Ryan Meinerding & Andy Park Interview: Designing Spider-Man's Suit

Spider-Man Homecoming International Poster

Ryan Meinerding is the Head of Visual Development for Marvel Studios and has worked on almost every superhero film Marvel Studios has put out. Andy Park is the Director of Visual Development and has worked on just as many. They are in charge of designing the characters, costumes, and worlds of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Marvel putting out three or more movies a year now, the two have to divide up the films.

Designing a Film

“We sometimes get started on films a little bit before pre-production.  So, for us it could almost be like… from 10 months from when we start to when a film actually starts shooting,” Meinerding said.  “Usually pre-production is about 8 months on a Marvel film. So, we could be just a little bit before that starts. But we also-- because we’re working on developing the visuals for the costumes and the characters, we also work with the costume designers and the costume department.”

“Our sort or role sort of lead into production, a little bit. Cause they’ll still be working on things they aren’t going to shoot until later. And then, honestly, when things go into [post-production], we’re still being asked to revisit, or redesign, or things could get added in reshoots and things, and additional photography.  We’re kind of on-call almost for the entire length of the film.”

Designing Spider-Man

Tom Holland as Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War

Marvel Studios’ Visual Development department had the monumental job of bringing Steve Ditko and John Romita Sr.’s iconic Spider-Man costume to the screen.  “Designing that suit for [Captain America: Civil War] and transitioning into [Spider-Man: Homecoming] was one of the best, most fun things I’ve done at Marvel Studios,” Meinerding said.  “The previous films’ suit designs that were so successful, trying to find new directions to go in was challenging.  But looking back at the awesome artists and trying to find inspiration through, you know, the way they had Spidey emote with the eyes, which really had a connection with the audience, was one of the things I was really happy to pitch.”

“And in finding that new look and having it be designed by Tony Stark and bringing more of a tech-edge to it, that was really exploited in Homecoming, was a fun thing to do too.  It took me a while, took me about a 115 different designs to get to that idea.  I wish it had been design number 3 instead. But that’s what it took. [Spider-Man: Far From Home], I think it’s filming right now.  It’s exciting. I can’t wait for you guys to see what’s in there.”

Marvel Films Phase 4

When asked if they know anything about the next wave of Marvel films coming out, Meinerding said, “Ah… no.  Honestly, no. There’s some things that we’re working on, but there’s-- We’re excited to find out and get going on them.” Park added, “We’re on a need to know basis. So, the next films, we know. We’re always wondering. We’re always asking each other, ‘What’s going to happen after this?!’ ‘I don’t know yet.’”

More: Peyton Reed Interview for Ant-Man and the Wasp's Blu-ray

Key Release Dates
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
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