While Ross Marquand eventually would voice Red Skull in ‘Avengers: Infinity War‘ it wasn’t clear who would play the part when the scene was shot, so they ended up having a completely CGI version of the character. When the shot was being crafted, there was still hope that Hugo Weaving might be willing to tackle the role, but Digital Domain’s Kelly Port has cleared the air as to how he was created.
Port explained that there was “kind of a wide spectrum of designs in terms of what he would look like” as they wondered if they would “get Hugo and put him back in makeup, and try to do it that way? But then he was teleported by the Tesseract, out of The First Avenger, to Vormir, so he was this kind of otherworldly thing. It was some version of the artwork where the Tesseract did very bad things to his appearance, so he was much more skeletal. We did kind of end up in this place that was kind of a place in between, and showed both that the Tesseract did affect him and choose him in some kind of way to be this character on Vormir to give you the rules of the Stone, and kind of went from there.”
So even if they had ended up with Hugo returning to voice the part, which obviously didn’t happen, they did “get the scans of Hugo in makeup” from Marvel Studios off of his appearance in ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ to base the look off of.
According to Port, this actually worked out great for them:
“What’s great with Marvel is because it is a shared universe, you’ve got this extensive library of any character you want. If you wanna go back to the first Iron Man, you go back to the first Iron Man, you get the armor for it. If you wanna go back to The First Avenger, you get the scans of Hugo in makeup, right? So any time we work with a character, we’ll photograph and scan them. So we can start from that as a starting point, and then basically modify that look until we got to Red Skull in the final version of the film.”
Port went on to say that “Ross ended up coming in later to do the voice. And so on set we had the stand-ins that were kind of performing when Red Skull was actually walking” which is something that hadn’t been clear before as most audience members assumed he had been on set for the shots.
“It was one of the good things, too. Does he walk, is he slow? We kind of hit on this kind of ethereal feel to him, he’s kind of there, he’s kind of not. We’d have folks with mo-cap outfits that would be there with Josh Brolin and Zoe [Saldana]. Then they’d kind of be there for the eyeline, and they would speak the lines, and then, later on, we went back and got the dialogue.”
It was clear that CGI had been used in the scene but not that Red Skull was created entirely using it.
Do you find it interesting that a character like Red Skull can be entirely done by the actor remotely? Share your thoughts in the comments below, True Believers!