Eternals left MCU fans with a lot to discuss. We got ten new heroes, amazing credits scenes teasing future adventures, and a load of deep lore about the MCU’s prehistory. But it’s difficult to ignore the bad reviews, with many critics pointing out that the film contained some substandard CGI, particularly when it came to the Deviants.
But some of the VFX was so good nobody even noticed it was there. Weta Digital’s visual effects supervisor Matt Aitken has revealed in an interview that two characters had their costumes altered in post-production and were CG from the neck down:
“Thena, when she’s in her superhero suit, it’s always entirely CG. She’s 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.”
I have to hand it to them – I didn’t notice this at all. It was fairly obvious when the character was entirely digital during the fight scenes, but elsewhere I simply assumed she was real. Aitken continued:
“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.”
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Harry Styles’ Eros is also almost entirely CGI, primarily because the film-makers and Marvel Studios hadn’t settled on a final design for the character before they shot the credits scenes:
“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. … Eros’ costume was another redesign.”
It was only a decade ago that Ryan Reynolds’ CGI costume in Green Lantern was being pilloried by critics and fans, so the fact they can completely rework costumes after shooting is a testament to the skill of the VFX team at Weta. However, now that I know, I’m going to be rewatching Eternals very closely to see if I can spot any clues that not all is what it seems.
Eternals is now in theaters.