Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania had a number of VFX issues, and a new report lays out the behind-the-scenes problems that contributed to the movie’s lackluster CGI. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has had a divisive reception so far, with audiences being generally positive on the movie, while critics have not taken lightly to some of the film’s issues — namely the VFX.
A comprehensive report from Vulture shines a light on Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania‘s VFX issues and the behind-the-scenes goings on that contributed to them. According to the report, which got the information directly from three VFX workers on the movie, the adventure through the MCU’s Quantum Realm took “shortcuts” and “all the money went to” Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — with the VFX workers admitting the movie’s quality control was less than ideal. The movie was said to be understaffed, with artists needing to work up to “80 hours per week for months” to meet the deadline. Scenes were cut or altered due to the lack of time and budget. A VFX worker’s quote sums up the ordeal:
I think the movie is getting the reviews it’s been getting because Marvel is doubling down as much as possible on constricting quality. They’re squeezing blood out of stones. And we’re out of blood.
The MCU’s VFX Have Long Been An Issue
The Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania VFX problems are not the first such occurrence in the MCU, in fact, it has become a negative trend of Marvel projects as of late. Quantumania‘s negative reviews feel warranted, as one of the movie’s VFX workers revealed the money necessary for the project to run smoothly was there, although executives were not sending it down the ladder to hire more VFX workers. The artist said they “equate it to human greed.” This is not the first report in recent memory of Marvel Studios having a tumultuous relationship with VFX houses.
A recent report revealed that the VFX union — VFX-IATSE — estimates Marvel Studios hires one person to do the work that other studios would entrust to three professionals. Marvel has had a long history of changing VFX choices far along in a project — with one worker telling Vulture that “notes were nitpicked” — but with the pandemic ballooning production costs and sending Hollywood in disarray, the MCU Phase 4’s unimpressive VFX became glaringly obvious. The biggest source of criticism was the CGI-heavy She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Disney+ series. Marvel even addressed She-Hulk‘s CGI controversy in an episode of the show.
While the characteristic Marvel humor can go a long way, glib comments such as the She-Hulk: Attorney at Law VFX explanation are not what the serious situation needs. Sadly, it appears that Marvel is taking the wrong lessons from its current issues. A report from last year claimed Marvel Studios was considering developing its own VFX house. Instead of taking the valid criticism from VFX artists over Marvel’s allegedly exploitative practices and changing their ways, starting with paying the VFX workers better and not forcing 80-hour weeks, the studio may be taking away the work altogether. The Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania loose end shows the VFX issues remain for now.
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