THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER VFX Supervisor Breaks Down Hercules' MCU Debut And How The Scene Was Shot (Exclusive)

Hercules made his MCU debut in Thor: Love and Thunder's mid-credits scene, and VFX Supervisor Jake Morrison talks to us about the role special effects played in that and how the sequence was created...

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There was a lot going on in Thor: Love and Thunder, but the movie definitely saved its biggest surprise for last. In a memorable post-credits scene, we saw Russell Crowe's Zeus enlist his son, Hercules, to find Thor and make him pay for what happened in Omnipotence City. 

Ted Lasso star Brett Goldstein has been cast as the popular Olympian (and future Avenger, hopefully), but what sort of role did VFX play in that scene? 

When we recently sat down for a conversation with Thor: Love and Thunder VFX Supervisor Jake Morrison, we asked that question and got some fascinating insights into the work that went into making this late addition to the movie a reality. That included a real Golden Mace, a global shoot, and a set created with practical and visual effects.

"Amazingly, because that happened relatively late in the schedule, the prop that he's got there…usually, we tend to end up with a lot of CG props," he explains in the video below. "We have great propmasters, but the requirements towards the end change in a moment. You can refine props until a film is released, but Ra Vincent, who came in to help us…he’s part of the art department and has been all the way through. He works with Taika all the time and is a very good friend."

"He came in, and he's like, ‘I think I can get the original prop like what Hercules is supposed to actually have.’ I was prepared for Brett to be carrying some grey stick or something, the usual, with dots on it. And Ra just said, ‘I think I can get it machine shopped over in London in time for the shoot, and we did.’ I mean, I was kind of amazed at that."

"The logistics of pulling off that…I don't know how well-known this is, but it was an extraordinary day where we were based in Burbank, and it was myself, Taika, and the creative execs from Marvel, and we basically had a shoot set up in Pinewood in London in the morning, and we had a live video link to that. Taika could talk to [Brett and] everybody, and we had the ADs there, and we had one of our other teams that were working on the VFX prepping stuff, blue screen, and all the usual palaver."

"We did that, and that was the morning. We went kind of dark for a bit and did a couple of things, and then in the afternoon, we shot the other side of the scene which is in Sydney, where Russell Crowe was," Morrison continues. "Taika’s sitting there in this control room…it’s our big screening room at Marvel, and you’re sitting there going, ‘The man may never leave a seat again. This is a director’s dream.’ He’s able to chat and the actors can see him. It was pretty cool. "
 


As for how VFX played a role in the scene, it sounds like Goldstein was in a real costume, but his surroundings needed the usual VFX tweaks to make them look truly epic on screen. 

"Of course, we have to build the environments and all the rest of it. You know, the usual stuff. But yeah, pretty exciting. One of fun things that you learn working with Marvel for a long period of time is they're not afraid to make huge jumps," the VFX Supervisor adds. "We just have a good idea, and just jump at it, and never stop and think, ‘Is it possible to do?’"

"I’m really pleased to see the tag scene come came together as well as it did. We had to design the entire environment out of nothing. Brad got us the prop and Brett looked great. Russel looked great. We had to put a like a burn hole in there because he'd been shot with Thunderbolt and we were able to get all the original 'zoo' sets as they're known from the Golden Temple. That was all of the same gang that we had for the main shoot in Sydney back into that tag. So it's a bit blessed, that one, really, And it's such a fun end to the film, I think."

The scene was definitely a highlight, and fans remain keen to learn what the future holds in store for Hercules. He's clearly coming to Earth in an effort to take down the God of Thunder, though we have to believe there's a chance that the Olympian will cross paths with other characters in the MCU before he's finally able to get his hands on Thor. 

Regardless, the sooner we get to see the Roy f***ing Kent in this shared world, the better!

Thor: Love and Thunder is now available on Digital and will be available on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD September 27.
 

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