Museum curator Amanda Slack-Smith lays out the new MCU exhibition!

On May 27, ’Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe,’ the epic new museum exhibition, opened at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art in Queensland, Australia! And over 6,000 visitors lined out the door to experience the exhibition in the opening weekend alone!

A journey through the Marvel Cinematic Universe – from “Iron Man” to “Thor: Ragnarok” – the collection chronicles the entire filmmaking process, showcasing rare comic books and early concept art to screen-used props and wardrobe. ’Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’ is a look at the craft and care in every line drawn, seam stitched, and shot filmed that’s sure to fascinate Marvel fans and art lovers alike.

We spoke with Amanda Slack-Smith, Curator of ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe,’ about the thousands of pieces on display now at QAGOMA.

Marvel.com: How did this exhibition come to QAGOMA? Where did it all start?

Amanda Slack-Smith: Our state’s film industry body, Screen Queensland, were in negotiations with Marvel to shoot “Thor: Ragnarok” here in Queensland, and they suggested that Queensland also has an art museum that’s uniquely suited to film-related projects. QAGOMA is the only facility in Australia to specialise in the presentation of film as an art medium within an art museum environment, setting it in a small group of international market leaders, alongside the Centre Pompidou (Paris), Museum of Modern Art (New York) and Tate Modern (London).

The idea grew from this initial meeting, and it firmed up once we were able to meet the Marvel teams in Los Angeles and visit a number of their storage facilities to see the incredible props and costumes available. The filming of “Thor: Ragnarok” at the Gold Coast, very near the Gallery, was also important particularly when we were able to visit the sets and speak with some of the creative people working there, such as Brad Winderbaum (Executive Producer) and Dan Hennah (Production Designer) and were really able to connect with their passion for filmmaking and the franchise. Dave Bushore, Vice President, Franchise Creative and Marketing, from Marvel Studios also visited during this time and was enthusiastic about the idea of showing these objects and artworks within a museum framework.

Marvel.com: After the decision is made to take on such a major multimedia showing, what happens next? What’s your process for choosing the items to display?

Amanda Slack-Smith: We were in discussions with the Marvel team from the beginning about what was available from their extensive archives—and it was a lot—and then thinking about how we could present it in an art museum context. What were the thematic ideas we could draw from the films and what stories could we tell about the technical elements of filmmaking that would really make sense in an exhibition like this?

The Marvel teams were fantastic and really open to how we were wanted to tell these stories. They were supportive to our requests to the point that 50% of elements in the exhibition have never been seen outside of the set or archives. Nearly everything in the exhibition has come from Marvel with the exception of a few pieces from private collectors—such as the first issues of comics from the 1960s, which depict the debut appearances of all the MCU characters in the exhibition—and to be able to show authentic set-worn props and costumes alongside working drawings and artworks really set the tone to for the exhibition experience.

Marvel.com: As opposed to presenting a piece of artwork that has a self-contained process and construction, this exhibition illustrates the development of a film across disciplines and media—from comic book, to storyboard, to production design, to costuming, to film. How did you tell that story with this show? What was your vision for the layout and presentation of these pieces?

Amanda Slack-Smith: The exhibition is divided into three thematic strands, each allocated to a Gallery space. “The Cinematic Assembled” is very much the in-universe look at the characters and teams, breaking down the demarcations between individual films to explore the larger narrative arcs at play. It begins with a nod to Marvel’s comic book roots, with original appearances of MCU characters, as well as contemporary comic book narratives that have inspired the films.

This is followed by a focus on the Avengers, looking at the group coming together and pulling apart on ideological grounds as seen in “Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Avengers Age of Ultron,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Captain America: Civil War.”

Next is Captain America, a space featuring elements from “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” with a particular nod to the feel of the Smithsonian exhibition seen in the latter film. It’s followed by our “Alternate dimension” space, which brings together the film featuring human characters that venture into other worlds through the quantum realm (“Ant-Man”), astral projection and mirror dimensions (“Doctor Strange”) and the intergalactic (“Guardians of the Galaxy”). This area wouldn’t be complete without The Collector and the five infinity stones which underpin the universe. The last space in this strand is the Asgardian throne room which features the amazing set pieces from “Thor: Ragnarok,” including the throne, columns, murals and floor tiles directly from the set as well as elements from “Thor” and “Thor: The Dark World.”

“Decoding the Universe,” in our second Gallery, starts to deconstruct things a bit more, with a deep dive into the character of Iron Man and Tony Stark’s evolution across “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2” and “Iron Man 3,” as well as an opportunity to explore all of the character across the films through comic books and interactive experiences.

Finally, “Behind the scenes” breaks down some of the filmmaking process with a closer look at storyboarding, animatics, previsualisation, keyframe artwork, costumes and props, make-up and prosthetics, post-production techniques such as computer generated imagery (CGI) and some awesome interactives. This space is a celebration of the artists, artisans and creative people working to bring these ideas together, under the guidance of the film makers, producers and production designers, to create the seamless films we enjoy in the cinema.

Naturally, we are also screening a retrospective of all of the films, from “Iron Man” to “Spider-Man: Homecoming” in the cinema during the exhibition.

Marvel.com: As a museum curator, you might see these items differently than even the biggest Marvel fan does. What stands out to you about these individual works?

Amanda Slack-Smith: I think fans and I are looking for the same thing, to find transformative and meaningful experiences told through creativity and passion. All of the works in the exhibition are a celebration of this, evident in the care and craftsmanship shown by the many artists involved from comic books to feature films.

A comic book highlight would have to be the original first page of Amazing Fantasy #15 featuring the first appearance of Spider-Man in 1962 drawn by Steve Ditko on loan from the Library of Congress in Washington. It’s a cultural treasure and a really important component of Marvel’s history. The throne room of Asgard, as drawn from the set of “Thor: Ragnarok,” is a definite highlight as its grandeur and scale allows visitors to experience what it might feel like to be on a film set. I think everyone seems to stand a little straighter and walk more purposefully when in the space!

Marvel.com: What are the differences between viewing these items up close in a museum versus viewing them on screen?

Amanda Slack-Smith: You get to see incredible detail! The costumes and props are so painstakingly crafted, but on screen they are a whirl of colour and movement. To be able to take the time to appreciate the leathery skin texture of the Thanos bust or the intricate use of materials in the costumes of Doctor Strange are experiences that are rare and fascinating. The attention to detail is something to behold and a testament to the craftsmanship and care taken in all aspects of their creation.

Marvel.com: What do you want visitors to take away from this experience?

Amanda Slack-Smith: The world of filmmaking is rich and complex, hopefully we’ve been able to not only let visitors experience the joy of seeing the physical elements they’ve loved seeing on screen in-person, but also pulled aside the curtain enough for them to see how these seamless cinematic experiences are created by the passionate and creative people involved.

“Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe” is open through September at QAGOMA in Queensland, Australia!

Read More

The King of Wakanda and the Dora Milaje are now at the Disneyland Resort!

Now at Disney California Adventure park, guests can welcome the king of Wakanda! For this limited-time experience, Black Panther will arrive in the Hollywood Backlot area of the park flanked by his Royal Guards, the Dora Milaje.

King T’Challa, the Black Panther, of Wakanda, arrives for meet and greets at Disney California Adventure park, accompanied by members of the Dora Milaje – 2/16/18. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

Marvel Studios’ record-breaking hit, “Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and Black Panther — is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk.

King T’Challa, the Black Panther, of Wakanda, arrives for meet and greets at Disney California Adventure park, accompanied by members of the Dora Milaje – 2/16/18. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

Come encounter Black Panther now, only at Disney California Adventure park, along with more epic Super Hero experiences, including Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance-Off!” and Heroic Encounter: Spider-Man and Captain America.

Read More

A look at what it's like to encounter Marvel Super Heroes on your journey on the Disney Magic.

From incredible heroic encounters to a spellbinding journey into the Mystic Arts and a super-charged nighttime show with the first-ever Marvel battle at sea, families have more ways than ever to unleash their inner super hero during Marvel Day at Sea aboard the Disney Magic.

The event debuted on cruises from New York City this past fall and returned on select voyages from Miami in January. Now, hear more about the celebration from some of the event’s creators, and get a first-ever video look (as seen at the top of this page) at the incredible heroic encounters your family can experience together.

Marvel Day at Sea takes place on one epic day aboard select 5-night Disney Magic sailings to the Caribbean and Bahamas through April. And just announced, the event will return from January to early March, 2019!

Read More

Epcot's Guardians of the Galaxy attraction will be an enclosed roller coaster!

Today at D23 Expo Japan 2018, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek shared exciting new details about the many ambitious projects underway around the world, from reimagined favorites to entirely new ways that guests can encounter Marvel Super Heroes.

Following the news that Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is preparing to incorporate popular stories and characters into Disneyland Paris, Chapek shared that the Marvel Super Hero universe will come to Disneyland Paris’ Walt Disney Studios Park, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster will be totally reimagined as a high-speed, hyper-kinetic adventure where guests will team up with Iron Man and their favorite Avengers.

A newly reimagined Marvel-themed attraction is coming to Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris, where riders will team up with Iron Man and their favorite Avengers on a high-speed, hyper-kinetic adventure to another dimension.

Fans also got a peek into one of the rooms that will open at Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel at Disneyland Paris in 2020. And for those guests who just can’t wait to encounter Marvel at Disneyland Paris, starting this June, Marvel Summer of Super Heroes will bring guests face-to-face with Captain America, Spider-Man, Star-Lord and Black Widow.

Super Heroes have already descended on Hong Kong Disneyland with Iron Man Experience, the most popular attraction at the resort, and more is soon to come with an entire Marvel-themed area underway. Today, Chapek shared new details about the second new Marvel attraction set for Hong Kong Disneyland, where guests will be invited to team up with Ant-Man and The Wasp to fight Arnim Zola and his army of Hydra swarm bots in a thrilling new adventure.

Buzz is also building around Star-Lord and his fellow Guardians of the Galaxy coming to Epcot at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It was revealed at D23 Expo Japan that this attraction will in fact be a roller coaster – and one of the longest enclosed roller coasters in the world!

The Guardians of the Galaxy attraction at Epcot, which will feature a brand-new, innovative ride system, will open in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort in 2021.

Read More

'Guardians of the Galaxy' star saw an old friend and met the Collector's latest acquisitions.

Dave Bautista, who stars as Drax in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, visited Disney California Adventure park yesterday, making a special stop at Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! to visit with an old friend.

“I am Groot!” exclaimed Groot upon his arrival.

Dave also took the opportunity to explore The Collector’s Fortress and its famous collection of artifacts from throughout the galaxy. He stopped to take a closer look at Taneleer Tivan’s newest acquisitions: three Vyloos from the planet Berhert.

You can click here to read more about the Vyloos, and check them out for yourselves at Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disney California Adventure park!

Read More

Visit the Caribbean and Bahamas alongside Marvel Super Heroes and Villains.

Are you feeling heroic? From January to early March, 2019, 10 special five-night Disney Magic sailings will take guests to the Caribbean and Bahamas, along with an action-packed, day-long celebration of the Marvel Universe.

Occurring on one action-packed day during each of the select five-night Disney Magic sailings, Marvel Day at Sea combines the thrills of renowned Marvel comics, films and animated series, with the largest collection of Marvel Super Heroes and Villains assembled on a cruise ship.

The event features all-day entertainment including interactions with some of the mightiest Marvel Super Heroes and the menacing foes who oppose them, an extraordinary deck show spectacular, Marvel-themed youth activities, special merchandise and unique food and beverage offerings.

Marvel Day at Sea 2019 will only be on Disney Magic five-night Caribbean and Bahamian cruises sailing from Miami, Fla., departing Jan. 6, 11, 20, 25, Feb. 3, 8, 17, 22, March 3 and 8.

Are your Spider-senses tingling yet?

Read More

The Vyloos were seen in Marvel Studios' 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2!'

Taneleer Tivan is expanding his collection of rare items from across the galaxy with three new acquisitions. These Vyloos, native to the planet Berhert, may look familiar to Terrans who have seen the film, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”

Guests visiting The Collector’s Fortress at Disney California Adventure park will find these little birds to be very responsive, friendly and outgoing – responding to noises and movement – but they can also suddenly become extremely shy and introverted.

Vyloos are the latest addition to Taneleer Tivan’s collection at Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disney California Adventure park

They may look adorable, but beware! These little birds have been known to defend themselves when threatened, so the Tivan Group has assured us that they will be kept fully enclosed in their glass display case at all times. As long as the fortress power source remains operational, they will be safely contained.

The Collector invites you to come see these new acquisitions for yourself, on display beginning this week at Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disney California Adventure park!

Read More

There are a ton of familiar Marvel faces to encounter on the Disney Magic.

Brand-new to the Disney vacation experience, Black Panther joined the collection of Super Heroes aboard the Disney Magic for Marvel Day at Sea.

When he’s not showing off his mastery of unarmed combat skills during an epic battle at sea, Black Panther is inspiring young guests with his superhuman strength and intellect.

The mischievous Loki also made his debut to the Disney vacation experience during Marvel Day at Sea. He may even charm you like only the God of Mischief can. That is, when he isn’t resenting the shadow of his half-brother, Thor.

Even Spider-Man needs to relax after showing off his super strength and agility, and of course there’s no better place to do that than a Disney cruise.

You may also find Doctor Strange teaching kids how to create portals to other worlds…

Black Widow and Hawkeye inspiring them to unleash their inner super hero…

Or Captain America embodying honor, integrity, courage and trustworthiness.

Black Panther and Spider-Man are two of the Marvel heroes you are guaranteed a time to meet and take photographs with during the cruise. Before you even step onboard, you have the chance to reserve time with these characters and more under the My Disney Cruise section of www.disneycruise.com.

Marvel Day at Sea returns to the Disney Magic in January on select sailings from Miami through April. If you’re joining the fun, be sure to share photos of your heroic encounters with #MarvelDayatSea.

Read More

The Armored Avenger and a trio of Guardians of the Galaxy are all part of the fun.

Boasting the largest collection of Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains ever assembled on a cruise ship, Marvel Day at Sea offers heroic encounters of epic proportions.

The Marvel Day at Sea sailings from New York City this fall marked the first official appearance of Iron Man, Star-Lord, Gamora and Groot on a Disney Cruise Line ship. They’ll soon be back when Marvel Day at Sea returns on select sailings from Miami this January through April.

When Tony Stark isn’t promoting the latest Stark Industries technology, he’s greeting guests and showing off his Iron Man armor. Don’t miss the chance to shake his hand before his big gala that night.

You may even run into some of your favorite Guardians of the Galaxy around the ship.

Just know that Gamora may not be very amused if Star-Lord kicks off an impromptu dance party! But you’ll have another chance to see the dance-loving Star-Lord get his groove on later in the evening at Fathoms nightclub, which turns into a Ravager hideout just for adults.

Iron Man and Groot are two of the Marvel heroes you are guaranteed a time to meet and take photographs with during the cruise. Before you even step onboard, you have the chance to reserve time with these characters and more under the My Disney Cruise section of www.disneycruise.com.

Want to see more of the Super Heroes and Villains you can encounter during Marvel Day at Sea? Stay tuned for another inside look later this week.

Read More

Learn more about the Doctor Strange and 'Marvel Heroes Unite' shows available on the Disney Magic.

If you missed the first season of Marvel Day at Sea sailing from New York City this fall, you’re still in luck. The epic event returns to the Disney Magic on select cruises from Miami this January through April.

This daylong celebration is packed with exciting entertainment for the entire family, including opportunities for heroic encounters with more than a dozen legendary Marvel characters. An interactive show with Doctor Strange and a nighttime deck show spectacular are at the top of the list!

During “Doctor Strange: Journey into the Mystic Arts,” Doctor Stephen Strange invites you to discover the world of the Mystic Arts. You’ll be transported from the Walt Disney Theatre to the New York Sanctum Sanctorum, the residence of Doctor Strange.

Young apprentices play a special role in the experience, as Doctor Strange calls upon them to learn the fundamentals of the Mystic Arts.

After completion of their mystic arts training, the students put their new skills to the test when suddenly an epic battle against the Dark Dimension ensues!

Later that night, Marvel Day at Sea culminates with “Marvel Heroes Unite,” a show featuring incredible stunts, special effects, pyrotechnics and the largest collection of Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains ever assembled on a cruise ship.

Tony Stark, dressed for the occasion in his Iron Man armor, throws an exclusive gala on the high seas aboard the Disney Magic to unveil the latest Stark Industries technology. Super Heroes like Captain America, Black Widow and Hawkeye make their grand entrances to join him.

The party suddenly turns into a battle at sea when the villainous Loki and sinister cohorts invade the ship. As a special guest at the gala, you’re in the middle of the ensuing action! The excitement continues as you witness heroic entrances by Black Panther, Thor, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man. Even Star-Lord, Gamora and Groot join this ultimate confrontation of Super Heroes and Villains.

Do the Super Heroes prevail? Join us for Marvel Day at Sea in 2018 to find out!

Read More