The Child Stars Of Thor: Love & Thunder Created The Shadow Monsters

Taika Waititi's "Thor: Love and Thunder" film is filled with improvisation, odd editing choices, and just a general vibe of figuring things out as they went along. Waititi is famous for his improvisation, and in the case of "Love and Thunder," it isn't just in the performances and the story. The child actors who play Asgardian children kidnapped by Gorr in the film had more to do in the production of "Love and Thunder" than just participate in aesthetically pleasing slo-mo monster fights.

Waititi's spur-of-moment decision-making would carry over behind the scenes, allowing the children to be a part of the design process for Gorr's shadow monsters. Gorr the God Butcher, created by Jason Aaron for his comic run on Thor in 2012, is brought to life by Christian Bale in this movie, wielding a weapon that allows him to summon creatures from the shadows. "Thor: Love and Thunder" features all kinds of unique creatures Gorr uses against the two Thors in the film, and some of these unique designs were partially designed by the child actors who end up fighting these very same monsters in the Marvel movie's final act.

Children in the creative process

In an interview for, Waititi discussed how the child actors ended up designing the monsters we see on the big screen:

"My daughter was watching me write the script one day, and she looked over my shoulder and said, 'What's a shadow demon?' I was like, 'I don't know.' And she goes, 'What does it look like?' So she went and drew one. I thought, 'I wonder if that would be a cool monster.' And I gave it to the Visual Development department, and they turned it into a fully rendered monster. Then I just started asking everyone else around the office. I was like, get your kids to draw some monsters. And then we just had a collection of monsters. So all of those monsters that Gorr summons, the reason they look so crazy is because they're all designed by children."

Waititi's Marvel projects, "Thor: Ragnarok" and "Thor: Love and Thunder," have a visual aesthetic that feels personal to Waititi's distinct flair. It only makes sense that, when it came to Gorr's army of monsters, Waititi would want to make each unique while giving it a personal touch for those involved in the production.

Keeping it in the family

Even Christian Bale's kids, who play abducted children in the movie, got in on the action. Bale described the experience of seeing the initial drawing his children made being brought to life:

"We actually know which monsters are my kids' monsters, [Taika] had them draw a lot of sketches, and then the magic of the VFX guys, they created something monstrous out of that. And, and absolutely, those are identifiable, and that's very exciting to see."

The creative process behind the film's driving antagonistic force certainly helps to give the Phase Four film a more personal feel. Even rewatching it with this bit of trivia in mind gives the film's third act a "full circle" moment, knowing that the children who helped design the shadow monsters off screen end up fighting them on screen. Add this to the stack of high quality Marvel trivia, up there with James Gunn's parents being featured in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" and one of the Russo Brothers casting their daughter in "Avengers: Endgame." The Marvel creatives seem to like to keep things in the family, especially given the movie's ending, and we're curious to see which family member's unexpected contribution may pop up in the next project.