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Behind a Wet N’ Wild Waterpark off the Gold Coast of Australia, filmmaker Taika Waititi sets up the grand climactic battle of Thor: Ragnarok. Thor and his motley crew (Hulk, Loki & Valkyrie) line up, weapons drawn, ready to attack the film’s ‘big bad’: Hela (new-to-the-franchise Cate Blanchett). The scene is so late into the film that when I (along with a number of other press outlets) arrive on set, the first thing Unit Publicist Ernie Malick does is shake his head in chagrin and tell us ‘He can’t believe we’re here on this day of all days.’ The scene is so spoilery that even now over eight months later, Disney sent out an email reminding everyone not to reveal [redacted]. Typically, on sets, the press will sit behind a makeshift video village (complete with monitor and audio headphones); but on Thor: Ragnarok those audio headphones were taken away just in case we overheard any late-game plot twists. This, of course, did little to dissuade endless speculation amongst the press about what Loki could be saying to Thor or what Hela’s saying to Loki… All of the sudden, a bunch of movie geeks became amateur detectives, attempting to read the lips off actors on a monitor. This was, well, less than successful.
Still though – I learned a ton about the latest Thor adventure during my time on set. I’ve already written up separate articles on Thor Ragnarok’s comic book influences, its place in the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe and how Ragnarok deviates from the prior Thor films. Below, however, is a bullet-point catch-all of everything else I learned on set about Thor: Ragnarok (*that I’m allowed to talk about without fear of Thor slamming Mjolnir down on my head*)