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SYFY WIRE Thor: Love and Thunder

WIRE Buzz: Thor: Love and Thunder using Mandalorian tech; Sigourney Weaver in Avatar 2; Superman radio

By Jacob Oller
Thor Love and Thunder official photo

The Mandalorian’s StageCraft tech used to blend virtual backgrounds with real-life performers, set pieces, and props is making its way to another Disney franchise. The big ol’ curved LED backdrop running massive VFX environments crafted in the Unreal Engine (yes, like a video game) is coming to the next Thor film.

An Industrial Light and Magic blog post notes that ILM is building StageCraft sets at London’s Pinewood Studios and Fox Studios Australia — the latter for Taika Waititi’s upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder. Waititi appeared in and directed some of The Mandalorian’s first season, so he’s already familiar with the tech... and by the sounds of it, it’s only improved since his time working with it.

The post notes that these new creations will be “vast improvements” over the first stages “by every measure,” highlighting a larger size, more LED panels, higher resolutions, and generally overall better execution of the blend between this new VFX hardware and the real world. Sounds like fans can expect Thor and pals to zip through some wild worlds thanks to this new technology... and the actors won’t even have that glazed-over green screen look in their eyes!

Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on Feb. 11, 2022.

Next, Avatar fans (or those that can still remember the plot of the 2009 movie) know that Sigourney Weaver’s Dr. Grace Augustine doesn’t quite make it to the end of the movie. But, Weaver is coming back for the sequels as a new character that’s still under wraps. Thanks to some new set photos from the shoot, fans know that the under-wraps character will also be underwater.

The film is going to be highly aquatic — as fans have gotten to see stars Kate Winslet, Zoe Saldana, Cliff Curtis, and Sam Worthington already take various dips — but now Weaver’s down in the depths as well.

Take a look:

“From the set of the Avatar sequels: Sigourney Weaver never shies away from a stunt, not even when it's underwater!” the tweet reads. Apart from its exploration of filmmaker James Cameron’s aquatic obsession, we don’t really know much about the movie. There’s a big submersible crab thing... and that’s about it. Pretty cool crab, though.

The long-delayed Avatar 2 plans to hit theaters on Dec. 16, 2022.

Finally, as DC FanDome’s second weekend approaches, one of its more interesting events involves a long-lost radio play. DC FanDome, holding its second and final event of the year on Saturday, will present an hour-long performance of the 1940s The Adventures of Superman radio series.

Featuring a cast of voice actors including Eric McCormack, Henry Winkler, Alfre Woodard, Jason Alexander, Giancarlo Esposito, Tim Daly, CCH Pounder, Troian Bellisario, Wilson Cruz, Anthony Rapp, and Lea DeLaria, the performance utilizes old scripts from the serial that were discovered recently in the Warner Bros. archives.

The show goes live at 1 p.m. Eastern on Sept. 12.