‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’: Andy Serkis Helping to Mo-Cap Hulk

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Andy Serkis Dawn Planet Apes Avengers: Age Of Ultron: Andy Serkis Helping to Mo Cap Hulk

Among Marvel’s pantheon of gods and heroes, everybody’s favorite green-skinned rage beast, the Hulk, has endured a decidedly troubled transition from the page to film; since his first movie appearance in 2003 (Ang Lee’s oft-maligned Hulk), the big guy has been portrayed by three different actors in as many movies, starting with Eric Banna, continuing on with Edward Norton for the eventual reboot, The Incredible Hulk, and ending with Mark Ruffalo, who found smashing pathos in the character in The Avengers.

There’s more to Hulk than the leading man behind the monster, of course, namely the motion capture technology used to bring him to life. As a special effect, Hulk himself has just as storied a screen history as his human counterparts; Lee stepped in for mo-capping duties over a decade ago, while Norton and French martial artist Cyril Raffaelli gave their own individual mo-cap contributions to create Hulk’s look in 2008. Ruffalo, however, did all of the work himself in 2012, and if there’s a reason why he’s often considered the very best Hulk of all the modern Hulks, that could well be it.

But even a master Hulk needs a helping hand once in a while, especially considering that Ruffalo isn’t typically known for performances of this nature. So, with The Avengers: Age of Ultron looming, the The Kids Are All Right actor has reached out to the master of mo-cap himself, Andy Serkis, for help in building a better Hulk for the sequel. Word on this little partnership hails from Ruffalo himself, and if it’s not groundbreaking in terms of The Avengers 2‘s narrative, it’s certainly exciting in terms of its level of craft.

Nobody should take this news and cast doubt on Ruffalo’s turn in The Avengers retrospectively; Ruffalo found a solid balance between Bruce Banner’s humanity and the Hulk’s penchant for mayhem, ultimately creating a compelling portrait of one of Marvel’s more complex characters. But Ruffalo also isn’t the kind of guy audiences think of when they think of ambitious, blockbusting spectacles. He’s more at home in more dramatic roles and comedies, ranging from films like Zodiac to The Brothers Bloom. It’s not that he’s a poor mo-cap actor. It’s just not his usual milieu.

Avengers Hulk Rampage Avengers: Age Of Ultron: Andy Serkis Helping to Mo Cap Hulk

Andy Serkis, on the other hand, was born in a mo-cap suit, and has more or less defined what it means to act through mo-cap ever since showing the world how it’s done in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. His impressive efforts in making us sympathize with the twisted, pitiable, duplicitous Gollum garnered him great recognition during the 2002 and 2003 awards seasons; since then, he’s earned similar laurels for taking the titular role in 2005′s King Kong, portraying Captain Haddock and Sir Francis Haddock in 2011′s The Adventures of Tintin, and playing Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes the same year.

The latter film has a sequel coming out this summer, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and while no one can predict the future, odds seem to favor him drawing similar praise for that picture, too. That’s to say nothing of his mo-cap consultations for Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla, or his impending directorial stint on WB’s live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book (or his upcoming role in Star Wars: Episode VII, possibly as a mo-cap character), but the point here has been made in excess: Serkis knows motion capture like the back of his hand.

So the idea of having him lend that hand to Ruffalo for The Avengers: Age of Ultron is pretty exciting. It certainly can’t hurt production by having him consult on the Hulk, even if it merely amounts to Serkis giving Ruffalo a few simple tips and instructions to improve the latter’s performance; really, there should be no question that having him aboard on Joss Whedon’s next superhero rumpus will be a good thing.

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The Avengers: Age of Ultron arrives in theaters on May 1st, 2015.

Source: Mark Ruffalo

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  1. Not quite surprising since now both of them are playing in Disney territory…
    Plus Ruffalo and Serkis had worked together in “13 going 30″ (to my surprise, cause I completely forgot Serkis was in that movie), so they have been good friends with one another… if you need an advice on mo-cap-ing, why not consult a friend who’s currently a master in the field, right?

    • I’m trying to recommend Andy Serkis in The Escapist but this f***ing website keeps telling me that my comment is spam and it’s really pissing me off.

      • I thought Brits love Spam in their sandwiches or pastries

        • That would be Monty Python’s players.

          • Nice reference to Spam-A lot , Goldi.

        • nope…..Hawaiians

      • I have often run into that as well. I like Spam with eggs and maybe a spot of butter and ketchup, but that is a whole different story.

  2. They should be a special oscar created for Mo-Cap Performance

    • Because there are so many to chose from….. Special Rec? sure. Oscar…. no.

  3. This can only be good news.

  4. If he’s not officially every geek’s favorite actor by know, I don’t know what else he can do.

    • +1

    • He could give animators a bit of credit to help sway that crowd.

  5. Hulk solo sequel now bring back The Leader, Abomination, Nick Fury, Cap America, and The Army for hunting down Monsters. Add some twists and things along the way take some notes from Cap America winter soldier.

  6. Compelling portrait of one of Marvel’s more complex characters? erm… give him a solo movie so i can see what he can do before i judge how good he is.

    • Yep and even in The Avengers, I found him….off.

      Norton gave a much better, more compelling and three dimensional portrayal of Bruce Banner than Ruffalo did. Need to see more from Mark before I’m convinced.

      • Dazz….exactly!

      • To be fare, Norton had a whole movie, ruffalo had about 5mins.

        • I don’t like LOTR. I like The Hobbit. I saw the Riddles in the Dark scene. Not very long. Still one of the best scenes I’ve witnessed in a while. Andy Serkis made an impact in that time, and Ruffalo had more screen time in Avengers.

          Just saying.

      • I completely disagree.

        I was one of those folks who was rather upset that Norton wasn’t brought back. By the time “The Avengers” was over, I was glad that Ruffalo was brought in and Norton was out.

      • Ruffalo was more nuanced, with a dark sense of humor under the surface. It’s one of those things, if you pick up on it, it’s great , but it’s very easy to miss. It seems like a few people just didn’t catch it because they talk like he didn’t do anything on screen when I saw loads going on. I wasn’t imagining it so clearly it was just one of those “some people missed it” situations.

        As for Norton, I enjoyed his work on the film, and how it turned out, but I’m also aware he was a nightmare to work with, wanted everything done his way, which would not have worked in an ensemble film like Avengers, where everyone has to do their thing and follow direction. he’s famous for not taking direction very well.

  7. Maybe… just maybe… Andy Serkis could have landed the motion-capture role of THANOS

  8. I am hoping Marvel is saving Hulk for their plans to continue with World War Hulk. It makes sense to have a Hulk movie to tie in with Avengers so this is the only reason I can expect. I never get tire of reading the comic and watching planet hulk (slight variation of course) over and over. I anticipate WW Hulk afterwards to wreak havoc and bring heroes down to their knees and beg for forgiveness. :)

    • “saving Hulk for their plans to continue with World War Hulk.”

      Except they are specifically planning on NOT doing world war hulk. They’ve said it countless times now. If they did, it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve done something they had denied, but when they are this consistent over this long a period, it’s usually true.

      Which isn’t to say they will never do WW Hulk. I hope they do. But your post is phrased in way that implies they’re working on it, when they are not.

  9. Can’t imagine the Hulk saying : “My Precious”

    • +1 +1 +1 YOU KNOW that Out take is Coming!! :P

  10. seriously? is this the only guy in Hollywood that knows how to do this?

    • You act like he’s Benedict Cumberbatch. Serkis is doing mo-cap, not voicing Hulk.

      • Yeah tell em! The guy is not going to replace Ruffalo. He is JUST helping with hulk, THAT’S ALL! Yeesh, did people give that french guy who helped Norton this much grief?!

    • Those people are animators. The ones that work for the movies mostly are unknown so you don’t have articles about them. This one became known to the public because of Peter Jackson so you will have some news about him.

  11. Bring on the Serkis circus! He does good work, but I can just imagine Bruce Banner needing Hulk’s muscle at a critical moment, getting angry, starting to change form and (with Serkis involved) all of a sudden instead of a green rage monster….a chimpanzee appears:
    “Oooh, buggar…I minced it up!”

    • Dude that’s actually hilarious. But I don’t know why you think the guy is bad at mo cap when it says he’s a pro. Have you even seen the guy mo cap? All he’s doing is helping Ruffalo.

  12. I think its good that Ruffalo found himself someone who can help him with hulk. As long as it makes for a better hulk in the movie. I have to agree that this is the best hulk I’ve seen so far. The old hulk used to many wigs, and was only as big as the guy playing him. And back then, Lou was about as big as they came. In season 1 of TIH, he had a wig that made him look like a real monster. I liked season 2′s wig the best because it didn’t make him look ugly. It actually made him look cooler. Season 3′s wig just added some hair two the previous wig. Season 4′s wig gave hulk a bowl cut, and it had too many light green hairs in it rather than dark green ones. So I didn’t like that one. Season 5 just used the same wig as season 4. And the reunion movies used my least favorite wig. The hair on it made hulks hair look more like thor’s because it was so dang long! And Lees hulk looked too cartoonish. Norton’s hulk was good, but still a little animated looking. Ruffalo’s hulk has been the best so far. Maybe a little more muscular build up on the arms though.

    • I want say the Hulk in The Avengers 1 looked like a Gorilla but if was Edward Norton Hulk it would of been way better than Mark Ruffalo Hulk/ Bruce Banner.

  13. Come on people! why is this a story? I like Serkis. But come on folks? It doesn’t take the Brad Pitt of motion capture to make “HULK SMASH”. you can pretty much get anyone to do that… why not use Ruffalo? If you use someone different doesn’t it change the mannerisms and what not?

    • I’m pretty sure he’s just giving tips to Ruffalo and not doing it himself. I could be wrong but, I think the title of this article was deliberately misleading.

  14. This is good news. A big fan of Serkis

  15. I don’t get it. What exactly does this man do that is so essential that he is in anything that requires a CGI character? Hulk was fine in Avengers 1.

    I mean, there are literally thousands of actors who are skilled in movement and physicality, in both film and theater. Can one of them get some work? I mean, is Andy Serkis the only person in the world with a body or something? I am dumbfounded by the following this man has.

    • Maybe it’s not (just) his acting ability, but the fact that using the mo-cap gear comes second nature to him? I see what you’re saying though. Chances are he’ll be coaching Ruffalo.

  16. Looking forward to seeing my man (Hulk) steal the show again!

  17. He’s also doing all the motion capture work for Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla that’s coming out in 2 weeks. Prepare for the greatest monster movie of all time, Ladies and Gentlemen.

    • I think that’s actually a misattributed quote where Serkis at one point mentioned he was consulting on the film. I also don’t know how much sense motion capture makes for a creature that doesn’t move much like a human if they’re going for a realistic portrayal.

  18. This article is saying that the above picture of Andy Serkis is a clip of him working as the Hulk in the Age of Ultron movie. THIS IS A LIE AND COMPLETE FABRICATION FROM THE AUTHOR OF THIS ARTICLE. This is against the morals of true journalist to trick the public into clicking onto this article with false information on the picture. That picture is from the Rise of the Planet of the Apes movie. This website should be sued or the writer should be fired for intentionally misleading readers. A lawsuit is an order.

    • What are you a lawyer or something?! Yes, I agree that the false picture is a little annoying, but that’s no reason to sue the writer. I would just `write a complaint about it to the website. Lets not get drastic with the punishments here. But to a certain extent, your wrong. True the article has the wrong picture on it film wise, but the article IS based on mo cap. The picture is simply an example of mo cap and therefore DOES apply to the article.

      • Also, I don’t see where it says anything about the picture. Could you show me where that is? And no this is not sarcastic, I’m serious. About as serious as you are about there being a punishment to this journalist. And look, it was probably late at night when he wrote and posted this. I don’t think he MEANT to post the wrong picture. This just proves that articles shouldn’t be written late at night, that’s all.

    • Miker, you are confused. The article doesn’t say that pic is from Age of Ultron.

      • As Hulk fan 1 points out, the header image does have to do with mo-cap, which is why I used it rather than throw in another screen cap of the big guy from Avengers. There’s no line in this article that attributes the image to Age of Ultron, and if there was, it would make no sense, because the article only states that Serkis will be helping/consulting Ruffalo on the film rather than stepping into the role himself. Please read more carefully before throwing around accusations like this, or calling for my “firing”, or suggesting that we should be “sued”.

  19. I really liked Ed Norton’s Hulk. I was at first skeptical of Mark Ruffalo’s Incredible-ness as the “other guy” he often refers to in The Avengers.

    However, It took only a couple personally focused viewings to buy in and really appreciate what he brought to the character. I hope Marvel gives us a (GOOD OF COURSE) sequel to The Incredible Hulk or at least another movie to give one of the most popular comic characters ever some motion picture justice that Marvel Studios has no doubt proven they’re capable of with their other SuperHeroes.

  20. I strongly agree about Mark Ruffalo need help with the mopcap from Andy Sekis.

  21. What l will say is that Marvel Studios Kevin Fiege was stupid to not
    Bring back Edward Norton for any reason .

  22. I believe they need another actor for The
    New Hulk movie because Mark Ruffalo needs to be replace for another younger actor.

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