Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness gave the MCU its first taste of the Fantastic Four with John Krasinski's casting as Mr. Fantastic for the Illuminati in Earth-838. Bringing a new version of the team's iconic costume into play for his MCU debut, Krasinski embodied the essence of Marvel's First Family in a way that brought fans to the edge of their seats upon his debut.
This costume was one of many challenges for the Doctor Strange 2 team to tackle in terms of costuming, particularly with so many unique characters that drove the story forward. Doctor Strange found himself fitted in a brand-new Master's outfit, and with half a dozen unique heroes making up the Illuminati, it was extremely important to make sure they came on screen the right way.
At least some of these suits were created completely digital, including Anson Mount's Black Bolt outfit, leading fans to wonder just how much CGI was used in unexpected places for Doctor Strange 2.
Now, more details have come to light about John Krasinski's Fantastic Four costume, explaining just how much work went into bringing the MCU's first Mr. Fantastic into the story.
Krasinski's Mr. Fantastic Suit Completely CGI
In an interview on the Phase Zero podcast, MCU costume designer Graham Churchyard shared insight into how John Krasinski's suit was created for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Churchyard explained how both Hayley Atwell and Lahsana Lynch's costumes were crafted for them after a number of fittings to get them exactly right. However, he confirmed that Krasinski's Mr. Fantastic suit was completely developed through CGI and no physical costume was made for the character, as was the case with Anson Mount's Black Bolt:
“To answer your question, Captain Carter, yeah we fitted Hayley a few times in London before she then went to the States on additional photography. Lashana Lynch, we did so many fittings with her, she’s amazing. We got a really different but accurate and interesting looking Captain Marvel costume there. Completely made from scratch, molded, and all the hard parts on there are kind of molded specific to the person’s body. But Reed Richards and Black Bolt, they were a little surprise to me at some point, there were lots of other people talked about, but sadly for me, they are not physical costumes.”
Churchyard also spoke with ComicBookMovie, offering his sympathies to visual effects artist Janek Sirrs for having to "shoehorn those in at the last moment," largely due to the travel bans that affected the shooting. Once the characters were set, it was "too late and too close" to shooting to do anything with the costumes physically, meaning they would all have to be done via CGI:
“Yeah, I feel sorry for Janek Sirrs that he had to shoehorn those in at the last moment. We had designs for other characters, and then we didn’t have casting and there were travel bans. When we were shooting the Illuminati in London, actors like Sir Patrick couldn’t come to London because of travel. Richie Palmer and everyone had a big wish list of like who was going to be in the Illuminati. When it came down to those two characters being settled on, it was then even too late to make something locally in Los Angeles. Just way too late and too close."
The designer shared how much the team tried to do practically in terms of visual effects, even putting Elizabeth Olsen on "a very elaborate wire rig" on which she did all of her stunts as the Scarlet Witch. Unless something in the costume gets in the way of a practical effect, the team tried to do as much as possible practically so that there was less to do in post-production:
“It was probably too close for comfort for visual effects to really do that because up to that point, everything else had been physically there. All of Wanda when she’s flying around Kamar Taj on a very elaborate wire rig that’s like a spider that goes six ways that can pull you in different directions. Where possible, pretty much everything is physical in the costumes unless they say, ‘Hey, the skirt is getting in the way of the rig.’ It just gives visual effects one less thing to do out of the million things that they have to do in to bring these characters and enhance them in the way you see them.
Churchyard went into detail on how Lashana Lynch's Captain Marvel suit was crafted, starting with a 3D scan before the costume was built, printed, and molded on top of the actor's scan. He expressed how happy he was with the way the costume turned out, even with how quickly the Illuminati met their end in the movie, hoping that even more material with them shows up on the movie's Blu-ray disc:
“Lashana Lynch as Captain Marvel...we built that entirely from scratch. We start with a 3D scan in a photogrammetry booth, and then we work out a form of the person and start building the costume on top of that and sculpt things in the computer. We’re then printing those out, molding them, and then get to the point where we say, ‘Let’s bring the actor in for a fitting’ and fine-tune it until you get something like that. I was really happy with Lashana’s costume. The fit and performance, and she was able to fight. All I’m saying is a lot was cut and it’s a very quick end for the Illuminati. We shot a ton more, but maybe it’ll be on the Blu-ray.”
The Surprising Use of CGI for Mr. Fantastic
Over the past couple of years, Marvel has relied more heavily than ever on its work with CGI, even when it comes to the iconic costumes seen in the last few movies. Spider-Man: No Way Home shocked fans with a couple parts of the Spidey costumes being created digitally, and of course, the upcoming She-Hulk: Attorney at Law will have a leading character that's entirely computer-generated.
In the Illuminati's first introduction to the MCU, it appears that most of the team actually wore real costumes outside of John Krasinski and Anson Mount, whose powers also took more CGI than other characters to bring to life. While this doesn't indicate at all whether this trend will continue for the Fantastic Four in their own solo movie, fans are only hoping that the team's suits will look as good as expected when the time comes.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now streaming on Disney+, and its Blu-ray disc will be available for purchase on July 26.