‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ effects artist confirms one villain was never on set

Spider-man Spider Man
by Keane Eacobellis

Suspicions were raised during the Spider-Man: No Way Home marketing campaign when all the trailers, TV spots and footage featured Jamie Foxx’s Electro, Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus and Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin in their respective human forms, while Rhys Ifans’ Lizard and Thomas Haden Church’s Sandman were strictly CGI.

In fact, a theory began circulating that the latter two actors wouldn’t be involved in the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster at all, with their villainous alter egos providing nothing more than cannon fodder for Tom Holland and his multiversal buddies to battle during the third act finale.

As it turned out, the truth lay somewhere in the middle. Ifans and Church reprised their roles via the recording booth, but their in-person cameos were created using recycled footage, as visual effects supervisor Kelly Port explained in an interview with Befores & Afters.

There were two parts to him, where he’s more humanoid and talking, and when he is in the sanctum. Digital Domain did a lot of that work. And then Luma did the sequence that we called the power line corridor, which is where Sandman is first introduced. And Electro is also introduced and they have that little battle before they all meet and then get sent to the sanctum.

I have to say, if you’re able to see that in extended dynamic range, for both that sequence and the end battle, it really looks cool in that higher dynamic range. That electricity just pops. Well, we had his voice. We weren’t able to get a lot of visuals on him, but we were able to get his voice for sure and we got scans and textures and things like that.”

Seeing Church’s Flint Marko in strictly granular form took a little getting used to, but at least we knew he’d signed on for No Way Home in some capacity as soon as he opened his mouth during his introduction. It doesn’t harm the movie in the slightest, either, and there’s only so much screen time to go around in a comic book adaptation with as many moving parts as Peter Parker’s triumphant threequel.