Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were shocked to see Black Bolt (Anson Mount) officially introduced to the franchise during the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness earlier this year. Not only did the film opt to namedrop both Inhumans and the Terrigen Mists, but it also wasted zero time in killing the Inhuman king off. As soon as he was in the MCU, Blackagar Boltagon found himself without half his head.
As ILM VFX supervisor Julian Foddy recalls, a surprising amount of care went into crafting Black Bolt’s gruesome death sequence.
“For Black Bolt, it starts off with Wanda sealing his mouth shut, or rather ‘removing’ his mouth all together,” the filmmaker said in a recent chat with before & afters. “That was a CG patch that we created using the texture photography from the actor. Then to create the sonic blast that bounces back into his head, and effectively scrambles his brain, before blowing the back of his skull off, the way we approached that was to almost do it for real. “
For reference, Foddy and his team watched countless videos of “things getting smashed up in slow-motion.”
“We also looked at human faces in wind tunnels and the amount of ripple it does to your cheeks,” he added. “We found that it was impossible to sim that and get realistic results at 24 frames a second. So the FX team, instead, stretched out the timeline in Houdini and worked at something like 120 frames a second.”
The filmmaker then applauded his colleagues at Skywalker Sound for crafting the gut-wrenching sound that went along with the brain-blasting.
“I think it was definitely a task worth doing, it really gives some interesting and gruesome results,” Foddy concluded. “And hats off to Skywalker Sound for adding that kind of squelch noise, which none of us had heard until we saw it in the cinema. That’s the icing on the cake, just to really up the ‘ooh’ factor.”
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now streaming on Disney +. What’d you think about the sequel? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter to chat all things MCU!