Marvel Was Concerned ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Villains Looked Too Much Like Venom

Avengers: Infinity War concept artist Jerad Marantz says there were concerns initial designs for the Outriders too closely resembled the symbiotes associated with Spider-Man foe Venom.

“I loved designing the Outriders. It was a real challenge,” Marantz says in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War — The Art of the Movie.

“After looking at the source material, I wanted them to have a biomechanics quality to them. There was concern that the Outriders may look too much like a Venom symbiotic, and the challenge was to ensure they had a unique look. To achieve that, I decided to go biomechanical with them and incorporate the same shapes that are used in Thanos’ armor and Proxima Midnight’s and Corvus Glaive’s.”

Thanos (Josh Brolin) unleashed the four-armed beasts on Wakanda, where the vicious creatures did battle with the Avengers and the Wakandans, who fought to thwart Thanos’ plans to claim the Mind Stone from Vision (Paul Bettany).

ArtOfInfinityWar
(Original concept designs for the Outriders. Photo: Marvel Studios.)

The body was quickly approved, but Thanos’ foot soldiers underwent multiple head redesigns until Ryan Meinerding, Marvel Studios’ Head of Visual Development, advised opting for flatter teeth.

“I was playing around with all different types of teeth options, and it was Ryan that suggested I make the teeth flat. It was a really good call,” Marantz said.

“The coolest thing about designing the Outriders was the assignment. This was the first time the Marvel Universe had an alien-creature army — there have been aliens but not an army of beasts. It was an incredible opportunity to do something unique.”

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The initial concept designs bear a strong resemblance to the symbiotes, the inky alien creatures hailing from Marvel Comics lore most closely associated with longtime Spider-Man foes Venom and Carnage. Those aliens’ rights are held by Sony Pictures, who most recently revived the gooey extraterrestrials in Venom, set firmly outside the Disney-owned Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War — The Art of the Movie is now available for purchase on Amazon. Avengers 4 opens May 3.