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Meet the Marvel Movies’ Secret Hero: Green Steve

Meet the Marvel Movies’ Secret Hero: Green Steve

The making of an MCU film involves a dizzying amount of moving parts. When visiting the set of Thor: Ragnarok in Australia, Nerdist was awed by the towering set pieces that made up Asgard and Sakaar. We geeked out over the wealth of concept art, and meticulously detailed costumes and massive weapons. And we were confused by one curious crew member called “Green Steve.”

Thor: Ragnarok’s Valkyrie, Tessa Thompson, tipped us off to the MCU’s secret hero. In an on-set interview, she told us she was elated to be working on a movie with such remarkable production value in practical and computer-generated effects. “It’s like parting the curtains and suddenly you get to meet Oz,” Thompson said, “Because you watch these films and you’re so invested in the world, but you don’t realize everything that’s involved in it.”

With a tickled tone, she asked the assembled reporters, “Did you guys see the shirtless guy that was painted green?”

We had. Mostly, we’d seen this muscular, shirtless and mysteriously green man standing around off camera, enjoying the occasional snack. Sometimes, he’d go before the lens, stand, and maybe flex. “So that guy is called ‘Green Steve,'” Thompson explained, “That guy is not named Steve, but the first guy that ever did that job was called Steve. So now he’s always called Green Steve. So no matter what your name is. (Your name’s) Ryan? You would be Green Steve, it’s on the call sheet: Green Steve.”


The original Green Steve.

Thompson admitted she didn’t actually know what Green Steve’s job was, beyond being part of how the CG Hulk would be created. So, we turned to Thor: Ragnarok’s visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison for answers.

“Green Steve is actually kind of a tradition,” Morrison, who previously worked on Iron Man 2, Thor: The Dark World, and The Avengers, explained. “His actual real name is Jordan, for starters. So he’s not actually called Green Steve. But on the first Avengers picture, we were shooting in New Mexico. ILM [VFX studio Industrial Light & Magic] requested some physical reference.”

Morrison asked if we’d witnessed “the parade.” We had. After each camera setup involving the Hulk, a parade of crew members go before the camera holding a variety of objects, recorded for reference in creating the CG Hulk later on. “There’s a backpack that somebody wears so we know exactly what height it is,” Morrison said. There’s a very detailed Hulk bust that includes individual chest hairs. “And then there’s no substitute for human flesh, right? So you actually take a guy whose in really good shape. And you put on some good green make-up, and you have them walk through the same space that the Hulk would.”

All these references are a crucial resource for Morrison’s VFX team. “By the end of this picture, like 1500 visual effects artists would have worked on (Thor: Ragnarok), and none of them have been here,” he said, “None of them would have seen what it looked like on the day. And each one of them, generally will see a given shot as a series of images, or flat images. So anything that you can give them describes the light in the room, and how things move–and all the rest of it–is invaluable later.”

“This is Green Jordan,” Morrison concluded. “But, he’s actually kind of Green Steve Mark 3.”

Thor: Ragnarok opens November 3rd. Advance tickets are now on sale wherever tickets are sold.

What would you give to be Green Steve, even for a day?

Images: Marvel Studios, Facebook

 

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