How The Infinity War Thanos VFX Test Changed Josh Brolin’s Performance

Marvel VFX artist Kelly Port reveals how an initial test shoot for Avengers: Infinity War helped inform Josh Brolin’s performance as Thanos.

Marvel VFX artist Kelly Port reveals how an initial test shoot for Avengers: Infinity War helped inform Josh Brolin’s performance as Thanos. 2018’s Cinematic Spectacle, avengers infinity war, It became an instant smash hit as the events of its final act altered the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Infinity War grossed over $2 billion at the worldwide box office and saw the Avengers take on their biggest threat to date, Thanos, who sought to wipe out half of the universe in a twisted act of ‘salvation.’

Brolin’s entry into the MCU marked a shift in the trajectory of the studio’s already ambitious projects. After appearing in the Avengers: Age of Ultron end-credit scene, Brolin’s official MCU debut in Avengers: Infinity War heralded enormous acclaim from both critics and fans. The actor provided both the motion capture and vocals for Thanos, with many not only praising Brolin’s chilling portrayal of the Mad Titan, but also the visual effects that helped bring the character to life. Brolin returned eleven again in 2019’s avengers endgame, which detailed the fallout of Thanos’ devastating Snap and saw the MCU’s heroes unite to take him down once and for all.

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Related: Why Thanos’ Iconic “Fun” Quote Only Appeared In Infinity War’s Trailer

while sitting down with Crew Runner to discuss some of the best and worst CGI throughout film history, Port discussed how an early VFX test shoot actually altered the way Brolin crafted his performance as Thanos. Port shared how Brolin’s main takeaway from the test was that any exaggerated or over-acted movements were not necessary when it came to motion capture, and that the actor kept this in mind when it came to actually shooting infinity war. Port discussed how important these subtleties became for Thanos’ character, revealing that Brolin’s motion capture was left “a hundred percent unmanipulated” during the test. Check out Port’s full quote below.


“I think we were really nervous with Thanos. We were quite happy with it, but we knew that we had to pull something off that hadn’t really been pulled off before. Josh Brolin hadn’t seen our proof of concept yet, and this was the first day of Josh Brolin’s shooting as Thanos, and they’re showing it to him a few hours before. So, it was a little bit nerve-wracking. Like I said, we felt good about it, but he ended up like really liking it.And I think more than anything, his takeaway from the test was how subtle he could play the performance.Typically, a lot of performers will – knowing that they’re doing motion capture, facial motion capture, or even body capture – tend to go bigger because they feel like there’s some kind of filter that if they go bigger, more of their performance will come out. think that was so good that we ended up showing him on that day because he ended up playing the character that wa Y. And we made sure in our proof-of-concept test that [Brolin’s performance] was a hundred percent unmanipulated by any kind of additional animation on top of it. This was just as it came from the facial capture directly.”


Thor Thanos Avengers Infinity War

Brolin previously revealed that he would happily return to don his mo-cap suit once again to reprise his role as Thanos if it were to fit within the trajectory of Marvel’s future phases. Interestingly, the studio’s use of CGI has been at the center of much debate recently, following the highly anticipated release of the She-Hulk: Attorney at Law trailer. The appearance of the series’ main character, Jennifer Walters, sparked fierce backlash online after viewers expressed their dissatisfaction with the quality of CGI displayed in the trailer, with some even arguing that the quality of Marvel’s special effects has dwindled in the years since Avengers: Infinity War.


Thanos’ calm mannerisms certainly add to the threatening nature of his character, so it’s interesting to hear that these more subtle movements were informed by Brolin’s early tests for the film. Many deem Brolin’s performance of him in Avengers: Infinity War as one for the history books, having brought such depth to a character who is hell-bent on destruction. Given Thanos’ fate in Avengers: Endgame, a reprisal from Brolin is unlikely in the near future. However, with the ever-changing nature of the MCU and the recent introduction of the multiverse, one certainly never can say never.

Next: Infinity War Theory Reveals Thor Deliberately Lost To Thanos At The Beginning


Source: Corridor Crew

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