During Thor: Ragnarok’s filming, the creative team decided to use an 8-bit rendering to plan out action scenes and bring the battles to life.
Thor: Ragnarok was one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most unique films. Its change in theme from fantasy epic to more of a cosmic space comedy was spearheaded by the film’s director, Taika Waititi. The movie reinvigorated the fans’ love of the character. Tonally, the film feels completely different from its two predecessors. However, its action sequences managed to maintain the strength and power that was felt in Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) previous outings, including the Avengers films. The film’s battle sequences were planned using an unusual method befitting of such an unusual movie.
Rather than plot out the sequence using storyboards or acting them out, Waititi and his previsualization team created 8-bit video game-style sequences that mapped out the film’s events. Two of its action sequences, the “Final Bridge Battle” and the “Sakaar Spaceship Battle,” were showcased as special features on Disney+. While they follow a similar chain of events to the film, some alterations were made during the scenes’ filming.Continue Scrolling To Keep ReadingClick the button below to start this article in quick view.START NOW
While the Sakaar Spaceship Battle in the theatrical cut was an almost exact recreation of the 8-bit rendering, the Final Bridge Battle had a few minor changes that served the film a lot better when shown on screen. The 8-bit battle began the same as the finished film, with Heimdall’s (Idris Elba) band of Asgardians flanked on both sides by Hela’s (Cate Blanchett) undead army and her wolf Fenrir. A battle ensued with the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) taking on Fenrir and a newly reformed Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Korg (Taika Waititi) pulling over to help get the Asgardian citizens to safety.
Like in the finished Thor: Ragnarok, Thor appeared with his new lighting abilities, and with the help of Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and his friends, they began to fight Hela. One of the first changes noticed was Loki speeding off to get the Eternal Flame. Rather than using the Grandmaster’s (Jeff Goldblum) spaceship, like in the theatrical cut, Loki took off on an Asgardian speeder. Another change shown was the Hulk fighting Hela and being knocked off of the Bifrost, only to return to fight Surtur. In the film, the pacing was changed so that Hulk was taken off the Bifrost when he fought Fenrir. He missed the Hela battle entirely but still returned to fight Surtur.
But the biggest change from the 8-bit scene to the final film is Hela’s death. In the film, Hela falls with a broken piece of the Bifrost into the water below but returned to face Surtur before he destroyed Asgard. She lost as he drove his sword through the planet, destroying her and the realm. In the 8-bit version, Hela’s demise appeared to come as she fell off of the Bifrost. The scene then concluded with Surtur destroying Asgard without Hela’s interference.
These sequences show how much a scene may or may not change as filmmakers work out what will benefit the finished product. The 8-bit sequences were a unique way to plan out the film’s action scenes. However, they’re also an entertaining way to craft the film and perfectly mirror Thor: Ragnarok‘s overall retro tone, showing how much the creative team cared about attention to detail.