Long before Eternals hit theaters, Marvel Studios executives said it was one of the most expensive risks the studio had taken to date. With Chloe Zhao at the helm, the production opted to forgo the studio's traditional use of sound stages and green screens to shoot the majority of the film on-site in various locales around the world. Fitting in line with practical sets are the superhero suits the film's titular group of characters don.
While the vast majority of the characters wore actual suits, there were two that appeared throughout the film that had to have their suits computer-generated because the designs changed after filming had wrapped. Speaking with Weta Digital's Matt Aitken, the Eternals visual effects supervisor tells us both Thena (Angelina Jolie) and Eros (Harry Styles) found themselves with CGI suits.
"Thena, when she's in her superhero suit, it's always entirely CG," Aitken says. "She's a CG from the neck down, because the suit design changed in post-production. Getting her body performance so that it had that iconic aspect to it, they've cast Angelina Jolie for a reason. And part of that is that she has a way of moving that's almost like a dancer."
He adds, "Making sure that we honored that with the digital component of the performance, but the capturing of her face particularly is what I'm getting around to here, getting that authenticity so that we can do a mid-shot as a digi-double and it's not going to be jarring for anybody. It's not going to pop them out of it. They're just going to think, 'Oh, this is another Thena fight beat.' It's a such a fantastic support to the filmmakers to enable them to be creative and continue to refine the story that they want to tell. It's still really hard, so I think just getting better at that stuff so that it's not such a huge challenge every time. I mean, we have had some success pulling it off, but yeah, I think we will just continue to polish and refine that whole workflow."
Aitken then confirmed Eros' suit was changed in the mid-credits scene because Starfox's iconic look was chosen once principal photography stopped shooting.
"Obviously we had digi-doubles of them all, but the only other one that changed completely was, you mentioned the post-credits or the mid-credits scene with Starfox, or Eros slash Starfox and Pip the Troll," Aitken concludes. "Eros' costume was another redesign."
Eternals is now in theaters while Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is streaming on Disney+.
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