The VFX supervisor for Marvel’s Eternals recently shared that two of the Eternals costumes were entirely computer-generated. Marvel’s latest family from director Chloé Zhao explores the origins of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and expands on the concept of Celestials, massive entities that oversee universal life, which was first introduced in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. However, Marvel’s latest lore-heavy epic expands on these beings and shows the power and destruction that the Celestials leave in their wake.
The film features a diverse ensemble cast including Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Don Lee, Barry Keoghan, Lia McHugh, Laura Ridloff, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie, playing the roles of the Eternals. They are instructed to protect the Earth from the Deviants. However, when the rise of a new Celestial threatens the world’s existence, they have come to know and love, the group is forced to decide whether or not to fulfill the mission for which they were created or to save the world they believe they were protecting.
In an interview with Comicbook.com, Weta Digital’s Matt Aitken, visual effects supervisor for Eternals, shared that while most characters wore their costumes, Thena’s (Angelina Jolie) and Eros’ (Harry Styles) suits were completely CGI. According to him, this had to do with design changes during post-production. Here is what he had to say about Thena’s costume design:
“Thena, when she’s in her superhero suit, it’s always entirely CG. She’s a CG from the neck down, because the suit design changed in post-production. Getting her body performance so that it had that iconic aspect to it, they’ve cast Angelina Jolie for a reason. And part of that is that she has a way of moving that’s almost like a dancer.”
In regards to Harry Style’s Eros’ costume, this is what Aiken had to say:
“Obviously we had digi-doubles of them all, but the only other one that changed completely was, you mentioned the post-credits or the mid-credits scene with Starfox, or Eros slash Starfox and Pip the Troll. Eros’ costume was another redesign.”
With a budget of $200 million, Eternals is one of the more expensive Marvel movies. So, it makes sense that a good portion of the budget would be dedicated to visual effects to bring this epic to life, not just for the Eternals themselves, but for the massive space settings, hordes of Deviants, 300-mile-high Celestial threats, and even for some of the characters’ costumes. With an enormous budget, it only makes sense that a VFX team will have more freedom for character redesigns.
As a film enters its post-production phase, changes are likely to be made. So it would be possible that some of the characters’ costumes would need a CGI overhaul to match the action sequences and character movements. While the Eternals is likely to earn a profit, there is still a risk in doing a complete redesign in post-production, sacrificing practical effects for CGI. However, it seems that Eternals was able to pull it off and dazzle audiences with its visual storytelling.