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 spy turned Avenger can be seen aboard the Disney Magic!

The premiere of Marvel Day at Sea is just around the corner! Marvel fans will want to join us as we count down to this epic celebration on select cruises aboard the Disney Magic.

As we near the debut, we’re featuring some of the mighty Marvel Super Heroes you can meet onboard during the daylong event, giving you insights into who they are and how you can get some face time with them.

Get ready to meet another ultra-cool Marvel Super Hero. Black Widow is just one of the many Marvel Super Heroes you can encounter during Marvel Day at Sea aboard select Disney Magic cruises.

Black Widow is one of the world’s greatest spies and a master of disguise. Natasha Romanov, known by many aliases, is an expert infiltrator, athlete and assassin. Brilliant and determined, Black Widow serves as a top S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and is one of the Avengers.

During this one epic day on each sailing, you may cross paths with the legendary super spy, Black Widow around the ship and see her battling villains with her wits, wisdom and strength in the nighttime deck show. In Marvel’s Avengers Academy, Black Widow teaches young recruits how to expertly maneuver through an elaborate laser grid maze, how to learn the secrets of their foes and other important secret agent skills.

Marvel Day at Sea premieres on select 7- and 8-night Disney Cruise Line sailings from New York this fall, and returns on select 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in early 2018.

To meet more Super Heroes assembling for this epic event, take a look back at these previous posts:

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Inside the Collector’s Fortress at Disney California Adventure Park.

Things are getting spooky at the Disneyland Resort right now thanks to their big Halloween Time experience, and a notable part of that is Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark at Disney California Adventure Park. The new night time version of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! finds the Collector’s fortress in a dire situation, thanks to the escape of all of the creatures he had captured.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark includes a new video that guests are shown as they walk through the Collector’s archive and view some of the valuable items he has acquired. Rather than the normal footage of Taneleer Tivan welcoming you, this version hints at just how ominous the situation is After Dark…

For a look at what to expect, check out the transmission at the top of the page from The Collector’s assistant, Apheta!

Want to see more? You can help Rocket #SaveGroot at Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark each night during Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, now through October 31, with Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! continuing throughout the season during the day.

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ECHL announces Marvel Super Hero Nights for the 2017-18 season!

The ECHL announced on Tuesday that the 2017-18 Season will feature Marvel Super Hero themed games throughout the hockey league’s 27 Teams—including specialty jerseys, character appearances, co-branded ECHL/Marvel merchandise, and other in-game promotions during the designated events.

At a press conference broadcast from the famed comic book store Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, representatives from the ECHL, Marvel, MeiGray Group, and the AMC series “Comic Book Men” discussed the relationship and the excitement for the upcoming games.

“Marvel is thrilled to work with the ECHL to provide all of their fans and ours with a one-of-a-kind in-game experience by bringing together the power of the Marvel brand with the energy and excitement of professional hockey,” said Marvel Vice President, Digital Media & Marketing Solutions, Jonathan Parkhideh.

Over the course of the season, each ECHL team will adorn a special Marvel Super Hero theme jersey featuring one of several characters including Captain America, Ironman, Thor, Hulk, or collectively as the Avengers, with the ECHL team’s own logo intertwined. Several ECHL Marvel Super Hero Nights will feature these characters against each other with both teams wearing a specialty themed jersey.

“The ECHL is proud to partner with Marvel, one of Disney’s most popular brands, in their first ever North American league-wide partnership,” said Brian McKenna, Commissioner of the ECHL. “We would also like to thank Barry Meisel and the MeiGray Group for their participation to bring these Super Heroes to the ice by way of the specialty jerseys. The ECHL takes great pride in providing new and creative ideas to entertain our fans and expand our audience and Marvel is the ideal partner to continue this trend.”

As part of this first-of-its-kind league-wide program, all ECHL-Marvel themed jerseys will be auctioned off to the public through The MeiGray Group. For complete details on the ECHL-Marvel Super Hero Night in the ECHL market nearest you, please see the schedule below—or contact your ECHL team directly.

ECHL – MARVEL Super Hero Game Nights

ECHL Team                                        Game Date

Adirondack Thunder                           November 25, 2017
Allen Americans                                 January 15, 2018
Atlanta Gladiators                               December 2, 2017
Brampton Beast                                  November 19, 2017
Cincinnati Cyclones                            February 9-10, 2018
Colorado Eagles                                  March 18, 2018
Florida Everblades                              November 18, 2017
Fort Wayne Komets                            April 7, 2018
Greenville Swamp Rabbits                 March 6, 2018
Idaho Steelheads                                 March 24, 2018
Indy Fuel                                             November 18, 2017
Jacksonville IceMen                           November 17, 2017
Kalamazoo Wings                               January 20, 2018
Kansas City Mavericks                       November 11, 2017
Manchester Monarchs                         January 20, 2018
Norfolk Admirals                                March 3, 2018
Orlando Solar Bears                            November 25, 2017
Quad City Mallards                             January 19, 2018
Rapid City Rush                                 February 10, 2018
Reading Royals                                   December 30, 2017
South Carolina Stingrays                    November 18, 2017
Toledo Walleye                                   November 4, 2017
Tulsa Oilers                                         March 25, 2018
Utah Grizzlies                                     October 28, 2017
Wheeling Nailers                                November 10, 2017
Wichita Thunder                                 November 25, 2017
Worcester Railers                                March 2-3, 2018

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Spider-Man is bringing his friendly neighborhood heroics to the Disney Magic!

The premiere of Marvel Day at Sea is just around the corner! Marvel fans will want to join us as we count down to this epic celebration on select cruises aboard the Disney Magic.

As we near the debut, we’re featuring some of the mighty Marvel Super Heroes you can meet onboard during the daylong event, giving you insights into who they are and how you can get some face time with them.

Today, let’s get to know your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, known for his web-slinging, acrobatic talents.

High school student Peter Parker gained his superhuman speed, strength and agility after being bitten by a radioactive spider. Adopting the name Spider-Man, his spider-sense provides an early warning detection system. His uncle taught him that with great power comes great responsibility and Spidey has vowed to use his powers to help people.

During the action-packed Marvel Day at Sea, Spider-Man is just one of many Super Heroes you can encounter. Your spider-senses will tingle as you strike a pose with the amazing Spider-Man or see him in action, slinging a web during the nighttime deck show. Young web warriors can see Spider-Man in Marvel’s Avengers Academy, where he teaches future Super Heroes to hone their reflexes, speed and intellect.

Stay tuned to meet more Super Heroes assembling for Marvel Day at Sea, which premieres on select 7- and 8-night Disney Cruise Line sailings from New York this fall, and returns on select 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in early 2018.

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The Avengers' archer will be onboard the Disney Magic!

The premiere of Marvel Day at Sea is just around the corner! Marvel fans will want to join us as we count down to this epic celebration on select cruises aboard the Disney Magic.

As we near the debut, we’re featuring some of the mighty Marvel Super Heroes you can meet onboard during the daylong event, giving you insights into who they are and how you can get some face time with them.

Today, set your sights on another sensational Super Hero – Hawkeye.

Hawkeye is the world’s most talented archer and marksman, possessing exceptional reflexes and hand-eye coordination. He is a natural athlete and formidable in unarmed combat, with extensive training as an acrobat and aerialist. A member of the Avengers and a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Hawkeye is a highly capable and charismatic super-human.

Hawkeye is just one of many characters you can encounter during this epic event which will be the largest assembly of Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains ever at sea. You may see him traversing the ship or shooting an arrow with the most accurate precision, aimed at the bad guys, during the nighttime deck show. In the Marvel’s Avengers Academy youth space, Hawkeye will teach young recruits what it takes to become a mighty Super Hero.

Stay tuned to meet more Super Heroes assembling for Marvel Day at Sea, which premieres on select 7- and 8-night Disney Cruise Line sailings from New York this fall, and returns on select 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in early 2018.

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With Guardians of the Galaxy - Monsters After Dark now open, a fascinating conversation took place.

An impressive group of creative minds – including scientists, explorers and storytellers – gathered together this week at Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort for a special event billed as the Disney Parks Blog Galactic Meet-Up.

Panelists Capt. Mike Foreman (retired NASA astronaut), Dr. Kimberly Ennico Smith (NASA Astrophysicist), Stephen Wacker (Vice President of Development, TV and New Media, Marvel Entertainment), John Mauro (Regional Executive Producer, Walt Disney Imagineering) and Amy Jupiter (Executive Media Producer, Walt Disney Imagineering) joined moderator and event organizer Erin Glover (Editorial Content Director, Disneyland Resort) to discuss how science influences storytelling – and how fictional and fantastical stories can inspire scientists and lead to real life breakthroughs.

Check out the video above to see an overview of the event and some of the highlights from the evening, which included character appearances by the likes of Star-Lord and Gamora!

The event came on the heels of the recent debut of the new Halloween-inspired version of the popular Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout attraction called Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark, which Mauro and Jupiter had both worked on. The panelists had all gone on the attraction together the night of the event, and as an expert on the subject, Foreman said he did indeed feel zero gravity for a moment during Monsters After Dark, though he laughed that it’s even more fun to spend “a couple of weeks in zero gravity.”

Even at their most fantastical, Smith said she felt stories like the ones Marvel tell, “throw in an element of truth,” and serve as inspiration for real life scientists as herself. Said Wacker, “The foundation of everything we do is built on that grain of hopefulness and wish fulfillment.”

Smith said that at NASA, they like to begin by asking, “What if? What if you could do that?”

Maura noted that at Disney Imagineering as well, “We ask ‘What if’ all the time,” to which Wacker replied, “’What if’ was a Marvel comic!”

The special Halloween Time version of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark can be seen now through October 31st at Disney California Adventure.

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The Asgardian Avenger will be aboard the Disney Magic!

The premiere of Marvel Day at Sea is just around the corner! Marvel fans will want to join us as we count down to this epic celebration on select cruises aboard the Disney Magic.

In the coming weeks, we’re featuring some of the mighty Marvel Super Heroes you can meet onboard during the daylong event, giving you insights into who they are and how you can get some face time with them.

Today, we’re making way for the god of thunder… Thor!

Hailing from the mythical realm of Asgard, Thor wields one of the greatest weapons ever made, the enchanted hammer Mjolnir. Thor is smart, compassionate and self-assured, and he will never, ever stop fighting for a worthwhile cause. Often at odds with his half-brother Loki, Thor is a self-proclaimed protector of Earth and a founding member of the Avengers.

During Marvel Day at Sea, you may have a heroic encounter with Thor as he wields his powerful hammer Mjölnir around the ship or see him in another epic battle with his brother Loki in the nighttime deck show.  In Marvel’s Avengers Academy, young guests can come face-to-face with the mighty Thor to discover what it takes to become a true hero. In a special youth activity, Thor teaches kids the path to becoming worthy through strength, knowledge and compassion.

Stay tuned to meet more Super Heroes assembling for Marvel Day at Sea, which premieres on select 7- and 8-night Disney Cruise Line sailings from New York this fall, and returns on select 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in early 2018.

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Things will be very Strange indeed aboard the Disney Magic!

More details have been revealed about the epic events of Marvel Day at Sea! The day’s entertainment will include a brand-new interactive show with Doctor Strange that invites families to join sorcerer supreme Doctor Strange on a journey of discovery into the world of the Mystic Arts.

Through the power of special effects and projections, you’ll be transported from the Walt Disney Theatre to the New York Sanctum Santorum, the residence of Doctor Strange. As apprentices, you’ll learn how to master the Mystic Arts, create portals to other worlds and cast spells.

Children play a special role in the experience, as Doctor Strange calls upon the young apprentices to learn the fundamentals of the Mystic Arts, and his Master Students lead the kids in training exercises. Each new student of Doctor Strange is awarded a certificate after completion of their mystic arts training.

But this powerful experience isn’t over yet! The students will need to put their new skills to the test when suddenly an epic battle against the Dark Dimension ensues. Doctor Strange calls upon his young apprentices to join forces and summon their practiced powers…

Will they prevail? Keep your mind open. The possibilities out there are endless.

Marvel Day at Sea premieres on select 7- and 8-night Disney Cruise Line sailings from New York this fall, and returns on select 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in early 2018.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy member will be aboard the Disney Magic!

The premiere of Marvel Day at Sea is just around the corner! Marvel fans will want to join us as we count down to this epic celebration on select cruises aboard the Disney Magic.

In the coming weeks, we’re featuring some of the mighty Marvel Super Heroes you can meet onboard during the daylong event, giving you insights into who they are and how you can get some face time with them.

Today, we’re looking at one of the Guardians of the Galaxy… the man they call Star-Lord!

This. Is. Awesome! Star-Lord will be joining his interstellar friends, Gamora and Groot, on Marvel Day at Sea voyages, launching this fall aboard select Disney Magic cruises. This will be the very first time you can meet Star-Lord on a Disney ship.

Young Peter Quill is abducted from Earth by the Ravagers, a group of space pirates, and grows up to assume the mantle of Star-Lord. He is a master strategist and problem solver who has extensive knowledge of various alien customs and cultures. Star-Lord teams up with Gamora, Groot, Drax and Rocket to form the Guardians of the Galaxy and traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos, finding adventure at every turn.

You may see Star-Lord swagger around the ship or catch a photo with one of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Your adventures continue as you join these interstellar outlaws for an evening celebration in Fathoms nightclub, now a Ravager hideout. See the dance-loving Star-Lord get his groove on and you, too, can move to the music of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. Leave your Walkman at home, we’ll bring the mixtape.

Stay tuned to meet more Super Heroes assembling for Marvel Day at Sea, which premieres on select 7- and 8-night Disney Cruise Line sailings from New York this fall, and returns on select 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in early 2018.

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