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The Real Reason Marvel Movies Are So Popular, According to James Gunn

Marvel films are heavily CGI-heavy, owing to the otherworldly themes and diverse universes that practically every production investigates. The MCU has no lack of people and worlds that can be presented on film, from flying superheroes to strange extraterrestrial animals. While the MCU films’ visual effects work is generally appreciated, other films, notably as Black Panther, have been chastised for their poor CGI.

Despite this, the visual effects department is still one of the most hotly debated themes following each project’s completion. For example, the Spider-Man: No Way Home VFX analysis provided fans with an in-depth look at Tobey Maguire’s costume and how Sandman was developed for the film.

Interviews with VFX professionals offer fascinating behind-the-scenes insights, like as how Shang-VFX Chi’s was hampered by Eternals and other MCU films.

Now, a seasoned MCU director has spoken out about how visual effects benefit the MCU.

James Gunn Reveals Marvel Studios’ Popularity Secret


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gun spoke with Deadline on the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s success.

During the interview, Gunn stated why Marvel movies are so successful now, noting that he “100%” thinks it is because of the visual effects. According to the seasoned director, the studio’s VFX “came to the stage where [they] can make it credible that a metal person is flying around:”

“A lot of current films survive now only due of visual effects.” People often ask me, ‘Why are Marvel movies so successful now when they weren’t previously?’ I can tell you 100 percent because the VFX has advanced to the point where we can make a metal figure flying around plausible.”
Gunn then highlighted the distinction between CGI and physical effects, conceding that one is superior depending on the circumstances:

“So many people, particularly on Twitter, get into these debates about ‘It’s realistic effects vs. VFX: which is better?'” And it’s like, guys… whatever works for the scenario. CGI is often used. There are certain things that practical effects cannot perform. Sometimes it’s for practical reasons. And then there’s something in the middle. Because people may be sloppy with CGI, that’s where I like to play. And they can just go in and say, ‘Uh, we’ll work it out later.’ Then you have to make something up. But if you prepare ahead of time, you can bring things together in such a manner, which we did a lot of.”
The Peacemaker producer and writer offered an unidentified TV program as an example, admitting that its awful CGI work “ripped [him] out of it so badly”:

“Last night, I was watching a TV program that I won’t name. Very excellent television show, very high-end television, you know, huge budget. And then they have this battle where they’re shooting people and the blood spurts are so… it seems as they were drawn in… And I’m thinking, “Oh man, that pulled me out of it so severely.”

James Gunn Applauds Marvel’s Visual Effects Work

James Gunn is engaged in all three Guardians of the Galaxy films, which all include extensive CG work owing to their extraterrestrial setting. Having said that, the director’s newest praise for the studio’s VFX work is justified.

Marvel Studios is known for pushing the envelope with its visual effects work, particularly now that the scope and scale of its films have expanded. As a consequence, extra work is required to finish the movie’ CGI.

For example, Avengers: Endgame has 2,496 visual effects shots, but that is expected considering the totally digital villain and dramatic final fight. However, WandaVision contains more VFX shots than Endgame, with the rebuilding of the whole village of Westview being the major reason.

WandaVision’s VFX shot count is a strong indication of what is to store for Phase 4’s visual effects department. The franchise’s examination of the Multiverse also implies that CG work will increase, since the scope will extend well beyond Earth and the universe.

At this point, Gunn’s words are expected to increase morale in Marvel’s VFX department as the crew prepares to embark on a tremendous amount of CG work in the Multiverse epic.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 by James Gunn is expected to hit cinemas on May 5, 2023.

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