In a post-COVID-19 world, it looks like Disney is looking to adopt safer methods of production which includes expanding the use of the StageCraft technology used to shoot the first two seasons of The Mandalorian. Using this technology means less production crew would be potentially put in harm’s way for set construction and also limit the number of secondary exterior locations as productions traveling to multiple countries might not be the wisest idea at the moment.
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that ILM’s StageCraft technology will be used for Marvel Studios’ Thor: Love & Thunder (MCU Cosmic mentioned this previously) at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
This comes after writer and director Taika Waititi had used the technology when filming the final episode of the first season of Lucasfilm’s Star Wars series The Mandalorian.
There has been an expectation that Thor: Love & Thunder will begin shooting sometime between January-February of next year as director Destin Daniel Cretton is trying to finish up production on Shang-Chi & The Legend of The Ten Rings allowing Taika to move in for the Thor sequel.
THR adds that they’ll also be adding StageCraft to the Pinewood Studios UK facility.
In addition, ILM is building a StageCraft volume at Pinewood Studios in London (expected to open in February), and a larger custom volume at Fox Studios Australia that will be used for Thor: Love and Thunder. Waititi previously used virtual production when he helmed the final episode of The Mandalorian season one.
Actor Ewan McGregor previously confirmed that his Star Wars series Kenobi directed by Deborah Chow (The Mandalorian) would be implementing the technology during an interview with Ace Universe back in June.
The next Marvel Studios feature film to shoot at Pinewood Studios UK is expected to be Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man 3, who happened to direct an episode of The Mandalorian for Season 2 just like Taika and may also be familiar with StageCraft after his own experience with that show.
Yesterday, I posted an update of sorts on Ant-Man 3 via Twitter that they are deep in pre-production and that we should expect some massive action sequences given they’ll be moving filming from Pinewood Atlanta Studios to Pinewood Studios UK, the latter facility has been used for the Star Wars films and traditional all of the James Bond movies as well.
We should expect this installment to feel more like an event.
I was also able to confirm Marvel/Disney is aiming to release the film sometime in 2020, however, release dates for the next little while will be in flux and most will unlikely be set-in-stone for the foreseeable future given multiple projects will begin production in 2021 meaning that some projects may have be delayed to 2023.
Peyton Reed recently mentioned that the film would be “bigger” and “sprawling” while speaking on The Jess Cagle Show and reaffirmed via Yahoo! Entertainment that Evangeline Lily’s Wasp would be getting equal billing on the sequel.
REED: “They’re a partnership, and she’s a very, very important part of that. And that was a very gratifying thing, I guess technically we were the first Marvel movie with a female hero in the title of the movie. Finding that balance in that movie, that’s very important to me because that’s very much a men’s playing field, historically. But that’s really, really changing now in a great way.”
I’m personally holding out the hope that we’ll see the film morph into some sort of MCU version of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim as Peyton Reed hasn’t been shy about how the films have been influenced by Japanese kaiju projects like Ultraman. Moving the setting of the film outside of San Francisco might also help shake things up given that Scott Lang might be allowed to move a little more freely around the world after the events of Avengers: Endgame.
Most recently the Pinewood facility has been used for Black Widow and Eternals both films are expected to be larger in scale than Ant-Man or Ant-Man & The Wasp. There is also an expectation that the Moon Knight series will spend some time there as well and we should be getting some updates on that show in the near future.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness is confirmed for Longcross Studios in Surrey, England and it’s unknown at this point if they’ll have access to the StageCraft tech, but it’s possible.
This new technology certainly would cut-down costs and post-production time, the safety element is simply a massive benefit.