The groundbreaking visual effects technology that helped bring The Mandalorian to life will next be used for Thor: Love and Thunder It has been revealed that Industrial Light and Magic, Lucasfilm’s VFX branch, will be supporting upcoming productions by offering virtual production services. Director Taika Waititi will be utilizing the tech for his upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe sequel, but that could be just the beginning for ILM.
ILM already has what they call StageCraft set up at Manhattan Beach Studios. Referred to as “The Volume,” the set was crafted for The Mandalorian. It is surrounded by high-definition screens, including overhead. This allows for real-world imagery to be projected on the screens. Then, practical sets can be built and placed on the stage. All of it can be captured in-camera, allowing for a real-world feel. This negates the need for on-location shooting in many cases, which is crucial right now, given health and safety concerns. Rob Bredow, head of ILM, had this to say.
“When combined with Industrial Light & Magic’s expert visual effects talent, motion capture experience, facial capture via Medusa, Anyma, and Flux, and the innovative production technology developed by ILM’s newly integrated Technoprops team, we believe we have a unique offering for the industry.”
Taika Waititi previously utilized the technology while filming The Mandalorian season 1 finale. Waititi is returning to the MCU after filming 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. ILM will be building a second StageCraft set at Manhattan Beach Studios in California, which is expected to be up and running in March. The company is also building another one at Pinewood Studios in London, which is anticipated to be ready by February. Additionally, a larger custom version will be installed at Fox Studios Australia, which will be used for Thor: Love and Thunder.
Studios have been struggling with how to get new productions up and running following the shutdown earlier this year. Using this technology could be one way to make big blockbusters more safely. It had previously been confirmed that the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi Star Wars series, which is in the works for Disney+, will NEllwi1MbkRzop||utilize the technology} as well. So far, Disney is keeping it in the family, as they own Lucasfilm and Marvel. But it seems likely other studios will want to take advantage of the tech as it becomes available.
As for Thor’s next cinematic adventure, plot details are being kept under wraps. Chris Hemsworth will reprise his role as the God of Thunder, with Natalie Portman making her return as Jane Foster. This time, Jane will be taking up the mantle of Thor, as was revealed at San Diego Comic-Con last year. Additionally, Tessa Thompson will be back as Valkyrie. Christian Bale has also been set to play the main villain, whose identity remains a mystery. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. Thor: Love and Thunder is currently set to hit theaters on February 11, 2022. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.