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Mutatis Mutandis

Bryan Singer Teases All-CGI Character for Days of Future Past; Can Neither Confirm Nor Deny Nightcrawler

We’ve come a long way since Jar Jar Binks was considered the pinnacle of emotive CGI characters in live action film, as the special features on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit will surely demonstrate on their own, without any need to mention either Star Wars or Avatar. When you consider the drastic physical transformation undergone by some of the X-Men when their mutant gene kicked in, it makes sense that it would be a technology that Bryan Singer would be interested in deploying the technology in Days of Future Past.

Is it only coincidence that he’s also refusing to confirm whether Nightcrawler will make the character roster for the film? Probably, but it’s a nice coincidence.

Singer used motion capture for the first time on the imminent Jack the Giant Slayer, and told MTV:

I definitely want to use this technology again, and I might even be using some of it in a different way in “X-Men.” I don’t wanna say how, yet, but I’m definitely using some of this technology on “X-Men” which I never used in any of the other “X-Men” films.

Are you talking about creating a fully CGI character in “Days of Future Past”?
That’s the thing I don’t want to talk about. I’m not sure. I’m doing research on it now.

There are two things that come to mind here: Singer used motion capture to bring the giants of Giant Slayer to screen. We’ve also been given some indications that the X-Men’s own giant foes, the Sentinels, will be making an appearance in Days of Future Past. Giant robots, however, don’t strike me as the kind of characters you would necessarily need to get a particularly expressive performance out of. Which leaves us with a number of X-Men characters who have a completely transformed and permanent appearance. On the subject of Nightcrawler, for example, Singer has been studiously unwilling to make promises. From HuffPo:

Will we ever see Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler again?
I don’t know. We’ll see. You know … we’ll see.

That sounded coy.
[Laughs] Yeah, I know. I don’t want to … sometimes you don’t want to say “yes” or “no” to something that may not be a “yes” or a “no,” or anything. I haven’t decided yet, a few things. I’m still, you know — there are certain aspects of the script that I’m still toying with.

The last time Nightcrawler was in a movie, it was 2003, and the idea of creating an all CGI character was still pretty revolutionary. It had been less than six months since The Two Towers introduced the world to Andy Serkis‘ Gollum, the final nail in the coffin of the idea that a mix of motion capture and CGI animation could create a character that produced a full range of emotions in an audience. Alan Cumming, however, still had to sit through hours of makeup every day, an experience that left him cool on returning for X-Men: Last Stand. While motion capture isn’t without its own odd makeup, it certainly involves less of it. What character do you think Singer has in mind for an all CGI rendering?

(via MTV and HuffPo.)

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  • Ryan Colson

    I remember reading that Cumming did want to be in this one, somewhere, at least..

  • Donna D.

    The whole concept is Kitty Pryde travels to the past right? I bet it’s her tiny dragon companion, Lockheed.

  • Anonymous

    Screw Bryan singer if he does this to night crawler!!!!!!

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    Colossus? Or Lockheed in a longshot. But not Longshot.

  • Angry And Yellow

    I’m less worried about the CGI and more worried about Bryan Singer’s story telling. Even if you look at The Avengers, the Hulk was done using motion capture and looked great, so I could imagine a Colossus, Nightcrawler, or Beast looking great. The bigger problem is the Bryan Singer butchers comic book movies for fun. Remember how X2 was supposed to be based on “God Loves, Man Kills”? Remember Superman Returns (and Superman’s illegitimate love-child)? While I love the Usual Suspects, I don’t believe that he has the skill to execute a complex story like Days of Future Past.

  • Anonymous

    The look of Beast was never done right and I think this is a case where the limits of what you can do with make up really shows. Colossus is pretty much already CGI but I wish they would make him bigger (he’s supposed to be 7’5″ in armored form).
    As for Nightcrawler, Alan Cumming did a great job with make-up and I don’t think Singer should use CGI when he doesn’t need it.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    The giants look horrible, you bastard.

  • Anonymous

    Sentinels or GTFO…

  • ACF

    Nightcrawler seems like the most probable choice, followed by Beast or maybe Mystique if he wasn’t happy with how they looked (Beast more likely than Mystique; she’s always looked pretty good, while Beast never really has). Maybe Colossus or Iceman in their more mutant-y form. Most of the others I can think of are pretty C-list.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    I want more Alan Cumming, stat.

  • Anonymous

    I still feel very apprehensive about Singer being back on the franchise. Then again I’m just very protective of X-Men: First Class…