Proprietary Masquerade 2.0 Facial Capture System and Neural Networks Help Award-Winning VFX Studio Create a Villain That Won’t Soon be Forgotten
Over the course of 31 movies, seven live-action episodic series and a handful of animated and standalone projects, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has introduced some of the most interesting – and bizarre – villains ever seen on screen. With the arrival of Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania and the introduction of its eagerly anticipated Phase Five, the MCU unveils arguably its most unusual villain yet with M.O.D.O.K., a five-foot-tall flying face, brought to life by award-winning VFX studio Digital Domain.
“Over our 30-year history, Digital Domain has created some of the most iconic CG characters ever seen on film, including Thanos, Benjamin Button, the Ready Player One cast and more, but this really is a first,” said Dave Hodgins, Digital Domain VFX supervisor. “Part of the fun of working with Marvel Studios is that they keep coming up with some of the most imaginative characters and environments, which allows us to create something that fans will remember.”
The character of M.O.D.O.K. – an acronym for “Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing” – has been a staple of Marvel Comics since his debut more than 50 years ago. Originally created in a lab by contemporary scientists, M.O.D.O.K. has been reimagined for the MCU and continues the story of the villainous Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) from 2015’s Ant-Man. The film explores what happened after he entered the mysterious Quantum Realm and was reborn in a new, monstrous form, leading the Digital Domain team to create a fully CG version of the character — driven by the actor’s performance.