Image: Marvel Comics/Marvel Studios
One of the most anticipated character introductions at Marvel’s werewolf at night it wasn’t all CGI, but a series of practical effects.
werewolf at night howled into an Austin, Texas theater for an early preview and Q&A with director Michael Giacchino, revealing some fascinating tidbits about his production. Perhaps most interesting of all was how they managed to bring the cult classic character Man-Thing to life.
Despite the expectation that almost everything is done in CGI these days, especially the big, hulking monsters, Giacchino reveals that as much of it was done using as practical methods as possible. we got this covered Tricia Gilbride was present. Giacchino pushed practicality throughout the production and made it a central part of the special.
“We tried to do as much practical as we could on this film. Every set was built, there were some, very few extensions (with CGI) that had to be done here and there. He was always pushing to make it as practical as possible. When we couldn’t do it, the visual effects designer was with us.”
As for Man-Thing, he wasn’t just a stick with some tennis balls, but a mix of animatronics, a man in an old-school suit. Godzillaand retouched with digital effects.
“We had a physical representation of Man-Thing on set. He was a beautifully sculpted animatronic who could move his eyebrows, his head, his neck, all of those things. That was there mainly for reference. Importantly, he was there for the actors to look at. I didn’t want someone with a stick and a tennis ball to say ‘hey, check this out’. We also had a giant suit worn by Carey Jones (special makeup effects supervisor).”
Despite all of this, Giacchino says almost every shot was still digitally augmented with a handful left of the animatronic or Jones wearing the suit. The amount of hands-on work is a particular surprise given how often behind-the-scenes footage of Marvel projects is just green screen.
Man-Thing’s introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is coming soon, as werewolf at night begins streaming October 7 on Disney Plus.