When it comes to exciting visual effects in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one of the first characters that will always come to mind is Doctor Strange. The twisting streets and fights with inter-dimensional demons in his first solo movie were certainly exciting to see, but it's the visuals accompanying Strange's spells that continue to impress. The portals and shields created by Strange, Wong, and the other sorcerers in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame looked spectacular, and as it turns out, all of these spells are rooted in the comics.
Following the record-breaking release of Avengers: Endgame, ComicBook.com spoke with a couple of the people that made these awesome visuals come to life, VFX supervisor Russell Earl and Industrial Light & Magic's modeling supervisor Bruce Holcomb. While chatting with us, the duo revealed that most of these spells came from actual Doctor Strange comic books.
"I think the library would be the comic books, and that's something Bruce is well versed in," Earl began.
"I was actually surprised at how much Dan actually knew. Dan DeLuuw, who's the visual effects supervisor from Marvel," said Holcomb. "He knew all the names of all the specific spells and kept pointing us to all the specific designs of which spell looked like what and we adhere to pretty much all that stuff."
"Yeah, we use like Winds of Watoom," added Earl. "So Dan would pull a lot of comic book reference and then we'd go do our homework and research the reference that he had. And then looking at that and looking at the imagery, we would just get on calls and we would talk through like, 'Okay, we like the graphic nature of this, or this needs to be a little more organic,' or we would reference the prior films, and then the effects guys could just go and try different things. So we went through, there's the Winds of Watoom and when Strange is stuck in the waterfall and he creates the water tornado. There's that beat. Then there's also the other beat where he comes in, when he first flies in on land and then he's got the other spell that's taking some of the bad guys out and sucks back down to that. All of that is basically referenced straight out of the comic books. Then we just try things and send them down and see what they like and it just sort of iterates and evolves. But yeah, it's always, I think always trying to bring things back from the comics to just feed the fans and give them something that they, give something new to it but also give them something that harken back to the comic books."
Knowing how dedicated director Scott Derrickson is to the source material, it's likely that the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel will continue this run of truth from the comics.
Avengers: Endgame is now playing in theaters.