First Image of Odin and Loki from THOR; Marvel Post-Converting THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA into 3D

     July 14, 2010


When Thor hits theaters on May 6, 2011, it will be doing so in 3D.  Same goes for Captain America: The First Avenger when it hits theaters on July 22, 2011.  Neither was shot in native 3D, so both Thor and the Cap are facing the so-far unproven 3D conversion process.  But Thor director Kenneth Branagh, Captain America director Joe Johnston, and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige understand that taking on 3D conversion is treading into murky territory.  Hit the jump for quotes from the trio that reassure all is well alongside a new image of Thor, Loki, and Odin.

Hero Complex has a piece up right now on how Marvel is preparing for their centerpiece Comic-Con presentation on July 24th in Hall H.  In addition to the announcement of the new Hulk following Edward Norton’s departure, a major part of that will apparently be expressing enthusiasm for 3D.  Branagh remarked,

“We came to feel that in our case 3D could be the very good friend of story and character for a different kind of experience… It’s another draft of the story that can reveal itself in a different way.  I had a healthy degree of skepticism up front … I’ve become somebody extremely excited about working with possibilities of doing it this way.


A pretty careful conversation is what we’ve been having for quite some time about what we know has to be the most sensible decision: Is it led by story? Can this offer a different type of experience and exploit what we have in the story? It absolutely can … we travel very long distances in the movie and the opportunity to export and exploit the journey of the hero is really offered up as a great potential enhancement here.”

Johnston had his own take:

“I think it tends to be overused and can be a little bit gimmicky.  A lot of people are using 3-D now because they feel have they have to… that will come and go and the pictures that deserve to be in 3-D will continue to be. When it’s done bad, it can make you carsick.”

Though a bit more contrarian, Johnston ended up on the positive side, saying “It’s a new challenge and it’s exciting.”

Feige, who is likely most in tune with the business sense of the decision, commented,

“I’d say there’s not a great feeling out there for conversion based on some of the films that may have succeeded financially but had their artistry come under fire.


In being able to think in 3-D from the start — and having every bit of our special effects rendered in true 3-D — we have the opportunity to do it right. When you’re working with a director like Ken Branagh or Joe Johnston, they’re not going to settle for less than perfect image. They’re not going to settle for something that isn’t up to the artistry of everything else they’ve done on the film … they’re not going to put on some overlay in the last 10 to 12 weeks of post-production for a fiscal reason.”

The thing I take issue with the most is of “from the start.”  Johnston reportedly tested out shooting in native 3D, but the rigs were just too bulky.  Completely understandable.

But had the rigs meet his needs as a director, and he shot with 3D cameras, that would have been “from the start.”  I am glad they are starting the 3D conversion process relatively early (shades of The Green Hornet rather than Clash of the Titans), but to call it “from the start” seems like disingenuous phrasing from a man I respect.

The technology, by necessity and familiarity, must be getting more efficient.  So maybe the time they have will be enough to put something pretty up on screen.  Here’s hoping.

Anyway, here’s the full image.  Click for high resolution.


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