It's been 10 years since Marvel Studios first released Iron Man and created the MCU. For those who are fans of the behind-the-scenes makings of all the movies, perhaps one of the most interesting aspects is the art development. These movies go through dozens of different designs before one is chosen and this was an especially important process during Phase One. Charlie Wen is a visual designer who helped establish the look of several Marvel films, including Thor. Wen sketched a few different designs for Mjolnir, some radically different from the final version and Wen recently offered up a look at what could have been.
Charlie Wen is a visual effect and art director who has years of experience working on top films and video games. One of Wen's notable achievements is that he is the co-founder of Marvel's Visual Development department. Alongside Ryan Meinerding, Wen contributed to the development of movies such as Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, and Guardians of the Galaxy. He was a major part of establishing the look of the MCU during the early years, and though he's currently moved on from Marvel, Wen shared a look at all the various hammer designs he created for Mjolnir in the first Thor movie.
Taking to Facebook, Carlie Wen explained how he first came to work for Marvel Studios and how he was brought on to establish the look and feel of the MCU. Wen's first assignment was designing Thor, a movie about magical space gods that was coming after the relatively grounded approach of Iron Man. Part of the challenge was figuring out the limits of how far Wen could go with the designs while still believing that Thor could exist in the same world as Iron Man.
Wen was tasked with designing Mjolnir (because toys), and while the hammer has a pretty simple design, you can see that Wen came up with a bunch of options for Kevin Feige and Marvel. Some of the designs are just slight variations of the classic design, but others are really wacky and sci-fi. A few of them remind me of Jack Kirby's art, which is a compliment. I think going with the more simplistic design was the right call, but I'm now curious how many designs they went through when creating Thor's new hammer, Stormbreaker.
It's Marvel's 10 year anniversary, so we are likely to get a few more fun nuggets of behind-the-scenes trivia as Marvel takes its victory lap. The next Marvel movie, Captain Marvel, doesn't release until March 8, 2019, so we'll need more of these to get us through the long months ahead. For more movie news, keep it right here at CinemaBlend.