Last week, HN Entertainment’s Nicholas Whitcomb and CJ Paschall spoke to Alita: Battle Angel visual effects supervisor Eric Saindon in a lengthy interview about his and Weta Digital’s work on projects like Alita, Avatar, Avatar sequels, The Hobbit, and Amazon’s Lord of The Rings series (he hasn’t heard if Weta will be working on it).
They then moved on to the subject of Fantastic Four and X-Men heading to Marvel Studios.
Eric was the visual effects supervisor on X-Men: The Last Stand and The Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer. Weta Digital also has had a long history with various Marvel movies as they’ve worked on Deadpool, Deadpool 2, The Wolverine, X-Men: First Class, Iron Man 3, Guardians of The Galaxy Vol.2, The Avengers, Avengers: Infinity War (nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar), and the upcoming Avengers: Endgame.
With the Disney-Fox merger on the horizon, we asked Eric what he thought about taking another crack at the Fantastic Four or X-Men, and he seemingly is very hopeful that Marvel will attempt another version of Silver Surfer (Vice director Adam McKay is in early conversations with Marvel Studios about just that).
“Well, to be honest I’d love to see Silver Surfer realized in a different way, I don’t know, that movie could be re-realized in a new way especially with the techniques we have now, like if was performance capture from the start and you were able to get a performance from somebody that really embodied the character then I think you could come up with a really interesting story for it. I think back in the day, the way it was done it was sort of animated after and it never really reached the potential it could have been. There is such interesting stuff, stories out there for Silver Surfer that you could make something really fun out of that.”
He also suggests that Marvel Studios should take the X-Men characters in a totally new direction and suggests that Deadpool is a perfect example of what kind of direction, a rougher/grittier version.
“I mean X-Men has been re-realized so many times that I’d love to see it redone in an interesting way but it’s a hard story to put into Hollywood terms in a way that really works. I think each individual character needs to be realized a little bit different from what everyone’s expectations are at this stage. Because everyone remembers that first X-Men or the first Fantastic Four and I just think that it could be re-thought out in a different way. They’ve tried so many times and it’s never really worked right.”
“Deadpool starts to, making it a little but rougher and making it a little bit grittier which I think is an interesting way to go and what you sort of have to break off from everyone thinks of the X-Men right now and break the characters and just go into something different. I think it could be done.”
Alita: Battle Angel is the latest release that you can see Eric Saindon’s fantastic visual effects work on display and is now in theaters.