Captain Marvel's Goose the cat scenes were 80 percent CGI, a visual effects supervisor on the film has revealed. With over $900 million grossed worldwide so far, the MCU debut of Carol Danvers has been a smash hit for Marvel, continuing the studio's streak of blockbusters. And of course Danvers will be back later this year for Avengers: Endgame, which could end up being Marvel's biggest hit of all.
Oscar-winner Brie Larson stars in Captain Marvel as Danvers, an earth woman who's become a member of an alien race called the Kree that's engaged in a war against a shape-shifting race called the Skrulls. Danvers' adventures bring her back to earth, where she finds out about her origins, and teams up with a pre-eyepatch Nick Fury. Larson's chemistry with Samuel L. Jackson's Fury is indeed a big part of why the movie succeeded, as is Danvers and Fury's relationship with a furry creature named Goose, an alien called a Flerken who to all outward appearances is a regular cat.
Indeed, the popularity of Goose the cat has soared almost as high as that of Captain Marvel herself. But as one special effects supervisor on the movie has revealed, most of Goose's scenes didn't feature the "real" Goose at all. Though four different trained cats were used in the film, about 80% of the time Goose was actually CGI. As VFX technician Chris Townsend told Huffington Post, "There are about over 100 shots of the cat in the film, 70 or 80 of them are CG." So convincing was the CGI that, according to Townsend, even the movie's directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck couldn't tell the computer generated cat from the real ones.
According to Townsend, much of the decision to go CGI with Goose was down to the difficulty of getting the trained cats to do what was required of them. He explained: "There are also things that the cat didn’t want to do. Sometimes they’d be in the cockpit of the plane, and Ben Mendelsohn’s character would be sitting there in a big leather coat. The leather would creak and the cat would freak out on Sam Jackson’s lap. So there was an awful lot of replacement of the cat throughout the film."
Another big problem for the film was the fact that Brie Larson is allergic to cats. So, any time Larson is seen holding Goose in the film, it's actually the CGI version. Of course, whenever the Flerken tentacles emerge from Goose's face, that's also CGI. For some fans, knowing that Goose is mostly CGI may put a damper on their enjoyment of Captain Marvel. However, the decision to use computer effects to create the character was clearly the most practical way to go given the myriad difficulties inherent in getting a real cat to act. And nowadays, it's almost always the right decision to go with CGI when depicting animals onscreen, for humane reasons if nothing else.
Source: Huffington Post
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
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