As many theorized ahead of release, the half of Asgard that escaped Thano's wrath in Avengers: Infinity War eventually settled on Earth in a remote fishing village they dubbed New Asgard. To make New Asgard, Marvel Studios moved to production to St Abbs, a tiny village on the southeastern coast of Scotland. Despite being a practical location, much of New Asgard ended up being enhanced digitally, a task that fell to the team at Industrial Light and Magic, led by visual effects supervisor Russell Earl.
ComicBook.com spoke with both Earl and ILM modeling supervisor Bruce Holcomb, who gave us a behind-the-scenes look at what all was involved in the creation of the new village and some of its most popular inhabitants. First and foremost, Earl tells us that nearly every single building filmed had some sort of alteration done. While about half of them were physically shot, the group tried referencing previous films to get just the right amount of Asgardian flare.
"We went in and we added an Asgardian touch," Earl recounts. "A little bit of mural and paintwork and we changed all the buildings and we went through all the assets they had used in building Asgard and sort of picked some key characteristics that we could use."
"We were also looking at Norwegian fishing villages as reference and just trying to find that balance of Asgard versus Scandinavian fishing village. So we added a boat or two I think, and we augmented almost all the buildings," he continues. "Then we brought the hillside in a little bit and we sort of changed the coastline from, but it was great because we had a good location to start with and then we could just build off that to give it the sort of right mix of new and old.
Then with New Asgard also came Thor's new look and the reintroduction of Korg and Miek, two fan-favorite characters first introduced in Thor: Ragnarok. It was a pretty funny scene, where Korg was left fuming against some kid beating him on Fortnite while Miek was having the time of his life by smashing a fresh pizza pie.
"Like one of the ideas that made it in there was when he ends up throwing a piece of pizza at the TV, that was something that the animation team came up with," reveals Earl. "And you know, those guys are such great characters. It was their moment to shine too, Miek in particular but Korgas well. When I asked them about the decision to give Miek a piece of pizza in each claw while another was already in his mouth, Earl admits that it's something the animation team at ILM came up with as an attempt at character development in the smallest timeframe possible."
"Like one of the ideas that made it in there was when he ends up throwing a piece of pizza at the TV," Earl remembers. "That was something that the animation team came up with and you know, those guys are such great characters. It was their moment to shine too, Miek in particular but Korg as well."
But at the end of the day, no matter what goofy ideas the ILM team came up with, Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo were all about whatever additions that would help push the story forward.
"The Russos are all about storytelling, so it's not just doing shots per se, we're always thinking about, 'Okay, so what is the story here? What's going on? What are they doing?'" the VFX boss remembers. "And just trying to imbibe as much character as we can into them. Even though they're on screen for the brief moments, it's trying to give them a story and give them character and life."
Were you surprised to see Korg and Miek in Avengers: Endgame? Who's your favorite supporting character in the entire MCU? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or by tweeting me at @AdamBarnhardt!
Avengers: Endgame is now in theaters and will be followed by Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 2nd. Captain Marvel will be available digitally on May 28th ahead of a home media release on June 11th.
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