Warning: SPOILERS for Spider-Man: Far From Home
The events of Spider-Man: Far From Home force Peter Parker to face almost all of his fears, but none is more unforgettable than the specter of Tony Stark's death. A loss given new life by Mysterio... with the MCU's Zombie Iron Man.
Fans had their doubts that Mysterio's famous illusions could be adapted to live action, but Jake Gyllenhaal's villain did more than deliver. In fact, the sequence in which Mysterio unleashes his full power of hallucinations, illusions, and disguised death traps on Spider-Man may just be one of the most visually impressive in any Marvel movie to date. But following on the heels of Iron Man's death in Avengers: Endgame, it's the desecration of Tony Stark's (fictional) grave that will stand out most. Now, photos of Zombie Iron Man and insight from his designers have finally arrived.
The shadow of Iron Man's Endgame sacrifice looms large in Far From Home's story, with Peter Parker chosen to effectively become 'the next Tony Stark.' So it makes sense that when overwhelming Peter with drone-projected illusions based on his deepest fears, it's the sight of Tony Stark's grave that carries the most weight, before the grim solitude is broken by Tony's body crawling out of the dirt. The design of Zombie Iron Man has now appeared online thanks to befores & afters, who also spoke with the film's visual effects supervisor to get a glimpse into the design process.
The story behind the sequence, as explained by Framestore visual effects supervisor Alexis Wajsbrot, is one audiences may find hard to believe. After the Mysterio illusion sequence was named the high point of the film by test audiences, Marvel requested Framestore return to the drawing board--and take the illusions even further. Longer, more elaborate, and with only two months to achieve it. But achieve it they did, with Wajsbrot explaining the creation of Zombie Iron Man:
Designing Iron Man was quite a challenge, just like any suit for Iron Man. It had to be not too gory, but gory enough, the right balance between, do you see a bit of flesh, or only see the skull, or armor? Our art department jumped in here and did a lot of concept work.
One of the evolutions of the work was that we designed the graveyard early, and the school hallway early, but then when we re-visited them, we stylized the final shots a lot. What defines a school hallway? Maybe just the lockers are enough? The ground was green smoke, no wall or ceiling. Same for the graveyard – we removed all the grass, replaced it with black, removed the trees, the sky, and just kept the gravestone.
The art department clearly decided to return to the comics themselves, rendering a skin-crawling, but nearly identical version of Zombie Iron Man from the cover of Marvel Zombies 2 #1, the first issue of the sequel series to the fan-favorite 2006 horror title. It's one of Spider-Man: Far From Home's best Easter Eggs for fans who have that Arthur Suydam artwork committed to memory. Thankfully now that the official image of the zombified Tony Stark has been released, fans who don't know the comic being alluded to can appreciate the homage, as well.
Fans knew that Spider-Man: Far From Home would tease Phase 4, but nobody expected it to work the Marvel Zombies lore into MCU canon. Even if it's only in the context of Mysterio's many illusions, it's better than nothing.
Source: befores & afters