Guardians 3 Has Most Prosthetics in Movie History

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 may not be lighting up the box office, but it did set a record. According to a fascinating piece in Variety, the film has more prosthetics than any other movie ever made. Guardians 3 used “22,500 prosthetics, 500 wigs and 130 facial hairpieces,” unseating the previous record holder, Ron Howard’s 2000 live-action version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

This makes sense; outside of Peter Quill and a few minor characters, pretty much everyone in Guardians 3 is some kind of creature, or at least cybernetically augmented. I don’t want to spoil some of the film’s surprises (which the article does, so wait till you’ve seen Guardians 3 before you read it), but all you have to do is watch the trailers to get a taste of how incredible it all looks. Nebula is a marvel (yep) of makeup and prosthetics; look at this video of Karen Gillan’s process of getting into character (this is from an earlier film, possibly Infinity War, but it’s likely more or less the same as it is in this movie):

That’s incredible. And there are plenty of others; the film’s villain, The High Evolutionary, looks wonderfully creepy, a cyborg-like horror that matches his inhuman persona. But perhaps most astonishing are the humanoid animals the Guardians encounter on a distant planet. These creatures are shown in the trailer, and even after seeing the movie, I assumed they were all CGI, albeit fantastic CGI. But no; according to head of makeup Alexei Dmitriew, they required makeup and prosthetics as well:

“For the humanimals, the hybrid of humanoid and animal that range from a kangaroo and turtle to vampire bat and rabbit, Dmitriew says, ‘day in day out, we had about 30 people in makeup, all with masks on with unique makeup.’

Each actor would wear a prosthetic with ‘intricate 3D-sculpted skull caps,’ Dmitriew says. For the Batmom, ‘We had nails and bat fins, a nine-piece prosthetic makeup, a custom wig, contact lenses and teeth. All the characters had makeup at that level.’”

That is amazing, and the work shows on the screen because Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 looks sensational. When the Guardians land on that planet with the “humanimals,” it feels like science fiction should feel, an unbelievable world that makes you believe in it. The descriptions of how Gunn and the effects and makeup artists constructed this film sound so different from the complaints levied against Marvel a year ago. That’s the difference between hiring a filmmaker who knows what he’s doing and the cheap-o directors Marvel loves nowadays. Gunn has a vision, or at least knows what he wants before the movie starts filming, so there’s time to make something special. Gunn himself talked about this phenomenon last year:

This reinforces what I said at the end of my Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 review: Marvel has now lost the last guy they had who cares.

Comments (1)

May 16, 2023 at 8:14 am

Just seen the movie again! It’s still amazing!

Also seen second Extraction 2 trailer?? It just came out! Maybe you can discuss it?

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