graceful. We wanted Valkyrie to feel really close to the ground and scrappy. I would say that she fights like a boy, except
“Valkyrie is an elite kghter – an incredible kghter. She’s as strong as Thor.” that diminishes the fact that she just fights like a really, really strong woman. But that being said, I worked with my incredible stunt double, Tara Macken, who’s done this her whole life. She’s great. But there’s a bunch of guys on the stunt team. And they come in, and they’re like, “just do it like this”. And I’m like, “but my arms work differently than yours”! It’s been incredibly physical and so much fun.
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CONCEPT ART Production Concept Art by Andy Park in a promotional poster released during San Diego Comic Con, 2017
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GODS AND MONSTERS
GODS AND MONSTERS Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok is packed with a myriad of fascinating characters from Asgardians to world-ruling aliens. Here, we take a look at those who are allies, and those who seek destruction.
01) THE GRANDMASTER
“It’s main event time.” The eccentric ruler of the planet Sakaar, this dangerous hedonist holds both Thor and Hulk’s lives in his hands with his Contest of Champions – where gladiators fight to the death for their freedom or personal desires.
02) HEIMDALL The golden-eyed guardian of the Bifrost, Heimdall is one of Thor’s most trusted allies. However, since his disappearance, he is no longer the keeper of the bridge between Asgard and the other realms, having been denounced as a traitor by Loki.
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GODS AND MONSTERS
“I’m not a queen or a monster. I’m the Goddess of Death.” Banished for millennia, Hela is the Goddess of Death. When her power is unleashed, she will rain death down upon all of Asgard.
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GODS AND MONSTERS
“This’ll be such fun.” Thor’s adoptive brother, the trickster god, constantly plays people off against each other. When his rule of Asgard is threatened by Hela, he has no choice but to forge some uneasy alliances.
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GODS AND MONSTERS
05) SKURGE The new guardian of the Bifrost, Skurge is a born survivor. In the wake of Ragnarok, this Asgardian warrior knows he will have to make a deal with the devil or face death herself.
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GODS AND MONSTERS
“This team of yours, has it got a name?” This galactic scavenger may be threatening and mysterious, but there’s more to Valkyrie than cynicism and combat. Hiding from her past on Sakaar, she soon sides with Thor against the dark peril brought forth upon the universe.
07) ODIN The All-Father and ruler of Asgard has lost his throne and his kingdom. Thor makes a desperate search for his father in the most unlikely of places – Earth.
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GODS AND MONSTERS
â€œI have dire plans for destiny.â€? The son of Odin, and Prince of Asgard, finds himself embroiled in a precarious situation when he has to fight for his life on Sakaar. Thor then has to save his people from the danger they will face if he is unable to stop Ragnarok, find his father and a way home, and discover his true self or risk falling to the Goddess of Death.
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GODS AND MONSTERS
09) BRUCE BANNER
“Did I win?” Whilst possessing one of the most brilliant minds on the planet, the good doctor struggles to control his alwaysangry alter-ego, the Incredible Hulk. Unfortunately, losing himself to the raging green titan is the least of his worries.
“Rawwwwwrrr!” In the arena, Hulk is a god. Having suppressed his human nature in favor of being the Champion of Sakaar, it’s up to Thor to remind his friend and former Avengers companion what it means to be a hero. That is before Hulk starts trying to smash him…
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GODS AND MONSTERS
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THE WORLDS OF THOR: RAGNAROK SAKAAR 01
WELCOME TO SAKAAR Thor finds himself captured on the savage planet Sakaar, ruled by the crazy despot known as the Grandmaster, whose followers are known for being some of the strangest and most dangerous beings in the universe...
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THE WORLDS OF THOR: RAGNAROK SAKAAR
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THE WORLDS OF THOR: RAGNAROK SAKAAR 01 (Previous page) Thor receives a less than
warm welcome when he arrives on Sakaar 02 Thor is readied for combat in the Grandmasterâ€™s arena 03 Having crash landed on the outskirts of the city, Thor soon finds himself in trouble 04 A deadly pursuit through the city canyons of Sakaar
05 The denizens of Sakaar, wrapped in rags as protection against the Sakaar elements
THE WORLDS OF THOR: RAGNAROK SAKAAR
06 Mayes C. Rubeo and Jonay Bacallado concept art depicting the Sakaaran costumes
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THE WORLDS OF THOR: RAGNAROK ASGARD
ATTACK ON ASGARD 50 | THOR: RAGNAROK
THE WORLDS OF THOR: RAGNAROK ASGARD
Asgardians have always been proud of their world, but after Hela, Goddess of Death, arrives, she launches a campaign to exact change, and not for the greater good. Take a closer look at how Helaâ€™s vision impacts the sacred city...
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THE WORLDS OF THOR: RAGNAROK ASGARD 02
01 (Previous spread) The sacred city becomes a war zone when Hela strikes 02 Can the massed troops of Asgard protect the sacred city against the power of Hela? 03 Skurge, the new guardian of the Bifrost and the Rainbow Bridge 04 Hela triumphant? Darkness falls over Asgard 05 Asgard prepares to defend itself against Hela 06 The Einherjar, Asgardâ€™s elite warriors, line up for battle 07 Skurge catches Thor up on the state of Asguard
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THE WORLDS OF THOR: RAGNAROK ASGARD 05
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COSTUMES The unique look of the characters of Marvel Studiosâ€™ Thor: Ragnarok are the end result of a long design journey, under the watchful eye of costume designer Mayes C. Rubeo. Here we present concept art for Hela, the Grandmaster, Valkyrie, and Loki.
Hela (Cate Blanchett) Art by Constantine Sekeris
Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) Art by Constantine Sekeris
Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) Art by Constantine Sekeris
Loki (Tom Hiddleston) Art by Anthony Francisco
TOM HIDDLESTON LOKI
EVOLVING MISCHIEF Tom Hiddleston returns as Marvel’s most loved (and hated)villain, Loki, ready to take the villain to another level. Here, the award-winning actor discusses his role on Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok...
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TOM HIDDLESTON LOKI 01
01 “Surprise... This’ll be such fun...” Loki is set to cause chaos in Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok 02 Cheering on the combatants in the Contest of Champions 03 Loki and Valkyrie engage in a kinetic knife fight 04 Tom Hiddleston’s Loki – a charismatic and complex character
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hor: Ragnarok Movie Special: How does it feel, playing Loki in your fourth Marvel movie? Tom Hiddleston: I feel like I have to honor my responsibility to the character, the affection that he is held in by the audience and be at least as interesting and complex and charismatic and all the things that Loki is. Every time I play Loki, I feel like the challenge is to find new ways of playing him. He’s slippery and transformative and changeable, and will do everything he can to survive. He’s the lord of mischief. The challenge is that I’m constantly trying to make sure that the next chapter of Loki’s journey honors what has come before but can still be surprising for the audience in terms of what they expect next.
“He’s just such a bad boy and people love bad boys...” What is it that makes Loki such a popular villain? I’ve tried asking myself this question. People ask me that repeatedly. And it still, truthfully amazes me, the popularity of this character. I never expected it. It still makes me wonder, to this day, even coming onto this film, when people say how much they love Loki. I say why? Tell me. And I think it’s because
people can relate to him in some way, which I find flattering. There’s something in his story that people connect to. He’s an outsider. He’s a misfit. He’s an antagonist. Even though he constantly lies to hurt those he loves the most, people relate to his emotional vulnerability. He just feels a bit lost and is trying to make his way, even though he makes consistently bad choices. And he’s just such a bad boy and people love bad boys. Tell us about how Valkyrie fits into Loki’s life? The Valkyrie were a legendary, ancient race of warriors, exclusively women. They were wiped out and never heard from again, but as children, Thor and Loki worshipped the Valkyrie.
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TOM HIDDLESTON LOKI
“Marvel has the gift of chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.” How does Loki discover who Valkyrie is? Loki finds out that Valkyrie is helping Thor escape from Sakaar with Hulk, so he challenges Valkyrie and asks why would she help my brother escape? And what ensues is a fast and furious, kinetic knife fight between two people who recognize each other. They’re both solitary cats that walk alone. And they are damaged on the inside. They’ve left a lot of that damage behind. And they’re trying to move past it, but it still defines them. So the fight is imbued with all this ferocity.
Why do people keep coming back to the Marvel Studios films? I think Marvel has the gift of chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I don’t think anyone who works at Marvel ever feels like they’ve cracked it. They’re not complacent. They’re constantly striving to push the boundaries, to reinvent the wheel in new colors, in new shapes. And they have the gift of their inheritance, which is a stable of 7,000 characters. And somehow every film is different. Yet they have this unique brand of humor and playfulness. People know Marvel delivers spectacle, action, great characters, wit, drama, comedy, and a great time. And it rewards investment because the movies talk to each other. If you get inside that world it’s like a labyrinth of interconnecting corridors. You have the best time in there. I think that’s why Marvel has inspired so much affection.
05 Loki – free of his shackles – heads into battle 06 Loki – a force to be reckoned with in Marvel Studios’
Thor: Ragnarok 07 “People relate to his emotional vulnerability,” Hiddlestone says of Loki. “He just feels a bit lost and is trying to make his way, even though he consistently makes bad choices.”
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JEFF GOLDBLUM THE GRANDMASTER
LET THE GAMES BEGIN American actor Jeff Goldblum plays the cruel and wily despotic ruler of Sakaar in Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok. As an Elder of the universe, the Grandmaster has seen and done everything, and now his only real interest is in having fun and games – which is bad news for Thor and Hulk! Here, the award-winning actor reveals more about his villainous role in the new Thor movie…
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JEFF GOLDBLUM THE GRANDMASTER
hor: Ragnarok Movie Special: Can you tell us about your character in the movie, the Grandmaster? Jeff Goldblum: I’m a so-called Elder of the universe. We’ve been around – me and my brother, the Collector, played by Benicio Del Toro – since a little after the Big Bang. The Elders are more than old – we’re immortal! After all that time, what seems to interest the Grandmaster most is having fun, so he has these gladiatorial games – and that’s how we meet him. He has a journey that has gone on for decades, and he pits people against each other. Right now he’s on this planet Sakaar, and he still likes games, and things seem to be going wrong. Things happen in this world that upset his plan. And then there is a big rebellion on my planet that he has to deal with. Does he have powers? He’s got big super powers, and he’s seven-foot-one. We’re gonna do our own kind of variation of it in the film, so I hope the purists and followers are not going to be disappointed.
01 “I’ve got blue nail polish on, and I’ve never worn polish before,” Goldblum comments on his make-up 02 Thor readies himself to take on the Grandmaster’s champion 03 The Grandmaster’s decor is as extravagant as his costumes 04 “What have you brought today, tell me?” asks the Grandmaster
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How did Marvel Studios approach you for this role? They said there’s this movie and this character, Grandmaster, and Taika Waititi is gonna direct this, and maybe you two should meet and talk about it. Before the meeting, I watched the first two Thor movies for the first time. I met Taika a little distance from my house, and he talked to me about how I would be right for this character. I liked Taika tremendously and I went and watched all of his movies – they’re all wonderful and artful, in my humble opinion. I found out that he was one of the creators of Flight of the Conchords, which I loved. He’s in What We Do in the Shadows and he’s a wonderful, funny actor – very unique.
“Right now, the Grandmaster is on this planet Sakaar and he still likes games. And things seem to be going wrong…” What can you tell us about the look of the Grandmaster? The delightful [costume designer] Mayes Rubeo and Taika had cooked up this look, and I love it. We had a Facetime meeting that included bits of drawings that she’d made and I thought they looked great. Then I met with the hair and make-up people and the costume people – and Kevin Feige, who’s wonderful.
I’ve got blue nail polish on, and I’ve never worn polish before! I have the same kind of blue on my feet. Can you tell us a bit about working with the other actors on this film? The other actors are so good. Rachel House is a wonderful actress. She plays my assistant – we have a complicated relationship in the film. Tessa Thompson is very fun to work with. And there’s
JEFF GOLDBLUM THE GRANDMASTER 01
JEFF GOLDBLUM THE GRANDMASTER 05
Tom Hiddleston, who I’ve admired terrifically. Gee, we hit it off – we had a wonderful time. I loved working with Chris Hemsworth – he’s spectacular. We had a good time. Everybody was very kind to me. What makes Chris Hemsworth perfect as Thor? Chris is the perfect Thor. He is Thor. All of the Hemsworths are wonderful actors. People have commented how Chris takes his characters very seriously. He can do anything.
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“I loved working with Chris Hemsworth – he’s spectacular. Chris is the perfect Thor. He is Thor.”
Describe the Grandmaster in three words. Let’s see… the Grandmaster is accessible, playful, and mercurial. And present and spontaneous. Well, this is more than three words now!
05 Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) takes her place at the Grandmaster’s side, along with Rachel
Describe Taika in three words. Taika Waititi, in three words, would be: handsome, stylish, and brilliant. He’s fun to be around. Very magnetic, interesting and unique. That’s a lot more than three words, I’m sorry.
House as Topaz 06 The ruler of Sakaar takes control 07 The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldlum) strikes a regal pose
GLADIATORS THOR VS HULK
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GLADIATORS THOR VS HULK
GLADIATORS In the Contest of Champions, friends become deadly opponents – or, as Thor says to Bruce: “...you and I had a fight recently...” But Bruce can’t remember, much to Thor’s secret delight!
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GLADIATORS THOR VS HULK 02
hen the trailer for Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok was first released, audiences reacted with gasps of astonishment as the Incredible Hulk burst into the Sakaar arena, a gasp matched only by Thor’s joyous cry as he recognized his Avengers friend and ally. In a scene that is sure to go down in cinema history as one of the greatest
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onscreen clashes of all time, the reality is that our two heroes are set against each other in a battle to the death, and all for the entertainment of the Grandmaster (played by Jeff Goldblum) and his subjects. Whatever the outcome of this epic brawl, fans might finally get an answer to a question that’s been debated for decades: “Who would win in a fight between the Mighty Thor and the Incredible Hulk?”
GLADIATORS THOR VS HULK
01 (Previous spread) “We know each other. He’s a friend from work.” Thor and Hulk face off! 02 Will an armored Hulk be too much of a match for the mighty Thor? 03 Thor (Chris Hemsworth) prepares to battle the Grandmaster’s champion... whoever – or whatever – that might be 04 Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) enters the Sakaar arena as the planet’s champion, ready for a fight
TAIKAâ€™S FEATS Taika Waititi has certainly made his mark on the entertainment world as a film director, actor, writer, and comedian. Two of his films, Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, have become top grossing films in his home country, New Zealand. Now, Waititi gives us the lowdown on how he brought his creative and quirky sensibility to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Thor: Ragnarok.
THE DIRECTOR TAIKA WAITITI
T 01 (Previous spread) Waititi makes
hor: Ragnarok Movie Special: What is it that makes Marvel Studios’ superhero movies stand out? Taika Waititi: The humor, I think; superheroes not taking themselves so seriously. Like in Iron Man. That was quite a revelation, seeing Robert Downey Jr. do that. Being irreverent and poking fun at the genre a little bit, but also being serious when he needed to be. Having those earnest moments, but taking people on a ride. It’s entertainment. It’s perfect entertainment. And I think that people often lose sight of that.
a point as he directs Jeff Goldblum (The Grandmaster) 02 The calm before the storm? Waititi enjoys a rare moment of contemplation on set 03 Dressed for success! Chris Hemsworth (Thor) admires Waititi’s threads 04 Ready to Ragnarok! Acclaimed director Taika Waititi lines up his next eye-popping shot
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Was it that approach to the genre that attracted you to directing Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok? When Marvel called me, they said they wanted to really change up the franchise. They wanted to take Thor in a new direction – put him into outer space, with as little time on Earth as possible to make him fun and have a fun adventure. I have a background in comedy, I like to make films that have a real balance, a mix of stuff that’s hopefully very funny, but also something that has heart and resonance and connects with an audience on a deeper level.
And how was it working with Chris Hemsworth? I’d met Chris a few times, and I really liked him. He’s a funny guy. I think that’s really what drew my interest initially, knowing that Chris was going be in the film. Chris puts his whole personality out there on the screen. He puts his heart out there. He’s professional and he’s a perfectionist. We have these script meetings, and we talk about the development of the character and the story, and Chris always has great ideas. He really cares about the character and about this franchise. He’s a great comedic
actor, which is something that we haven’t really had a chance to embrace much in the other films. How did you go about setting Thor on this new path? My approach was very much to treat Thor: Ragnarok as its own entity. I didn’t want to make an episode that was part of a bigger thing. I know it is, but that’s not my approach. I have to make my own film that stands alone as a film by Taika, knowing full well that it sits within the Marvel Universe. I did a lot of research on Ragnarok, which in Norse
“I like to make klms that have a real balance, a mix of stuff that’s hopefully very funny, but also something that has heart and resonance, and connects with an audience on a deeper level.”
THE DIRECTOR TAIKA WAITITI
THE COMIC KING Jack Kirby is one of comics’ most iconic creators – an artist and writer, he co-created (with Stan Lee) such characters as the Fantastic Four, The X-Men, and the Hulk – and he is also famous for his distinctive art style. Here, Taika Waititi discusses his influence on Marvel Studios' Thor: Ragnarok… “Jack Kirby is a big part of this film. He’s 03
a huge hero for all of us. If you look around the office, you’ll see all
mythology signifies the start of a new cycle in the life of the world, or in the realms of the universe. It’s the destruction of the old and the rebirth of the new, and in a way that’s very appropriate, because the way that I’ve approached this movie is to destroy everything that came before and rebuild it in a new way. It goes from the characters, to the type of story, to the tone of the films. Everything is really affected by this idea of Ragnarok, even the costumes. You look at Idris Elba, and the way that his character, Heimdall, is introduced into the film is completely different. Everything is different, and new, and fresh. For me, that’s Ragnarok. Talking of the spirit of Ragnarok, your villain in this movie is definitely something new.
We’ve brought in Hela, who is the first female villain that we’ve had in a Marvel film. She is the Goddess of Death, and now she’s set her sights on Asgard, which is the last thing the Asgardians need, to have their beautiful realm invaded by such a dark force. And Cate Blanchett destroys the idea of your typical villain. She’s funny. She’s all the stuff that you expect from a female villain, and she looks amazing. And Hela is also flawed, she has layers, and she’s tormented. She has a lot more going on than some of the typical villains that you see in these kinds of films. She’s not just about taking over the world, or owning the universe. She wants something that I think a lot of people can kind of relate to.
You also introduce a great new character in the form of Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson. Tessa is a versatile actor, and she’s very funny. It’s actually fantastic, because the fans have been wanting this character for a long time, and it’s amazing to be able to give it to them. Valkyrie is one of the most popular characters from the original comics. Traditionally, the Valkyrie were the warriors who would descend upon the battlefield to collect dead warriors, and if they deemed you worthy, they were the portal to Valhalla.
this beautiful Kirby art. The design of our ships, the patterning of our costumes, we’ve been heavily influenced by a lot of his art. All the departments are taking that on board. I feel so lucky to be able to bring his legacy to the big screen. We can finally show the world what an incredible genius he was – his line, his use of color, everything. We’re trying to embrace that, and bring it into this film. He really blazed the trail,
Where is Thor’s relationship with Loki this time? That’s something that we dug deeper into, and we found a way to make their relationship even more significant, and the
and it’s about time that someone paid tribute to him in this way. What he brought to the world of comics, I mean, he really was the king.”
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THE DIRECTOR TAIKA WAITITI
“I want this klm to be a fantastic cosmic adventure that is a fun ride, but also has high stakes and has emotional truth.” 05 Powerhouse director meets powerhouse hero as Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Taika Waititi strike a pose! 06 Waititi runs through a scene with Cate Blanchett's stunt double
connection between them stronger and more poignant. How the film ends with those two is really special, and it’s kind of a perfect way to end this first cycle of films. The film is very funny, but underneath it all people are really struggling and trying to find their place in the world, or in the universe. There are a lot of deeper themes that are quite touching by the end of the film.
07 Waititi: “By the end of this film, you’ll feel like you’ve been to different worlds and had so many crazy experiences.”
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Would you say Marvel Studios' Thor: Ragnarok has elements of a buddy movie? The idea is that, at the end of Age of Ultron, we see Hulk take off in
a Quinjet, and he disappears. In this film we explore what happened to him. Where did he end up? That is probably the thing that got me the most excited about the project. I love all those great buddy flicks, like 48 Hours, and Lethal Weapon, that stick two very different characters together on a road trip. A lot of comedy can come from that. But also it’s just exciting, you know, the idea of those two heroes together. Thor and Banner are so very different – a god and a scientist – it’s a great set-up, having those two going through space. Banner’s never even been into space. He’s a sort of space tourist. Even that’s funny. You always have to bring it back to relatable stuff, and put the humanity into the story so that people can relate and get into it. And then, obviously, you have to top it off with excellent fights and battles! This is a big movie compared to your previous work. Were you daunted by the scale and budget at all? Well, this is probably almost a hundred times bigger than any of
my other films, in terms of budget, and even schedule. But I’ve never really been daunted by that, because I know how to do my job. I know how to do what I want to do. I’ve done a lot of commercials, which vary in size, but I’ve done some big commercials where there have been similar sized crews, so it’s not like my first time. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is what’s inside that rectangle, and that hasn’t changed from my first film. It doesn’t matter what the budget or the size is to me. What do you hope audiences will take away with them? I want this film to be a fantastic cosmic adventure that is a fun ride, but also has high stakes and has emotional truth. When films have an emotional authenticity, that is when an audience invests themselves emotionally. An audience wants to be part of the journey, and they want to see it through. By the end of this film you’ll feel like you’ve been to different worlds and had so many crazy experiences, and you will have really gone through the fire with Thor.
KORG THE ROCK MAN OF RAGNAROK
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KORG THE ROCK MAN OF RAGNAROK 01
KORG: THE ROCK MAN OF RAGNAROK One of the allies that Thor makes on his journey through the world of Sakaar is a Kronan named Korg – a character from the Planet Hulk comic book storyline that provided inspiration for many elements of Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok. Fittingly, the movie’s director, Taika Waititi, provided the motion-capture performance for the all-CG creature, but according to the makers of the movie that hadn’t always been the plan...
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KORG THE ROCK MAN OF RAGNAROK 02
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KORG THE ROCK MAN OF RAGNAROK 05
hen we were writing this movie, the character of Korg got bigger and bigger,” says Brad Winderbaum, executive producer of Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok. “When we were workshopping with Taika and writer Eric Pearson, Taika would just break into Korg’s voice and start acting out the routines, so it very quickly became clear that there was only one guy who could play the role.” Shooting scenes featuring Korg, director Taika Waititi improvized on set wearing motion-capture pajamas, pulling a double shift as actor and director. Playing the rock man hadn’t figured in Waititi’s plans for the movie, but the former actor had always intended to find himself an onscreen role. “There were a few times where I thought, ‘Who do I want to play? What would be fun?’ But I wanted something where I didn’t have to carry the film. I like
“A fully digital character is a great challenge.” playing characters who are either helpers, or just there to provide a little texture and make it a bit more interesting to watch. And also something that will just be fun for me. I’m more interested in doing something I’ve never done before, so I can say, ‘Oh yeah, this one time I played a guy who was made of rocks.’” As Korg’s character began to develop, Waititi realized this was a character he could play around with. “The character grew after I took that part,” laughs Waititi. “He got a lot of dialogue after I touched those scenes. I was an actor before I was a filmmaker, so I still enjoy that part of it.”
Chris Hemsworth was just as delighted to find himself performing alongside Waititi. “It’s so funny, because I kept saying to Taika, ‘you’ve got to play someone in this film.’ And he says, ‘I am!’” recalls the Thor actor. “He had this idea about doing a Maori accent, but he wasn’t sure if people were going to understand what he was saying, or if they’d heard that specific kind of accent before. I thought, fantastic, we’re on another planet, why should we speak with any particular dialect? And having an actor standing opposite you who is also the director is a fairly unique kind of thing. It gives you a whole different sort of energy.” “Korg is a really exciting undertaking,” adds VFX Supervisor Jake Morrison. “A fully digital character is a great challenge. This is going to be a living, breathing character who delivers lines and has extreme comic timing. Taika’s giving it his all. Everybody’s really excited to have Korg in the movie.”
01 (Previous spread) Korg, performed by Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi 02 Thor encounters a new ally in his journey across the cosmos 03 Korg in the heat of battle 04 “The character grew after I took that part,” admits Taika Waititi 05 Taika Waititi, in full motion-capture pajamas, performs a scene with Chris Hemsworth
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CONCEPT ART A full-body concept render of the rock-like Korg (Art by Tully Summers)
CONCEPT ART A detailed close-up of Korg, revealing rock strata, mineral deposits, and texture (Art by Tully Summers)
01 CONCEPT ART The demon Surtur, rendered by concept artist Aleksi Briclot 02 CONCEPT ART Four concept renditions of Surtur’s head by Aleksi Briclot 03 CONCEPT ART Surtur’s fire-breathing dragon, rendered by special effects artist Ian Joyner
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CONCEPT ART Keyframe concept art depicting Hela versus Thor, rendered by Marvel Studios Visual Development Supervisor & Concept Artist Andy Park
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MAKING RAGNAROK A BEHIND-THE-SCENES GALLERY
THOR: RAGNAROK | 91
01 (Previous page) Chris Hemsworth as Thor films an effects shot against a blue screen, which will be transformed later into the Grandmasterâ€™s arena 02 Thor arrives at Sakaar 03 The creative team sourced an area of the studio backlot to recreate a section of the planet Sakaar 04 Thor surveys Sakaar after landing on the planet
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MAKING RAGNAROK 05 Chairs on set for 07
the main cast. We’re guessing Hulk needed a more sturdy seat 06 “Did I win...?” “No... I won easily...” 07 Taika Waititi directs Tom Hiddleston, Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, and Mark Ruffalo
THOR: RAGNAROK | 95
08 Hulkâ€™s opulent quarters... heâ€™s clearly not the bare-bones type 09 Chris Hemsworth takes center stage before Taika Waititi, and Tessa Thompson 10 A closer look inside the interior set of the ship (the Commodore) 11 Hemsworth showcases the results of his physical preparation for the role 12 Destination unknown... Hemsworth rehearses at the Commodore controls 13 The set showing the meandering backstreets of Sakaar
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