It’s 50-year-old Will Smith (Henry) fighting 23-year-old Will Smith (Junior): aging assassin vs. his younger clone assassin. “We didn’t even think of it truly as de-aging; we thought of it as a complete creature replacement,” said Guy Williams, Weta VFX supervisor.
Junior, then, represents the logical evolution beyond Weta’s remarkable Caesar (Andy Serkis), while also applying lessons learned from “Alita: Battle Angel” (with Rosa Salazar as the titular, doll-like cyborg). This included leveraging the much lighter footprint for onset facial capture along with faster and more interactive models, better facial rigs, and greater real-time tools for instant feedback, among other advancements.
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