How Taika Waititi Brought Kids’ Nightmares to Life

taika waititi and thor shadow monster

With Thor: Love and Thunder now available to stream on Disney+, the platform has also released a new episode of its documentary series, Marvel Studios ASSEMBLED. The special, entitled The Making of Thor: Love and Thunderreveals some behind-the-scenes details about how the film was made.


In the episode, some of the topics covered are Zeus’ tennis skirt, Gorr’s extensive makeup, and the backstory of how the Shadow Monsters got their look. The Shadow Monsters may have appeared terrifying when Gorr the God Butcher conjured them in Thor: Love and Thunderbut the creatures came to be through the most unlikely of ways: children’s drawings.

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In an interview for the episode, Thor: Love and Thunder‘s director, Taika Waititi, explained that he was writing down ideas for the monsters that Gorr was supposed to conjure when his daughter looked over his shoulder. Waititi had written down “Shadow Monster,” and his daughter asked what it was and what it looked like. Waititi responded to his daughter that he didn’t know, so she offered to draw something. Waititi added that his daughter drew a spikey, snakelike creature, which inspired him.

“Then I got this idea,” Waititi said, “Oh, what if we got the visual development artists to take kids’ drawings of what they think is scary, and turn them into real monsters, and put those in the film?” Sure enough, the children of people working on the movie then drew pictures of what they thought were scary, and the Shadow Monsters were designed around those drawings.

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Considering that in Thor: Love and Thunder, Gorr kidnapped a bunch of Asgardian children and held them captive, it is interesting that children are the ones that designed his monsters. This way, the creatures are literally straight out of children’s nightmares, having started as crayon drawings with names like “Drippy” and “Crustachio.”

A central theme of Marvel Studios ASSEMBLED: The Making of Thor: Love and Thunder is the film’s skillful balance of comedy and drama. Through even the heaviest plotlines, such as Jane Foster’s illness and Gorr’s grief over his daughter, Thor: Love and Thunder never loses its sharp dialogue and clever humor. The fact that Gorr’s army of monsters started out as cute drawings of children’s nightmares seems to be another example of this balance.

To see these monsters come to life, Thor: Love and Thunder is now available to stream on Disney+.

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