As Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters this week, celebrating the 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), I wanted to go back in time and remember some of the best visual effects sequences of this franchise that changed the VFX industry forever.
Back in 2008 Iron Man had the honor of launching the MCU. The movie remains today one of the best one of the franchise and established the base for the 18 (and soon to be 19) following movies.
Among the most emblematic scene of the movie was the first time we saw Tony Stark wearing his Iron Man suit. Vancouver based studio ‘The Embassy‘ was in charge of creating the Mark I.
A month later a new reboot of Hulk was being released in theaters. Completely ignoring the previous version from Ang Lee from 2003 this movie reintroduced the Hulk character inside the Marvel universe but it’s only a few years later with “The Avengers” release that Marvel will finally find the good recipe for this classic character.
Surfing on the success of the first installment Iron Man’s sequel went out 2 years later, in 2010.
Among a couple of memorable sequences such as the Monaco race sequence (done by DNEG) the movie also bring us one of the most famous “VFX meme” – featuring Iron Man and War Machine in Pyjama in a sequence handled by Pixomondo.
Willing to expand its universe even more Marvel then released Thor, sending us to the world of Asgard and its Nordic gods. If the character of Thor was still far from the one we got used to see since last summer “Thor: Ragnarok” this movie had the though task to introduce the world to their cosmic universe.
One of the most memorable moment was when we traveled through space at the beginning of the movie to discover the city of Asgard. A great sequence signed BUF!
A month later we got introduced to another major character of the MCU: Captain America. Set during WWII the movie featured some impressive visual effects work by Lola VFX to recreate the young and skinny Steve Rogers, prior to his transformation as Captain America.
Other key sequence was Captain America’s first fight against Hydra, by Look Effects.
In Summer 2012 Marvel finally unleashed their big plan with the release of “The Avengers”. Never before a movie had feature so many super-hero characters in 2 hours, or at least not with that kind of ambitions and character work.
Building upon the previous movies “The Avengers” finally bring all those characters together and delivered us one of the very best 3rd act action sequence since a very long time… which will be copied again and again in the following years, not always for the best.
Industrial Light & Magic played a big role in this success by pushing the limits of VFX with their character work on Hulk and the Battle of New-York.