Long before Eddie Brock established himself as a big screen lead in his own right, concept artist Jerad Marantz was concerned that one of his designs for Avengers: Infinity War might be too reminiscent of Spider-Man’s old foe Venom.
In the new artbook Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War – The Art of the Movie, Marantz takes us through the thinking behind the big screen debut of the vicious Outriders, explaining that he took some inspiration from the outfits of Thanos and his minions in designing a less symbiote-esque look for these creatures.
“I loved designing the Outriders. It was a real challenge,” Marantz recalls. “After looking at the source material, I wanted them to have a biomechanics quality to them. There was concern that the Outriders may look too much like a Venom symbiotic, and the challenge was to ensure they had a unique look. To achieve that, I decided to go biomechanical with them and incorporate the same shapes that are used in Thanos’ armor and Proxima Midnight’s and Corvus Glaive’s.”
The biomechanical theme may have been Marantz’s idea, but those nashing teeth were the suggestion of Marvel Studios’ Head of Visual Development Ryan Meinerding.
“I was playing around with all different types of teeth options, and it was Ryan that suggested I make the teeth flat. It was a really good call,” Marantz says. “The coolest thing about designing the Outriders was the assignment. This was the first time the Marvel Universe had an alien-creature army — there have been aliens but not an army of beasts. It was an incredible opportunity to do something unique.”
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Though these monstrosities were a brand new addition to the MCU, the new Infinity War artbook suggests that the pre-established characters’ designs went through just as many changes before the final versions were settled on. The numerous interpretations of Thanos, for example, go on for several pages, and even that’s not counting the many variations on his Infinity Gauntlet.
Another batch of concept art shows Peter Parker in a diverse assortment of Iron Spider outfits, one of which even got some fans wondering if there was almost a symbiote in this movie. We wouldn’t bet on it, especially since Sony’s new Venom movie already has this territory so heavily covered, but feel free to dream.
In any case, a piece of Avengers 4 promo art that leaked last month teased the arrival of “new foes” and “an even greater threat,” which makes you wonder if the team could have yet more creature designs ready for when the Avengers: Infinity War sequel hits theaters on May 3rd, 2019.