Industrial Light & Magic visual Effects supervisor Julian Foddy explains the process of creating the Black Thunder death scene for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Director Sam Raimi’s hotly anticipated return to the superhero genre follows Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), who defends universe-hopping America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) from Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), who has assumed her Scarlet Witch identity and been corrupted. A dark fortress in search of his children. As part of the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which continues to evolve its multiverse, “The Multiverse of Madness” includes some amazing cameos. For example, Anson Mount reprises his role as Black Thunder from the Marvel ABC television series Non-human.
In the middle of the film, Strange and America land on Earth-838 and are arrested by a team of superheroes known as the Illuminati. Black Thunder is one of the six members of the council, along with Mr. Fantastic (John Krasinski), Captain Marvel/Maria Rambo (Lashana Lynch), Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell), Carl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart). When the Scarlet Witch pursues America, she is stopped by the aforementioned group of heroes. Before Black Thunder can say anything, Wanda uses her magic to remove his mouth, causing his vocal abilities to erase his own skull. Now one of the artists behind this scene has described in detail the process of its creation.
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In a recent before and after interview, ILM VFX supervisor Foddy explained the process of killing Black Thunder in the Multiverse of Madness. They started by sticking a computer patch on Mount’s mouth, which they made using a textural photo of the actor. Then, Foddy and his team had to create a sonic explosion that shakes the character’s brain/blows the back of his head off, referring to everything from objects being smashed in slow motion to the effects of wind on human skin. Read his full quote below:
“We started by looking at a lot of examples of objects crashing in slow motion. We also looked at human faces in wind tunnels and how much the ripples on your cheeks are. We found that it was impossible to simulate this and get realistic results at 24 frames per second, so the FX team instead stretched the timeline in Houdini and worked at about 120 frames per second.
“This meant that we did it all in slow motion, when the face starts to sway, and then the back of the head flies off. The skin of the hood fluctuates and contracts, and all this happens under the frame. See, but I think there’s something about how all of this contributes to motion blur.
“I think it’s definitely a worthwhile task, it really gives some interesting and terrible results. And I take my hat off to Skywalker Sound for adding such noise reduction, which none of us heard until we saw it in the movies. the cherry on the cake, just to really strengthen the “ooo” factor.
To casual moviegoers, Black Thunder’s cameo was relatively obscure compared to Stewart’s Charles Xavier or Krasinski’s Reed Richards in Doctor Strange 2. I’m not used to the MCU being so violent. Despite the absence of blood and guts, most viewers did not expect to see a man’s skull torn off inside a mask/helmet. The scene draws on Sam Raimi of it all, portraying the Scarlet Witch as an even scarier villain right before dealing with the rest of the Illuminati. However, Black Thunder’s death may be a sign of things to come in the MCU.
The cameos of Doctor Strange in the multiverse of Madness were created by Disney/Marvel studios, which ended their relationship with Netflix and ABC, and also acquired Fox in 2019, as a result of which such characters as Deadpool, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men ended up under the auspices of the MCU. . Now that the MCU has started introducing some of these characters, there are concerns that Disney won’t be able to do the right thing with its newly acquired TV-MA/R rated vigilantes. As Disney+ adds more parental controls for “The Defenders” and “Deadpool 3” to Marvel Studios’ works, it seems the MCU is maturing. However, if Kevin Feige and company want to give up blood and guts, the tactful use of Multiverse of Madness special effects gives a plan for working under PG-13 restrictions.