Robert De Niro Cites Marvel's De-Aging Effects as Looking "Cartoony"

If you've been keeping up with the news, you'll know by now Martin Scorsese isn't the biggest fan of Marvel movies — in fact, he's not really sure they're even movies at all. Now, Robert De Niro has entered the fray, seemingly slamming the visual effects in Marvel movies as looking too "cartoony." The frequent Scorsese collaborator was helping promoted the filmmaker's The Irishman at the BFI London Film Festival over the weekend when he made the comments.

“The technological stuff can only go so far," De Niro said (via ScreenDaily). "It’s not going to change other things. If it does to such a point it becomes something that is not what a person is, what a human is. It can be another type of entertainment, like comic strip things, Marvel. The comic book character-type things, cartoony stuff.”

According to the report, De Niro was responding to an audience question about the de-aging VFX used in The Irishman — a method Marvel Studios has increasingly used as it pushes further into nonlinear storytelling. There's the case of Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury in Captain Marvel, Michael Douglas' Hank Pym in Ant-Man, and Stan Lee's Avengers: Endgame cameo, just to name a few.

Trent Claus is the visual effects supervisor with Lola VFX, the go-to vendor Marvel uses for all of its de-aging needs. When we spoke with him earlier this year, the VFX guru said the act of de-aging an actor is an art form.

"It's an art form," Claus said. "There's no good procedural way to do what we do. The work that we do, we don't create a CG replication of the actor. We use the actor that's actually there on screen, so we were actually modifying the actor in the performance that was there on set as opposed to re-creating something new. So, we have to treat each and every frame like a painting, where you're working with light and shadow, and form, and composition, and things like that to accomplish the goal."

Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home are both now available wherever movies are sold.

Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022. Marvel Studios Disney+ series without release dates include Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk.

23comments

What's been your favorite visual effects shot in the entire MCU? Share your thoughts in the comments section or by tweeting me at @AdamBarnhardt to chat all things MCU!

Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage