Marvel Studios is about to take the de-aging process -- in which actors are digitally made to look like their younger selves -- to a whole new level.
That's because the studio intends to de-age Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury in Captain Marvel, which makes sense, since the film is set in the 1990s. But unlike films like Captain America: Civil War, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, or the two Ant-Man entries -- which contained brief scenes featuring a de-aged Robert Downey Jr., Kurt Russell, Michael Douglas, and Michelle Pfeiffer, respectively -- Jackson is going to look the way he did 25 years ago for the whole movie.
"Well, I think having the option is pretty amazing. And I think having the technology and even without spoiling anything, Sam Jackson is shooting a movie for us right now that takes, where he’s entirely 25 years younger the whole movie."
And Jackson won't be the only Marvel favorite to get that treatment. Clark Gregg's Agent Phil Coulson will go the same route:
"And Coulson. So that’ll be the first one where it’s a character for the whole movie, as opposed to a glimpse at a certain period of time. It’s the whole movie. So it’s possible, assuming that works. It’s possible. It’s very good when you are starting by the way with somebody like Michelle Pfeiffer or Michael Douglas or for that matter Sam Jackson or Clark Gregg."
De-aging two characters for an entire movie is certainly ambitious. The short examples we've noted above have been very impressive, particularly Pfeiffer and Douglas in Ant-Man and the Wasp. But again, those have been for just a few minutes of screen time (although Douglas himself would like to take it further).
The closest anyone has come to de-aging a character for the better part of a movie was Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy, which yielded mixed results but was also made some eight years ago, an eternity when it comes to advancements in digital effects.
Marvel still has some nine months to go before Captain Marvel is set to arrive on March 8, and no doubt the studio and its digital team will be working very hard to make Fury and Coulson look as realistic and natural as possible. Do you think they can pull it off?