Marvel’s newest blockbuster Thor: Love and Thunder dealt with Chris Hemsworth's Odinson as he pursued the dangerous Gorr the God Butcher. He and his companions traveled to Omnipotence City, the home of the Gods, in the hopes that they would aid him in defeating Christian Bale's intense antagonist.
Instead, Zeus, the Greek god of thunder, firmly and swiftly refused to help them. A fight broke out between Thor's team and the guards in Omnipotence City, which ended when the God of Thunder impaled Zeus with his own Thunderbolt and then stole the weapon.
In the film’s mid-credits scene, audiences once again saw Zeus as he plots revenge on Thor and sends his son, Brett Goldstein's Hercules, after the Asgardian. Now, some intriguing new details have been discussed regarding how that mid-credits stinger was made.
How Thor 4's Hercules Intro Was Filmed
Thor: Love and Thunder’s VFX supervisor Jake Morrison, in an interview with Josh Wilding, broke down what went into the production of the movie’s mid-credits sequence with four key details.
Fact 1.) For starters, Morrison revealed that the mace held by Brett Goldstein’s Hercules in the film was a practical piece instead of CGI. It was actually hand-made at the last minute for Goldstein to wield on camera.
“Amazingly, because that happened relatively late in the schedule, amazingly, like the prop that he’s got there which is, usually… for CG stuff, we tend to end up with just a lot of CG props. It tends to happen. We have great prop masters, but the requirements towards the end change in a moment or you can refine props until the film is released. But that one, Ra Vincent who came in to help us… He’s part of the art department all the way through, has been. He works with Taika [Waititi] all the time, he’s 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. Because I was all prepared for Brett [Goldstein] to be carrying some grey stick or something… 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 about the logistics.”
Fact 2.) The VFX artist went on to describe the surprising feats that Thor 4’s production was able to accomplish. He also indicated that Waititi filmed Goldstein's scene 100% remotely, as the Hercules actor shot the sequence in London while Waititi and crew were back at a Disney lot in Burbank, California:
“I have to tell you the logistics of pulling off that, we had an extraordinary, 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, and Taika, and 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 so Taika could talk to everybody, and we had the ADs there, and we had one of our other teams that was working on VFX… prepping stuff blue screens, all the the usual palaver. And we did that and that was morning."
Fact 3.) As it turns out, Russell Crowe also was on a different continent than Waititi and Goldstein when he filmed his part of the sequence. Waititi, while in the Los Angeles area, was able to direct Crowe, who was in Australia, from a "control room" later that same day Goldstein's bit was remotely shot:
“And then we went kind of dark for a bit, and did a couple other things, and then in the afternoon, we shot the other side of the scene, which is in Sydney where Russell Crowe was… Taika’s just sitting there in this… control room… in our big screening room at Marvel and so we’re sitting there going, ‘The man may never leave a seat again… This is a director’s dream.’ He can just like, ‘You do this,’ and he’s able to chat… and the actors can see him, and all the rest of it."
"It was pretty cool and then of course we have to build the environments and all the rest of it. You know, the usual stuff. But yeah, pretty exciting. And it’s one of the fun things that you learn with working with Marvel for a long period of time, is they’re not afraid to make huge jumps, and just have a good idea, and just jump in it, and never stop and think, ‘Is it possible?’ Just sort of do or try the hardest to do that. So I’m really pleased to see… the tag scene came together as well as it did. I mean, we had to design the entire environment out of nothing. Like Ra got us the proper prop and all the rest of it. Brett looked great. I mean, it’s cool. Russell looked great."
Fact 4.) Finally, Morrison spoke on the fact that the original Omnipotence City sets were brought back in to serve as a backdrop for Crowe:
"We had to put the burn hole in there, because he’d been shot with Thunderbolt and all the rest of it. And we were able to get like all the original Zeus sets as they’re known from the golden temple. That’s all of the same gang that we had for the main shoot in Sydney just back in for that tag. So it’s kind of a bit blessed that one, really. And it’s such a fun end to the film, I think.”
Thor 4’s Setup for the Future
Clearly, Thor: Love and Thunder‘s credits scene was set up for a future MCU project. Marvel wouldn’t just bring in a notable face like Brett Goldstein for Hercules if the studio had no further plans for him.
The sequence ends with Herc vowing to fulfill his father’s commands and go after Thor in an act of revenge. This could lead to a fun and exciting clash between the two godly characters. But whether this happens in Thor 5 or another Marvel Studios live-action installment remains to be seen.
Still, it’s interesting to learn how exactly Hercules’ introduction was assembled. Given the logistics of modern moviemaking, one would think that actors filming small cameos like Goldstein’s remotely has become a bit more commonplace.
Marvel Studios’ Thor: Love and Thunder is now streaming on Disney+.