Ebony Maw, Infinity War

Infinity War: Here's how the Black Order's Ebony Maw was basically Sir Laurence Olivier from outer space

Contributed by
Aug 22, 2018

"Is it safe?" If you listen to the directors' commentary for Avengers: Infinity War, you will learn that the scene where Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) tortures Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) with crystalline needles in an attempt to secure the Time Stone, is a direct homage to William Goldman's Marathon Man, a film where a Nazi dentist (Laurence Olivier) tortures a young P.h.D candidate (Dustin Hoffman) about the whereabouts of precious stones. 

This scene and all of the ones set aboard the Black Order spaceship was created by VFX company Cinesite Studios: Maw's torturing Strange, Tony and Peter's plan to kill Maw, landing the ship on Titan, and the Avengers' first encounter with the Guardians of the Galaxy, which leads to the now-famous "Why is Gamora?" line from Drax (Dave Bautista). 

Except for the actors, everything (including most of their costumes) was created with CGI.

Watch the video below and have your mind blown out into the cold and merciless vacuum of space...

The fight that Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and Strange have with Drax, Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) was a one of the biggest projects of the film, given all of the characters and moving pieces in play. 

"This is an example of a lot of work with stunts teams, visual effects teams, figuring out, once again, once the story is fixed and the script, what does all this mean on a physical choreographed level?" says co-director Anthony Russo on the commentary track

"People have such different powers, such different sets of movements that they can make. To bring them all together in a satisfying way is really a task," adds co-screenwriter Christopher Markus. 

Check out more Infinity War VFX reels here (RISE), here (Weta), and here (Framestore). Two different gag reels for the film can be found here and here


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