For a while, the only female superhero was running around the Marvel Cinematic Universe was Black Widow, that’s fortunately no longer the case. From Gamora in the Guardians of the Galaxy to Scarlet Witch in the Avengers, more women are coming forward to battle the forces of evil in this continuity. One of the newer additions is Tessa Thompson’s Brunnhilde, better known as Valkyrie, who debuted in Thor: Ragnarok. Thompson was among the many Marvel actresses who approached the studio last year to campaign for an all-female-led MCU movie, and from her conversations with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, she thinks that there’s a good chance such a project will eventually be brought to life. Thompson said:
Sometimes, a scene in a movie can be so complicated that you need a detailed plan. And in the case of Thor: Ragnarok, that detailed plan came in the form of an homage to top-down, 8-bit video games.
[Warning: The above video contains major spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok.]
In order to plan out the twists and turns of the film’s climactic final battle on the Rainbow Bridge, the pre-visualization teams on Thor: Ragnarok made this short video. Sprites of Heimdall, Thor, Valkyrie, Hulk, Korg and Loki battle it out against the forces of Hela in this clip, available only with the digital release of the film, which comes out on Feb. 20. Polygon is able to offer you this sneak peek at it, courtesy of Disney.
We received a copy of the Thor: Ragnarok 4K disc this week — it’s in stores next week along with the Blu-ray and DVD editions — and of course the first thing we did was head over to the director’s commentary track because there was no way Taika Waititi wasn’t going to at least provide something unique. And, no, he does not disappoint.
Honestly, it’s like watching an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, only with the director making jokes about his own blockbuster movie. And three separate times Waititi’s two-year-old daughter wanders into the studio and joins in. (At one point Waititi points out Korg and tells his daughter, “That’s your dad.” To which she replies, “Cool.”)
There’s not a lot in the way of spoilers. Even in the mid-credits scene that kind of sets up Avengers: Infinity War, Waititi is just telling his daughter, “This is what we call a tag-a-roonie.” Instead, it’s just hilarious. And I will express my pleasure with this commentary track by making a bullet point list of my favorite moments below.
• When the film opens in Muspelheim, Waititi tells us that it’s opening, “inside the lung of the Marlboro Man.”
• Waititi did the motion capture for Surtur, and explains to us in his deadpan voice that he was actually on fire while filming the scene.
• Waititi also reveals that he did all the motion capture work for every scene with Thor, too.
• We learn that, in real life, Chris Hemsworth’s Mjolnir prop weighs “five million tons,” yet Hemsworth is so strong he can just flip it around.
• When “177A Bleecker Street” appears on the screen, Waititi explains that this address, “should be familiar if you’re a fan of Doctor Strange… and I am not.”
• When Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, is destroyed, Waitit tells us that this is a very sad scene, “for people who loves hammers.” He continues, “A perfectly good hammer… being crushed.”
• Waititi, in all seriousness, does say that he made Hemsworth do a shirtless scene that wasn’t scheduled and would like it known that he contributed that to society.
• In another serious statement, Waititi says that Thor’s line about Hulk, “I know him from work!,” was suggested by a kid who was visiting the set from a Make A Wish-type organization who had been hanging out with Chris Hemsworth for the day. The kid told Hemsworth that Thor should say this line and Hemsworth told Waititi and now that line is on t-shirts.
• Waititi also tells us that in real life Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston are not brothers, even though they obviously look so much alike the could be twins.
• At one point Waititi asks if we are enjoying this commentary, and he points out that at least one person in the recording studio gave him a thumbs up. Then another person gave him a thumbs up. Waititi is comforted to know that at least two people are enjoying this.
• And, finally, Waititi’s daughter comes back near the end of the film, her third cameo. When Waititi asks her what she thought of the film, she replies, “I want to watch Moana.” The elder Waititi suggests that maybe he should do a commentary for Moana. This is a great idea.