The hyper-intelligent, psychic, meta-gorilla Grodd had already made a pretty substantial impression on The Flash fans in seasons 1 and 2, but the showrunners decided to give Barry’s dangerous enemy an even bigger role this year. While recent episodes have largely focused on saving Iris from a fatal future at the hands of Savitar, another friend in need meant viewers would get to see Grodd’s new home on Earth-2: Gorilla City.
Part 1 of the two-episode arc aired last week, and followed Barry, Caitlin, Cisco, and Julian to Earth-2’s African continent to rescue Jesse’s father Harry. Unfortunately, the quartet were quickly imprisoned, and faced death for trespassing in Gorilla City. A possible way out involved a duel to the death between Barry and the powerful gorilla leader, Solovar.
The interactions with Grodd and Solovar, the gladiator battle, and the views of the city itself involved some of the most ambitious special effects attempted on The Flash. In a new featurette from The CW, which you can watch above, executive produceers Andrew Kreisberg and Aaron Helbing join visual effects supervisor Armen Kevorkian in explaining the extensive work involved in bringing Gorilla City and its inhabitants to the small screen. They also show the multiple stages of the VFX, with green screen work morphing into the finished visuals.
Highlights of the video include details of how the crowd scenes in the arena were created, and the reasons behind changing Solovar’s appearance from the DC comic books. Kreisberg also reveals that Kevorkian and his team were the ones who first presented “an early animatic of Barry facing a gorilla in a giant gladiator ring.” It wasn’t something that had been planned for the story, but was added once they saw how “amazing” the concept could be.
This adds fuel to the argument that “Attack on Gorilla City” was more about the cool effects than the story, which had some problematic elements relating to character motivation and logic. Despite some flaws in the episode, it was still entertaining to see Barry as gladiator in another world. The scenes focusing on Grodd and Solovar were especially well done, with the effects team creating convincingly awe-inspiring and terrifying characters.
Next up on The Flash is Grodd and his gorilla army attacking Central City, which means even more spectacular visuals for fans. The team will be back on home turf, as well, so hopefully there won’t be any more lengthy prison cell sequences and we’ll dive more into the action. Considering the relatively modest budget of The CW series, the gorilla VFX have been impressive, and it’s always fun to see our characters outside of the familiar four or five settings we see them in each week.
The Flash continues tonight with ‘Attack on Central City’ at 8pm on The CW.
Source: The CW