Did your heart clench at the beginning of “Avengers: Infinity War,” when Thanos reached down, lifted Thor by the head, and threatened to crush his skull if Loki didn’t hand over an infinity stone? Well, what if instead of a hulking space alien, it was a 50-year-old actor in a colorful wet suit with a cardboard cutout of a comic book villain stapled to his back? Not so scary, huh?
As seen in an Infinity War gag reel, Brolin played his CGI-created character via motion capture and to assume the role on set, wore body and facial-capture systems to record his performance. Unsurprisingly, Brolin’s entire mocap outfit is a glory to behold — but by far the best part of the get-up is that there’s a nametag stapled to the back that reads “Thanos,” lest anyone try to steal the purple titan’s identity.
We’re all familiar with the mocap wetsuit by now, and the dots that make up the facial-capture, but there’s also an extra special element to Brolin’s suit, to make sure his scene partners remember exactly who they should be envisioning before them. Don’t let the special effects fool you, Josh Brolin is not the same size as the 8’3 galactic supervillain that he plays! To make up for the size difference, Brolin sometimes wore a backpack with a pole extending above his head, holding a cardboard cutout of Thanos. This would give his fellow actors a proper eyeline, so they’d know exactly where to look during the scene.
In other words, next time you revisit Thanos facing off against the Avengers, just pretend that Captain America isn’t being punched out by a huge purple alien, but by a tiny, smiling cardboard cutout of his face.
/Film – ‘Slash Film: Avengers: Infinity War Without CGI Makes Thanos A Little Less Terrifying’
Author: Shania Russell
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January 15, 2023