In a matter of hours, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings arrives on home media and brings with it an assortment of extra goodies. One of those clips included on the home media release includes a look at the creatures created for Ta Lo, the mystical city featured heavily in the film. Featuring Shang-Chi star Simu Liu and VFX supervisor Christopher Townsend, the featurette shows off the various creatures created solely for the film.
It focuses heavily on the introduction of Morris, a mythological character known as a Dijiang. As seen in the behind-the-scenes footage, cast and crew on-set interacted with a life-size replica of Morris made out of green screen material. That way the prop could easily be removed from every shot it appeared in and replaced with the character's VFX model. See the featurette for yourself below.
"Morris is based on a Hundun, which is a mythological character thought to be the god of chaos and confusion. He's this six-legged creature or he will be, when we're finished with him in visual effects," Townsend says in the video.
He adds, "We used this stuffy for what we call our proxy, which allows actors to touch it, hold it, lift it up, and things which give them a prop so they can be reacting to it. One point we actually asked Sir Ben [Kingsley] if we changed this for something else and he said, 'No, no. I've grown quite fond of Morris so I'd like to leave him as he is.'"
Liu explains the filmmakers behind the film were granted a certain sense of liberty when designing the creatures, all because Marvel Studios wanted the film to set up its own corner of the franchise. In one example, Weta Digital VFX supervisor Sean Walker told us there were never any intentions to make the Dweller-in-Darkness don a comic-accurate design.
"Like the Cthulhu-looking guy? No, it was always exactly kind of what it was," Walker told us. "We did embellish. The good thing about something like the Dweller in Darkness is it's basically just the stuff of nightmares. So we can go a little ham with it. We looked into all kinds of crazy materials, like raw meat for the skin that surrounds the teeth and the mouth, and lots of obviously lizard reference for scales and bats for wings and that kind of thing. But yeah, it's for the most part, exactly. Again, is exactly as it came in and we saw the designs and we went with it and then we just made it as freaky and as gross as possible."
Marvel Studios' Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now available on Disney+ and all major digital platforms. The film will arrive on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on November 30th.
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