So, Thor Ragnarok has been shooting in Australia with Gold Coast standing in for Asgard and the realms beyond. However, just for this week, they were invading Brisbane city centre as well with major road closures and a movie magic transformation to New York. So, as soon as I got confirmation that shooting was starting in a particular location, I got my butt down there to observe the scenes being filmed for all you guys. Apologies in advance for some of the blurrier photos. The closest anyone not on the crew could get was across an intersection from the nearest shoot, and having to hurry down there, I didn’t have access to my DSLR until they were close to wrapping for the day.
Now, let’s start with details of what I saw, keeping in mind that no one was close enough to hear dialogue at all. For all of the scenes that day, Loki and Thor were sporting their civilian clothes. Loki had his dashing black suit on and Thor was rocking that wind breaker and jeans combo like he did in Age of Ultron. The first scene shot had Thor and Loki standing side to side looking at a wreckage of a property and conversing. This already seems strange considering Thor Dark World left us with Loki having faked his death to rule Asgard in disguise as Odin. Clearly, the two set aside the topic of this trickery long enough to converse on the streets of New York at some point in the movie. However, their meeting was clearly not amiable, as at one point Loki had put his hand on Thor’s shoulder and Thor quickly brushed it off. At one point in another scene, two of the background actors walking by stopped and asked Thor for a selfie. He obliged, much to Loki’s visible ire. It’s amusing to find that Thor’s disguise is as useless in the MCU as the fans think it is. After the selfie, one of the girls bumped into Loki. She clearly recognised him and quickly scampered away. After a few more seconds of dialogue, Loki exited stage right. Thor then noticed something on the floor where Loki was standing and picked it up (more on what he picked up later). The scene then reset.
This was the scene they spent the most time on, but there were also a few other minor scenes they shot. One was just Thor, standing on the same spot as he was before, and reacting to someone or something off camera. First, I thought they were just reshooting the same scene with the camera focusing on Thor, but I noticed the extras were completely different this time. The selfie girls were no longer there for example. Thor’s body language also suggested he was surprised by whatever was off camera. He moved back and forth in the spot as if sizing it up. Finally he exited in the same direction Loki did before.
Next scene was just Loki, again in the same spot. This was a short one and seemed to be a reaction shot. Loki suddenly braced himself as if suddenly startled or alarmed. He looked up into the sky as the camera crane rose up focusing on Loki’s face the whole time. Is it Thor landing or flying off, or is it another airborne hero or villain altogether? We will have to wait and see. Next was Thor and Loki conversing again a lot closer to the rubble. The massive lighting reflector was in the way so we couldn’t see much, but as far as I could tell, they were investigating the rubble.
The last scene took place a bit further to the right, in front of the portable toilets set up for the construction workers clearing the rubble. We could only see the rehearsal for this as the massive light shield and a ‘Titan construction’ truck they drove in blocked the view once actual shooting for the scene commenced. What little I saw involved Thor and Loki conversing and Loki having popped into the toilet. Tom Hiddleston tried different variations of his entrance to the portable toilet under the guidance of director Taika Waititi, much to the amusement of the assembled crowd. That was the last scene we saw on the day.
Now, let me piece together what I saw, on the day and what I later discovered online, into some educated guesses and some wild speculation. What I haven’t seen discussed much online is the rubble Thor and Loki were standing in front of for most of the scenes shot that day. The lot they were standing in front of is an actual construction site in Brisbane, but my incessant spying showed me that they’ve been shipping in their own rubble the whole weekend with the crew assembling it into the particular pile we saw on the day. So clearly, it wasn’t just some generic construction site, but one that served a purpose in the film. What jumped out at me the most was a sign that is front and centre in the rubble that they only face the right way up for the duration of the shot and immediately faced it back down afterwards. It’s placed in prime position in the shot, right in front of where Thor and Loki was standing, and reads ‘Shady Acres Aged Care Home’.
You cannot tell in this potato quality photo but trust me.
Other than being a South Park reference, there’s another reason I find it interesting. One of the unanswered questions from the after credit scene of Thor Dark World where Loki was shown ruling Asgard in disguise as Odin, was what he did to the real Odin. Now, I am willing to put money down that this is where Loki had Odin stashed away, after using some kind of magic to either wipe his mind or make him comatose. That then begs the question, what happened to the place and where’s Odin? I predict he was either attacked by or is in the hand of Hela, the main villain of this movie. After all, it would make sense that the titular Ragnarok, apocalypse of Nordic legends, would involve Odin being in peril. It would also make sense for Loki’s personality to put the universe in danger in his blind desire to rule by placing Odin in harm’s way. The following day’s shooting showed Odin being spotted in street clothes on set so this lends some weight to my theory.
The All-Father is looking pretty shabby here.
As for that little portable toilet gag at the end, well that’s how Loki, and maybe Thor, will either travel to or out of Midgard, our Earth’s realm. If you remember from Thor the Dark World, Loki is supposed to be an expert at hiding little portals that connect the realms, so it makes sense that they are simply playing it for a gag here.
Now, back to what Thor picked up off the floor at the end of his scene with Loki. Daley Pearson, an actor who has worked with Director Waititi had this picture up on his twitter.
Now, eagle eyed comic fans would have already realised that this is the address to Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Santorum, which has set the internet ablaze with rumours and speculation. What no one seem to be talking about though is how it seemed like Loki had dropped it, since Thor picked it up from where Loki was standing right after Loki exited the scene. Has our favourite villain been in contact with the Sorcerer Supreme? Considering Loki is one of the few true magic practitioners (in that the strange things he pulls haven’t been explained away as science yet) currently in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it would make sense to link the two characters. It doesn’t seem to me that Doctor Strange would willingly cooperate with the likes of Loki, but he isn’t called the trickster god for nothing. It also seems to me that it’s unlikely that Loki dropped this very important address accidentally. Is he trying to help Thor without hurting his own ego? Or is Thor about to fall into one of Loki’s traps once again? Damn it, Thor. Fool you four times, it’s definitely on you.
Tom was happy to do the rounds greeting the gathered fans between scenes.
There’s been speculations online that this might be the after credit scene for the movie due to its reference to Doctor Strange. I disagree for two reasons. If the scene does indeed relate to Odin as well, I doubt it will be left unresolved at the end of the movie. It also seems to serve no purpose as an after credit scene, since they usually use it to tease an upcoming movie, and Doctor Strange is due in 3 months and Thor Ragnarok in a year. Instead, I predict that this scene, or at least a good 45 seconds of it, will be the after credit scene in Doctor Strange. It’s not unprecedented in the MCU for a scene in the future movie to be the after credit scene, as seen in Antman’s after credit scene being ripped right out of the middle of Civil War. A different director directing the after credit scene is not unprecedented either with James Gunn directing the one at the end of Thor the Dark World.
After the long day of shooting, Chris took pictures with everyone as well.
This leads to one of my wilder speculations. This after credit scene, at the end of Doctor Strange, will end with the text ‘Doctor Strange will return in Thor Ragnarok’. Yes, I am calling that the Doctor will be in for Thor Ragnarok. I am not predicting a big part or for him to be part of any big action scenes. I am imagining a simple scene, set in the Sanctum Santorum, with Strange imparting some knowledge to Thor. The Sorcerer Supreme is supposed to be an expert of different dimensions after all and will probably have some important insights into Niflheim or Hel, where the villainous Hela is supposed to rule. Or maybe Thor needs advice on the nature of Ragnarok or some help locating Odin. It would be a perfect opportunity for them to make Doctor Strange feel like he belongs to the MCU at large, since his own movie seems pretty stand alone from what we’ve seen, before he appears as part of the ensemble in Avengers: Infinity War.
So there you have it. That’s everything I saw and as much detail as I could gleam from what I saw on Monday’s shoot of Thor Ragnarok. I will try to go and see more of the shooting as opportunity arises. For now, do you have your own theories? Did you see something I missed, either at the shoot or online? Do you simply want to yell at me and tell me I am wrong? Leave a comment below and let’s see if we can blow this whole thing wide open.