Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok kicks off filming on the Gold Coast

By Gold Coast Bulletin

Thor: Ragnarok star Chris Hemsworth and director Taika Waititi. Photo / Chris Hemsworth Instagram
Thor: Ragnarok star Chris Hemsworth and director Taika Waititi. Photo / Chris Hemsworth Instagram

The Gold Coast will be reborn today as the centre of Marvel's universe as Thor: Ragnarok's galaxy of superhero stars converge on the city for a gladiator-style showdown.

The blockbuster's A-list leading men were spotted out and about on the Coast at the weekend as production crew worked hammer and tongs to finish one of the huge outdoor sets being built for the film on the lot at Village Roadshow Studios, Oxenford.

Mark Ruffalo, who joins the third instalment of the Thor franchise as his Avengers character Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk, was snapped enjoying coffee and a chat at Palm Beach.

Spike Neumann and Thor: Ragnarok star Mark Ruffalo at Hendrixx Espresso. Photo / Facebook
Spike Neumann and Thor: Ragnarok star Mark Ruffalo at Hendrixx Espresso. Photo / Facebook

Chris Hemsworth, who stars as Thor, was spied wandering around the Oxenford lot.

Ruffalo posted a Snapchat with the caption:

"Hey brothers and sisters, I'm on finally on Snapchat taking you on the set of #Thor3. Follow along #markruffalo."

He also heaped praise on the film's director, Taika Waititi, on Twitter:


Hemsworth will relocate his family from Broken Head to a large home-away-from home on the Coast during filming.

Taylor Swift is expected to join Hiddleston on the Gold Coast after she hosts her traditional July 4 celebration at her home in Rhode Island.

Hiddleston stayed at Peppers, in Broadbeach, last time he was on the Coast to film Kong: Skull Island late last year.

Jeff Goldblum is back in LA after wrapping a promotional tour for his current film Independence Day: Resurgence before he joins his co-stars on the Gold Coast.

As Thor: Ragnarok's cast rolled in, a small army of crew worked through the weekend as they race to finish building a huge outdoor village circling what looks to be a Gladiator-style battleground on the western side of the studio lot.

The arena - the perfect place to launch a Mjolnir (Thor's hammer) - adds weight to reports Thor: Ragnarok's storyline will see Thor encounter the Hulk on a violent planet where The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) has forced Hulk to compete in Gladiator-style games.

Production sources said the outdoor set was "three-quarters" done.

Tom Hiddleston with a fan in Broadbeach last year during filming on Kong: Skull Island. Photo / Instagram
Tom Hiddleston with a fan in Broadbeach last year during filming on Kong: Skull Island. Photo / Instagram

"They're running about two weeks behind schedule but that's not that unusual for a film of this scale," a source said.

"It just means they won't have as many "rain days" in the production schedule."

Several space ships will also feature in the film, with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirming "80 to 90 per cent" of Thor: Ragnarok's story "takes place in the cosmos".

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"There are only a couple of scenes on Earth in this movie, " he said.

The studio's location has already served up some unexpected challenges, with noise from traffic on the busy M1 and nearby theme parks proving a distraction, particularly in the eastern corner that houses the new super Sound Stage 9.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales co-directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg confronted similar issues when they filmed at temporary outdoor studios at Helensvale last year and were forced to call cut every 15 minutes to overcome loud background noise from trains.

Directed by Taika Waititi, Thor: Ragnarok also stars Cate Blanchett as Hela, Jaimie Alexander as Sif, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Karl Urban as Skurge and Idris Elba, who reprises his Marvel role as Heimdall.

While Anthony Hopkins is expected to return as Odin, it is not yet known whether he will travel to Australia to film his scenes.

A cool, calm and very, very funny character, Waititi is expected to lead a focused but fun shoot.

Work continues on outdoor sets being built for Thor: Ragnarok. Photo / News Corp Australia
Work continues on outdoor sets being built for Thor: Ragnarok. Photo / News Corp Australia

The Kiwi director told The Verge working with Marvel so far "has been good".

"In terms of the studio thing, these people don't act like a studio," he said.

"They're cool, smart storytellers. I've been enjoying hanging out with them. I've been more organised, which is saying something, for a guy like me to be organised.

"I'm surrounded by really intelligent, amazing people. I've got access to great minds and great resources. So I'm at a real advantage."

The first two films in the Thor series earned a combined $1 billion at the global box office.

Filming on Thor: Ragnarok is slated to wrap at the end of the year.

The film is the first production to use the new $15 million Sound Stage 9, which will house squash events at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

- news.com.au

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