Dan Hennah (Lord of The Rings, King Kong, The Hobbit) was quietly revealed as apart of the Thor: Ragnarok production team, with a set photo from director Taika Waititi revealing he would be acting as the film’s production designer.
— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) July 4, 2016
The talented Kiwi had previously worked as the production designer on The Hobbit trilogy and art director on The Lord of The Ring trilogy. The five-time Oscar nominated Hennah would eventually land his first Oscar for Best Art Direction-Set Design for Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King, back in 2003.
Some examples of his production design from The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings.
Ragnarok‘s visual special effects supervisor Jamie Morrison (Thor, Thor: The Dark World, The Avengers, Ant-Man) is also a Lord of Rings, alumni having worked on Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers.
It’s a huge win for the Thor fans hugely disappointed with the look of the sets, along with the franchise not taking more active steps to look more like Middle-Earth. Considering, that J.R.R. Tolkien’s books took direct influence from the Norse mythology this Marvel franchise is based upon, it was confusing to us why Marvel hadn’t actively pursued a more Tolkien take on Asgard and the Nine Realms.
We still haven’t even been introduced to the light elves, dwarves, rock trolls (originally apart of Thor), valkyrie (originally apart of Thor: The Dark World), dragons, the undead armies, or any number of other creatures within the Thor universe. Not to mention better to explore the multiple unused realms, instead of making them look like obvious sound stages.
We have some hope that Ragnarok could address all the these nagging issues we’ve had with the franchise. Kevin Fiege has already fixed a couple with excluding a time spent of on Earth along with Portman’s Jane Foster and her science team not returning.
If you look close enough at this first piece of concept art released by Marvel, you can see some slight Hobbit/Rings design elements added to Asgard and their soldiers, a promising design upgrade which will likely be a lot more apparent when footage and stills start getting released.
A couple of set builds had been spotted via Gold Coast Bulletin, and they do give the impression they could be going with stronger production design than previously seen.
Shooting is currently underway in Australia with actors Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchette, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban and Jeff Goldblum, we can’t wait until more set photos start rolling-in.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) July 12, 2016
It’s possible that Marvel Studios could be sharing new production art or a behind the scenes look during their San Diego Comic-Con presentation on Saturday.
Thor: Ragnarok is set for release on November, 2017.