The Complex VFX Process Behind Old Man Captain America in Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame threw a curveball in its closing moments, introducing the audience to a much older version of Captain America(Chris Evans). Evans had previously shared a behind-the-scenes look at him in a trailer on set in his "old person" makeup, but the shot went must further than practical effects. In fact, Lola VFX's Trent Claus tells us it's one of the most complex shots the visual effects studio did in the film. Claus says the process wasn't unlike what the outfit did for Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But just because it was aging a character leaps and bounds didn't make it any easier.

"For this one with Chris, we had a very long period of look development where we tried lots of different ages and styles of aging," Claus tells us. "One problem we run into a lot with aging is that everybody has their own idea of what happens to you when you age based on your own experience, what happens to your own face, and what happened to your parents' faces, and things like that."

"If you get a room full of six or seven people, they might all have a different idea of what aging should look like," he continues. "So it's harder to pin down a look, whereas with de-aging, you've got a reference You've got an exact image of what you're aiming for. Here it's a lot more subjective."

After Legacy Effects built some prosthetics that would make Evans appear substantially older, though that practical look didn't necessarily make it into the final product shown in theaters. The "Old Man Cap" scene wasn't finalized until some time after filming was complete, so the majority of Evans' look in the scene ended up being digital after all.

"In the end, the look that we came up with that was approved by the filmmakers didn't get approved for several months after filming was done," Claus reveals. "So, unfortunately, the makeup that we had applied to the face around the eyes, forehead, and nose, and things like that no longer matched the approved look, so we had to digitally remove that makeup, and then re-create it entirely after the fact. The makeup that you saw in the photo that we kept is the neck and the wig, and then everything on the face that you see on screen is digital.

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Were you surprised to see Old Man Cap at the end of Endgame? Do you think he'll appear in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or by tweeting me at @AdamBarnhardt!

Avengers: Endgame is now in theaters and will be followed by Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 2nd.