Reshoots on a major motion picture are always a little on the pricey side -- but reshooting Justice League, while Henry Cavill is wearing his Mission: Impossible mustache on set, will likely inflate the cost to Warner Bros. by literally millions of dollars in visual effects costs.
Cavill's Mission: Impossible character wears a mustache, and since the Justice League reshoots are technically happening on that movie's contractual schedule, the action star was out of luck as far as simply shaving it off and re-growing at a later date.
A few days ago, one VFX artist explained just what would go into the digital retouching process from a technical and logistical standpoint. Today, ComicBook.com reached out to another industry insider for a guess as to the cost of all that hair removal.
The artist, who asked to remain nameless, estimated that the visual effects work on Justice League would likely cost millions.
That is arguably not surprising, given that Dave Fleet, Head of 3D at The Mill, had previously estimated it could take as much as 25 weeks under normal circumstances to remove the mustache from a 5-minute clip.
"If you filmed an actor with a mustache and want it removed... that will be expensive," our source explained. "You typically have to 3D motion track a new face patch on the actor to remove the 'stache and all its shadows. This involves matching both their head/body position and facial expressions. It must sync with all their dialog. Then you have to light that face patch and composite it in and make it look seamless."
"Or you can paint every frame by hand, but that's prone to flicker, look funny, or drive you insane," the artist added.
There are mitigating factors to Justice League -- as previously noted, an effects-heavy movie like Justice League already has all the 3D models in place, which should speed up the process and reduce costs while eliminating the guesswork that digitally removing the mustache might entail in terms of rendering Cavill's face. There are also effects houses that are no doubt known to Warner Bros. and who specialize in this sort of work, like Lola VFX, who de-aged Michael Douglas and Kurt Russell for Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, respectively.
Still, it seems likely that removing Henry Cavill's mustache is a more elaborate and costly feat than most moviegoers would ever know or guess.
In Justice League, fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's (Henry Cavill) selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to face an even greater threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy. Despite the formation of an unprecedented league of heroes -- Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash -- it may be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
Justice League is directed by Zack Snyder, from a screenplay by Chris Terrio, based on a story by Snyder and Terrio, Justice League stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Ciarán Hinds, Amy Adams, Willem Dafoe, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, and J. K. Simmons.
Justice League currently has a 4.16 out of 5 ComicBook.com User Anticipation rating making it the third most anticipated upcoming comic book movie among ComicBook.com readers. Let us know how excited you are for Justice League by giving the movie your own personal ComicBook.com User Anticipation Rating below. Justice League opens in theaters on November 17, 2017.