Superhero movies have become the most popular and profitable genre in the industry. The reason we only get a few each year is because they take years to plan and execute. Not to mention each of them costing anywhere between $100-$300 million to produce.
For a film like The Avengers, the stunts and visual effects were key components considering it was the first big team-up movie for the MCU. And while all of the visual effects are done in the quiet confines of an office, stunts require a different set of skills. The actors portraying superheroes have to look good and while it’s up to them for those shirtless close-ups, the stunt coordinators put in the unsung work of performing dangerous stunts and fights.
Unfortunately, however, their work goes largely unnoticed. Despite years of campaigning, there still isn’t an Oscar given for best stunt performer. There is one for visual effects, however. Which is why it’s always cool to see BTS footage of fight rehearsals, particularly with the actors, as it really shows their commitment to getting everything right.
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On that note, a new rehearsal video from The Avengers was shared on Instagram by Captain America stunt double Sam Hargrave. In the footage, Hargrave and Loki himself, Tom Hiddleston, are practicing for their big fight in Stuttgard, Germany.
It’s a fascinating clip from nearly a decade ago not just for Hiddleston, but also Hargrave, who’s gone on to bigger and better things. After doubling for Chris Evans for a few movies, he was promoted to stunt coordinator and then second-unit director by the time we got to the last two Avengers films. He’s since directed his first feature as well, action movie Extraction for Netflix, where he continued to perform dangerous stunts even behind the camera.
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#fbf – nearly 9 years ago to the day – @twhiddleston and me rehearsing for our epic battle on the first Avengers film. Captain America vs. Loki. Look how young and spry we were Tom! #thegoodolddays #marvel #loki #captainamerica #avengers #stunt #action #bts @marvelstudios @marvel @avengers
As you can see above, even despite his wiry frame, Hiddleston excels in the fight sequences. People forget that he auditioned to play Thor once and while he obviously lost to Hemsworth, the filmmakers liked him so much that they cast him as Loki, who’s gone on to become a beloved character who now has his own show coming to Disney Plus.