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!

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The Disney California Adventure attraction is awarded in the “Attraction Reimagining” category.

As first announced this past November, when the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) revealed its annual winners, Disney California Adventure ‘s Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! was honored at the Thea Awards Gala in Anaheim, CA on April 7.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! was awarded in the “Attraction Reimagining” category, having become an instant hit among guests that is now the top-rated attraction at Disneyland Resort.

Besides Mission: BREAKOUT!, other popular Super Hero experiences are currently available at Disney California Adventure, including the chance to meet familiar faces like Black Panther and the Dora Milaje, and soon, Doctor Strange.

In addition, it was recently revealed that an entire new Super Hero-themed land is coming to Disney California Adventure in 2020.

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Guests will soon have the opportunity to encounter the Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange, at Disney California Adventure park!

Doctor Strange acts as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and relics to protect the universe. Guests will soon get a glimpse into his magical, mind-bending world when he appears for the first time at the Disneyland Resort.

Doctor Strange travels great distances in an instant by opening portals between dimensions. There’s no telling where and when he might appear, so be sure to stay tuned for more information!

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Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture looks at Marvel's 80-year history in a world premiere exhibition.

The world premiere exhibition MARVEL: Universe of Super Heroes is coming soon to MoPOP, the Museum of Pop Culture located in Seattle, Washington.

The largest exhibition ever staged at MoPOP, MARVEL: Universe of Super Heroes features more than 300 original artifacts including iconic artwork, costumes, and props from such comics and films as Captain America, The Avengers, Jessica Jones, and many more.

The exhibition invites guests to journey through Marvel’s 80-year history from inception to modern day with comics, films, artifacts, and interactives. Immersive set pieces place guests into classic comic book scenescapes like Tony Stark’s lab, giving them a first-person view of the super hero’s world, while a thrilling soundscape by composers Lorne Balfe and Hans Zimmer completes the scene.

Themed sections dive into the narratives of Marvel’s most beloved characters—like Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Doctor Strange—and showcase their connection to and impact on real-world issues like gender, race, and mental illness.

The opening weekend for MARVEL: Universe of Super Heroes is April 21-22 and tickets for opening weekend and beyond can be purchased now at https://www.mopop.org/marvel.

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At Disneyland Resort, the new Super Hero-themed land will begin recruiting guests in 2020, with even more new experiences to follow. The Guardians of the Galaxy will be joined by Spider-Man and the Avengers in what will become a completely immersive Super Hero universe, furthering the evolution of Disney California Adventure park. This new land will be anchored by the popular Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, in the adjacent space that is currently occupied by “a bug’s land.” “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” closed March 19 to make way for this new heroic experience; the rest of the land will close in late summer.

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Multi-year expansion plans are also underway at Hong Kong Disneyland, including a new themed area that will include an exciting attraction where guests team up with Ant-Man and The Wasp. This new attraction will join the Iron Man Experience, which opened in 2017 and is already the most popular attraction at the resort.

Join your favorite heroes soon for these and more epic adventures at Disney Parks around the world!

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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

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“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!

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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.

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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?

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