Marvel Studios gave TheWrap a rare look inside its headquarters on the Disney lot in Burbank, California, on Monday night and we got the green light to share a few new exciting tidbits:
Marvel execs gave us the very first look at Brie Larson as Carol Danvers in her “Captain Marvel” uniform. The Captain Marvel costume is absolutely incredible and comic-book accurate. The costume is an updated take to what Kelly Sue DeConnick did with “Captain Marvel” in the 2012/13 Marvel comic run. But you’ll have to wait a bit longer to see it for yourself.
Director Taika Watiti also popped by to announce that the character “Korg” the Kornan will be featured in his upcoming “Thor: Ragnarok.” Korg is a popular character from the “Planet Hulk” story line from the Marvel comics run which “Ragnarok” is loosely based on. Watiti showed us early designs, visual effects animation tests, and movement tests for Korg. “Being so big he’s a slugger, he’s not very graceful. He sort of hits hard,” Watiti said of Korg.
Here is the kicker: Watiti is the actor in the motion capture suit who is playing Korg in “Ragnarok.” Marvel mavens proceeded to show us a quick scene featuring Waititi in the mo cap suit as Korg opposite Chris Hemsworrth’s Thor.
Marvel gave members of the press an intimate peek into their filmmaking process, along with first looks at projects in various stages of production and post-production — including “Black Panther” and “Thor: Ragnarok.”
Located inside the Frank G. Wells building on the historic campus, TheWrap was there as Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, Co-President Louis D’Esposito, Executive VP of Physical Production, Victoria Alonso, and both SVPs of Production and Development Stephen Broussard and Jeremy Latcham were on hand to answer questions and show us the various rooms where overall development, visual development, editorial, and visual effects and dailies screening take place.
The halls inside the Marvel Studio offices are decorated with gorgeous concept art by character designer and concept artist Ryan Meinerding, the company’s Head of Visual Development. One cool piece of concept art that stood out is Captain America vs The Black Panther from “Captain America: Civil War,” which is an homage to legendary comic book artist Mike Zeck’s classic cover from Captain America Annual #8 which featured Captain America vs Wolverine.
The first stop on our tour was a huge conference room where the walls are adorned with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” promotional artwork on one side of the wall and “Thor: Ragnarok” promotional artwork on other. Feige came inside the room and was happy for us to “see the digs, which are not new but nearly redone to give us a creatively exciting place to work, go everyday and spend 13, 14, 15 hours a day on all these movies,” said Feige. “What’s exciting for us, is this is our little corner here on the Disney lot where every movie that we make starts here. Often times in this room this is where we first meet with filmmakers, writers, directors, or actors in their initial meetings. [It] happens right around this table.”
Feige proceeded to give us updates on the current Marvel projects before showing the room an exciting sizzle reel for the upcoming “Black Panther.” Feige revealed: “‘Black Panther’ is in production right now, finishes shooting in two days, and then they will come back here. Currently, ‘Thor: Raganarok’ is editing on this floor, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ just finished editing in a building right across the lot and ‘Black Panther’ comes back the end of this week into a building on the other side of this lot.”
That’s some superhero juggling.
The next room on the tour was the Visual Development room where Andy Park, Marvel Studios Visual Development Supervisor/Lead Character Concept Artist, gave us looks at cool concept art of Thanos, the Mad Titan and main bad guy The Avengers will battle in the next “Avengers: Infinity War,” along with that exciting first peek at Brie Larson as Carol Danvers in her “Captain Marvel” uniform.
Park went on to give details how visual development of the characters and characters design are developed along with the screenplays: “We’re in the beginning of the phase of the movie making process along with the script.”
Director Peyton Reed, currently in pre-production on “Ant-Man and The Wasp” dropped by to chat for a few and give us a look at concept art from the upcoming sequel. The standouts were the updated Ant-Man/Giant Man suit and Hope Van Dyne version of The Wasp.
The 3rd room of the Marvel Studios open house was led by Executive VP of Physical Production, Victoria Alonso who was joined by Marvel Studios’ Visual Effects Supervisor, Jake Morrison and “Thor: Ragnarok” director Watiti — who gave us a scoop on “Kong” the Kornan and that he’s playing him via mo cap.
Marvel Studios Co-President Louis D’Esposito quaterbacked the fourth and final room of the open house which is a screening room where Marvel execs screen dailies from the various Marvel productions currently underway. With “Black Panther” just two days away from wrapping, D’Esposito and SVP of Production and Development Jeremy Latcham screened raw dailies from the production which featured Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther and also the first looks at Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia in action taking out bad guys. Marvel also gave us a first look at Forest Whittaker as Zuri. They also screened visual effects from the upcoming “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
The two hour tour went by quickly and for a lifetime Marvel fanboy, the open house was a dream come true and the opportunity of a lifetime. We left the tour to go see the first screening of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” will get its worldwide premiere in 25 markets — including France, Australia, Hong Kong, and the U.K. — on April 25. It will be released domestically on May 5.
James Gunn just announced on Facebook that he will return to write and direct “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3” for Marvel Studios. Gunn went on to say that the third “Guardians” will set up the next ten years of storytelling for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Thanks to Disney, Marvel Studios, and Principal Communications for making the tour possible.