I’m guessing that by now you’ve already seen that thunderous new trailer for Thor: The Dark World, right? You haven’t? By Odin’s ocular oddities, go check it out right now! And make sure you hurry right back, because director Alan Taylor is about to spill the beans (well actually, he already spilled them on the weekend at Disney’s D23 Expo) on why the much anticipated superhero sequel has needed to go back for some reshoots, and also whether there’s any truth to the stories of him bumping heads with Marvel.
Marvel apparently have a very unique strategy on how to finish a film: You kind of don’t. Apparently they are constantly looking to improve/tweak a film right up to the very last minute. This is actually why the film has had some reshoots done, and not because there was anything really broken when Taylor “finished” it the first time.
“Marvel seems to have a process where you make the movie…and then they’re totally open to rewriting… even after production. And they sort of preserve time and money for that. Reshooting, in my case (thank God), is not like you screwed something up and you have to do it again. It’s additional photography because it’s ‘oh what if we had a scene like this so that would make this happen over here.’ And they sort of find the movie… through that process. And it’s hard to get used to because that’s not [how it works] where I came from, but watching them… they are really good at what they do as we’ve all noticed.”
“We’re in the crazy, chicken running around with its head cut off phase, which I think is not an uncommon procedure at Marvel. They’re amazing. They will work down to the wire. Kevin Feige is always trying to make the film better, seeing if he can push it up. I saw them do it on Iron Man 3, The Avengers. It’s like they sort of have to pry the film out of Marvel’s hands and put it up on the screen because he never wants to stop improving things. That’s the phase we’re in now. We are almost done cutting, partly because we have so many visual effects that you can’t go on forever. At a certain point, you have to take your hands of it, and let them do their magic. But we’re literally shooting some things this week. Anthony Hopkins is back in town; we’re gonna be getting some stuff from him. So, we continue to, what Kevin Feige calls, ‘plus’ the movie. There are new scenes being added even now. And I’m sure if there wasn’t a release date, we’d just keep on making it better.”
With this style of filmmaking, it would be pretty difficult to predict exactly what the film’s final running time would be, which is why Taylor finds it so laughable that a rumour had begun circulating stating that he was going toe to proverbial toe with Marvel over the fact that he wanted a longer version of the film, while the studio wanted to trim things down.
“There’s a rumor out there that I was hanging on to a long cut and that Marvel wanted a shorter cut. Hilariously, that was never an issue because I don’t know what the running time is. The change it’s going through now had nothing to do with running time. There’re some tonal pushes and shoves. We have relationships [in the movie] that we need to end the right way and there’re new ways of branding them than we had before.”
“…but I heard the rumor about running time. Not true, I have no idea how long the movie is now. It’s all about making the movie better and better and arm-wrestling over what ‘better’ means. But there have been no running time issues.”
That doesn’t mean that it was all kisses and rainbows (well, beside for the Rainbow Bridge) on the set though, as Taylor did have one altercation over the film’s music. He had personally picked frequent Coen Bros collaborator Carter Burwell (No Country for Old Men, True Grit, Where the Wild Things Are) to score the film, but Marvel eventually replaced the composer with Brian Tyler (Fast Five, The Expendables 1&2, Rambo) who had just done work for them on Iron Man 3.
“The one fall-out I had with Marvel was over music. I had a composer that I really wanted to go with, and it didn’t work out with Marvel. So, I was unhappy with that…”
Fans of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki – which, really, should be every single person in possession of fully functioning eyes and ears – will be happy to know that some of the reshoots that Taylor has done was actually to slightly expand on the screentime for the popular God of mischief.
“We were doing full scenes; scenes that were not in the movie before, we’re adding scenes, creating scenes, writing scenes for the first time. The one [involving Loki] was a fun connective scene that was just… we realized how well Loki was working in the movie. So, we wanted to do more with him. So it was that kind of thing; it was like ‘oh we could do this or jam this in here’ because he’s just a wonderful guy to watch do his stuff. And boy do [the fans love him].”
Oh we really, really do, Mr Taylor! You can see what Loki will be up to with his blonde-locked foster brother when Thor: The Dark World opens in cinemas on November 8, 2013. And because I know that many of you reading this generally obey instructions about as well as a Jack Russell puppy on a sugar rush, here’s that trailer I told you to watch earlier.
Last Updated: August 14, 2013