By now, it's no secret that an insane amount of detail went into preparing Avengers: Endgame for the silver screen — something that included the painstaking process of de-aging the characters in even the slightest bit of flashbacks. It's been well documented that the likes of Michael Douglas and Stan Lee were de-aged substantially in Endgame and even Samuel L. Jackson in Captain Marvel, but Lola VFX's Trent Claus revealed to us this week that even the flashbacks to the Battle of New York in 2012 were digitally altered.
According to the visual effects supervisor, his outfit — who's become the go-to source for all-things de-aging for Marvel Studios — was charged with making sure the characters in that New York scene looked as close to possible as they originally appeared in The Avengers.
"2012 and 2014, those are pretty short distances in time, so we're not talking huge anatomical changes from there to here, but there are differences," Claus says. "If you put a photo of yourself from six years ago up to now, depending on what age you are, you're going to see some minor changes, and when we're shooting the scenes that re-create a moment from Avengers, you want the actors in that scene to look exactly like they did in that movie, so you make minor adjustments to make that happen."
While fans may not notice the subtle differences on-screen, it just goes to show just how serious Kevin Feige and the team at Marvel Studios take their continuity. Earlier in the same interview, Claus likened the process of de-aging to a work of art — if done well, it's a masterpiece.
"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," Claus explains. "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."
Which Endgame appearance surprised you most? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Avengers: Endgame is now showing and will be followed by Spider-Man Far From Home, which swings into theaters July 2nd. Captain Marvel is due out digitally May 28th before a home media release on June 11th.