Thor Ragnarok filmed at Queensland studio
Marvel chose to film Thor: Ragnarok in Australia partly because of a request from Thor actor and Australian citizen Chris Hemsworth.
“We’d never filmed in Australia before,” says Kevin Feige, president of Marvel and a producer on all the company's films.
“Chris is a loyal native. He is the voice for Tourism Australia. He asked if we would ever film there. We hadn’t really considered it. When we looked into it, we realised not only was it feasible, it ended up being perhaps one of the best experiences we’ve ever had. It was the happiest crew I’d ever seen on one of our movie sets.”
The movie is the third Marvel film that Chris Hemsworth (pictured below with director Taika Waititi) has headlined as the Thor character and forms part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Three dozen sets were built for the shoot across Village Roadshow’s multiple stages and on its expansive back lot.
An immense palace set belonging to the ruler of alien planet Sakaar was built on the studio’s Stage 9, which is Village Roadshow’s newest facility and is also the biggest of its sort in the southern hemisphere, spanning 40,000 sq ft.
Sakaar street sets were built on the studio’s back lot, as was a piazza location for Thor’s home world Asgard. Together, these spaces took four months to build and covered nearly two and a half acres.
The film’s main non-studio location was the city of Brisbane, about an hour’s drive north of Village Roadshow, which in fact stood in for New York over the course of four days of shooting.
It’s not the first time Marvel has used a separate location as a stand-in for New York.
The iconic US city is a challenging place to shoot stunt work and so Cleveland, Ohio, was used as a double for the action-packed finale of The Avengers in 2012, which sees Manhattan devastated as Marvel’s superheroes defend the city from an alien attack.
Additional footage for Thor: Ragnarok was also shot in Queensland’s Tambourine National Park, on Dirk Hartog Island off the west coast of Australia and on New Zealand’s South Island.
Marvel was awarded substantial filming incentive support to base Thor: Ragnarok in Australia. The studio got a portion of just under AU$50m in government funding, which was shared with Alien: Covenant, Ridley Scott’s sci-fi movie that made a deal at around the same time (late 2015) but chose to shoot at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney.
Village Roadshow Studios has since hosted superhero movie Aquaman, from Warner Bros. and DC.
Images: Marvel Studios/Disney