Marvel Studios Visual Development Supervisor Talks Designing THOR In THE AVENGERS

The conceptual art for all of Marvel Studios' feature films have been rather exceptional with the majority of it being produced and/or supervised by Ryan Miendering and Charlie Wen.


Artist Charlie Wen, who tag teams with Ryan Miendering to oversee the conceptual designs for Marvel Studios recently chatted with Marvel about designing Thor in The Avengers. You can check that out below along with a look at how Thor's costume has changed from Thor to the Avengers and Thor: The Dark World.



On how Thor's look had to change between his solo-movie which saw him
surrounded by similarly dressed Asgardians to The Avengers where he's on The Helicarrier surrounded by the likes of Iron Man and Captain America.

Charlie Wen: In “Thor,” he was more warrior-like. It was more of a battle-ready costume. [“Marvel’s The Avengers” director] Joss [Whedon] wanted more super heroes on this one, and we went in that direction. You see the blues in Thor’s costume more in this film, which blend better together in that way. The effect is that [the heroes] do gel together better, color-wise.


Was it a conscious decision to have a cape and capeless Thor.
Wen: It was. There were two costumes I had to design, [including] one where he is able to walk around and hang out, so he’s not always moving his cape aside when he needs to sit down just to drink coffee. It’s just something he can have to hang out with the guys.


On the almost imperceptible alterations to Thor's chest pieces.
Wen: Overall, they stayed pretty close to the same area. There were slight changes, more along the lines of bringing the cape size down a bit. I kept [the chest pieces] mostly in the same places. That’s one of the things I saw on him that I didn’t want to change, if at all possible. I wanted to keep it constant, so anything I changed would just be the proportions.


And here's a few excerpts from a previous interview Wen did for Thor's solo-film.

What were his contributions to the film [Thor].
Wen: I did the final designs on Thor and Loki, and some of the side characters like Sif, Hogun, Fandral and [Volstagg]. Those are where most of my time was spent.


On working with Ryan Meinerding who says that Wen was the one that 'nailed' the mythological aspect of Thor's look.
Wen: Well I think I was the one that landed on it, but it built up that way from so much of the stuff we both did, start[ing] with a lot of [the original comics’] designs mixed in with Norse mythology. In the beginning of it, because we were still trying to find it, I think I was more interested in trying to maintain the Norse side of things as much as I could, as much as I thought I could get away with, and it was trying to get that balance of how much do you really need to keep of the comic book design and not lose [it]. Because you’re trying to reestablish an icon, just in a different medium, you know? And so it was kind of important to make sure we didn’t go too far Norse. [We looked at what] were all the recognizable things about Thor. His discs, obviously. Do you keep the helmet or not? Even [the] cape, that was also an issue. How much of it can you get away with trying to change while trying to recreate him to both the Norse side of things of things and the [comics’] world.


It's probably a safe bet that Ryan and Charlie also oversaw the design of Thor's slightly altered look in Thor: The Dark World. There's definitely a more viking-ish look to Thor which may be a reflection of director Alan Taylor's (Game of Thrones) visual sensibilities, similar to how Wen above stated that Whedon wanted a more superhero-ish look in The Avengers.

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