For many moviegoers, Black Panther stole the show when Captain America: Civil War dropped. The popular film introduced new heroes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe like Spider-Man and Black Panther, giving the studio an opportunity to redesign the characters. And, apparently, it involved a lot more CGI than fans expected.
According to the Russo Brothers, every single shot of Black Panther in Civil War housed CGI. It wasn't just a few action scenes or far-away shots - the hero's whole run was blanketed with computer-generated graphics.
The directors revealed the stunning tidbit in a commentary that came included with the home-release of Civil War. Joe Russo shared the secret once the commentary reached the scene where Black Panther makes his in-costume debut. He gave props to the graphics studio who generated the hero's costumed effects and elaborated on why they chose to use CG with Black Panther.
"[ILM] really did a ton of work on that outfit. I mean, we had an outfit that we used on set," Joe started.
"It's impossible when you're talking about an otherworldly outfit like the one that the Panther wears, which has a certain luminescence to it because it's made of a woven metal. We could never afford to construct an outfit like that that an actor or a stunt player could move around in without sweating to death or that would capture the luminescence that we need. So what we ended up doing in post is ILM came in and painted over Chadwick and the stuntman. The outfit is completely CG."
The directors went on to confirm "every frame" featuring Black Panther was given the CG treatment.
Of course, actor Chadwick Boseman was given a real suit to wear on set during filming. The black ensemble looks similar to the costume seen in Civil War as ILM used the suit as their visual template. But, as the Russo Brothers noted, the practical outfit couldn't mimic the metal-infused costume Black Panther traditionally wears.
Black Panther wasn't the only superhero who got a hi-tech suit upgrade in Civil War. Spider-Man was given an all-new suit for the film. The hero, who's played by Tom Holland, dons a very sleek, simple ensemble that does away with blocky textures. The bright red-and-blue costume features traditional elements of the vigilante's suit, and most of it was done through CGI as well.
And, in the future, superhero fans can expect to see more CGI-centered characters. ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis learned that Cyborg would be mostly depicted through CGI when he visited the Justice League set. Costumer designer Michael Wilkinson revealed concept designs which depicted Cyborg dressed in solid chrome.
Black Panther will slash into theaters on February 16, 2018.