Fully Emotive, Monstrous Faces Created Using an Evolution of the Tech Used to Make Thanos; Virtual Production Employed to Finalize the Final Battle
In Sony Pictures’ latest foray into the world of comic-based superheroes, the title character of Morbius is something of an anomaly. One of the most compelling and conflicted characters in Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters comes to the big screen as Oscar®-winner Jared Leto transforms into the enigmatic antihero Michael Morbius. Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. While at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed. Will good override evil — or will Morbius succumb to his mysterious new urges? His existence is both extraordinary and tortured, which lead both the filmmakers and star to consider new ways to express those emotions, while remaining true to the inhuman, vampiric look of the character. That led the studio to tap into the expertise of the leading digital human experts, award-winning VFX studio, Digital Domain.
“Our digital human team is creating technology that makes it possible for visual effects to expand storytelling in ways that just weren’t possible even a few years ago, while also enhancing the performances of the talent on screen,” said John Fragomeni, global president of Digital Domain. “As the primary VFX vendor on Morbius, we’ve been working closely with both the stars and filmmakers, and that has given us the freedom to really iterate on the designs and push the technology.”
A Modern Day Monster
Digital Domain began its work on Morbius by designing the final look for each character’s vampiric forms, with the goal of creating photorealistic, monstrous looks, without restricting them through the use of prosthetics or sitting in a makeup chair for hours each day. Despite having a rough idea of what the character Morbius should look like thanks to his comic origins, the final look still required countless tweaks to ensure everything fit the filmmakers’ vision — from the jagged teeth to the exact pigmentation in the skin. The character of Milo’s vampiric form (Matt Smith) was also an original design, created by Digital Domain.