Preview–Go behind the scenes of last year’s Thor: Love and Thunder

Review by C.J. Bunce

Books that take movie fans behind the scenes typically take a year or two before they arrive, and that’s the case for the new Thor: Love and Thunder–The Official Movie Special, available for pre-order now here at Amazon or via your local comic book shop.  What has proved to be the high point of Phase IV of the Marvel movies, the film was full of fun, with each of the main characters in the Asgard story reaching their individual peak moments.  That’s Chris Hemsworth as Thor, of course, the Avenger with the biggest character arc of all, plus Natalie Portman back as Jane, the new Mighty Thor, and Tessa Thompson rising from Valkyrie to become King.  Plus great goats–make that G.O.A.T. goats.  What you don’t really sense in interviews with other actors in the MCU is the concept of ownership, and in the book’s personal interviews with Chris Hemsworth it’s clear he has been the key driver of Thor’s direction whether working under Taika Waititi, Kenneth Branagh, or the Russo Brothers.  With much love for the goats, the book is also a great dive into understanding how cast and crew worked with the game-changing LED technology called “The Volume.”

If you missed it in the theater, the movie is streaming on Disney+, and you’re in for the most fun MCU movie since Disney started streaming its big movies.  The story adapts the 1970s story by Donald Glut and Rick Hoberg in the pages of What If…? re-introduced by writer Jason Aaron in the modern monthly Thor comics.  Hemsworth’s take on Thor remains the best character of the Avengers, a testament to director Waititi and executive producer Kevin Feige.  Most of that is due to Hemsworth’s charisma and ease at humor–his exciting, layered Thor is better than any incarnation in the comics.

The Guardians of the Galaxy get a good cameo, and it feels like we missed a movie somewhere–wasn’t there going to be some kind of Asgardians of the Galaxy story in the MCU at some point?  This movie seems to begin at the end of that, but more of Thor and the Guardians will hereafter be Marvel’s biggest missed What if? opportunity.

Thor: Love and Thunder–The Official Movie Special features details of the moviemaking process fans will not have read elsewhere, and visually it includes some incredible costumes and behind-the-scenes imagery fans will be excited about.  You’ll read interviews with Hemsworth, Portman, and Thompson, when many books like this don’t secure interviews with the big cast members.  Hemsworth discusses his workout training and his favorite Thor haircut, and his reaction to working with The Volume–the big backdrop tech that replaced green screens, Portman also discusses getting physically stronger to become Thor and working with The Volume, and Thompson digs into the changes in her character and discusses her workout routine, and The Volume, and they all share their reactions to the goats.

Other sections–all full of screen images, behind the scenes photographs, and concept art and marketing pieces–feature interviews with writer-director and Korg actor, Taika Waititi, costume designer Mayes C. Rubeo, makeup designer Matteo Silvi, hairstylist Luca Vannella, stunt coordinator Kyle Gardiner, visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison, executive producer Brian Chapek, and creature and prosthetics designer Adam Johansen.  Another section is devoted to images of the sets and production design.


Thor: Love and Thunder–The Official Movie Special is that souvenir book that will have you flipping back to film imagery over and over.  The high points are the attention to Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder, those great goats, and the thorough 360-degree reaction to The Volume.

A fun look at the movie in a sharp hardcover edition from Titan, the new Thor: Love and Thunder–The Official Movie Special is available for pre-order now here at Amazon or add to your pull list at Elite Comics or your local comic book shop.





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