Films

Michael Douglas’ face being de-aged for 'Ant-Man and The Wasp' is utterly mesmerizing

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Tom Victor
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Want to know how Michael Douglas was made to look younger in those flashback scenes? Marvel’s VP of visual effects has explained how it was done

Did you watch Ant-Man and the Wasp? Probably, right. Most people did, like with every Marvel film.

Perhaps our interview with Paul Rudd was what convinced you to join the countless people who watched the summer blockbuster.

Whatever your reasoning, you were probably intrigued by Michael Douglas’ turn as Hank Pym, or – most significantly – what was going on with Michael Douglas’ face in those flashback scenes.

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Ant-Man and the Wasp saw the filmmakers ‘de-age’ actors for flashback scenes – effectively making older actors look a bit younger, rather than casting a second person to play a younger version.

But how did Marvel achieve it all? A new video has been released by Wired, featuring Marvel Studios’ VP of visual effects Danielle Costa, explaining the methodology behind some of the VFX magic.

“We’ve shaved as many as 20, 30, 40 years off actors over the course of the Marvel cinematic history with a technique of ‘youngifying’ actors,” Costa explains in the clip below.

“Essentially what we do on set is we dot up the actors’ faces so they have points of reference for tracking, and then resculpt and reshape the face to make them seem younger.”

You can see this in action with Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer from around the 2:15 mark, but the entire video shows how an array of different techniques played out in the production process.

A number of characters from Ant-Man and the Wasp are expected to appear in 2019’s Avengers sequel, with the title of that film likely to be confirmed sooner rather than later.

Now we’ve seen how they’re able to ‘youngify’ even the oldest cast members, might it be time for them to push it to its extremes?

Want to portray a superhero as a baby? You no longer need to work on the basis that all babies look more or less indistinguishable from adults when there’s the option of turning the de-aging dial back all the way.

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(Images: YouTube/Wired/Marvel)

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