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How Much Work Was It to Remove Superman’s Mustache in JUSTICE LEAGUE?

How Much Work Was It to Remove Superman’s Mustache in JUSTICE LEAGUE?

If you saw Justice League at your local theater, then you might have noticed something slightly…off about actor Henry Cavill’s upper lip. Why did the Superman actor suddenly look like the digital recreation of Peter Cushing for Rogue One all of a sudden? It’s not like Cavill is dead and needed to be recreated via special effects. Nope, It’s because Supes had a mustache. Cavill was also filming Mission Impossible 6 at the same time as reshoots and his character had facial hair. He was contractually obligated to keep said facial hair, so the mustache had to be very carefully removed by a series of digital artists for Justice League.

The folks over at Business Insider contacted a well known visual effects house called The Mill over the summer to discuss the practicalities of removing a mustache. Anne Trotman, Lead 2D Artist, and Dave Fleet, the Head of 3D at The Mill, answered their questions about just how common removing an actor’s facial hair really is.

According to Trotman, “It’s very common to be asked, particularly on beauty projects. Sometimes celebrities might be shooting a commercial, but need to keep their facial hair for a film, so can’t shave on set. Also for different global markets these days some clients need alt versions.”

How long would it take to de-mustache the Man of Steel? According to Fleet, it takes “one week just to make the 3D elements; then another three weeks to track, animate, and render the shaven face; and another two weeks to composite it all together.”

What neither designer would come forward and say is just how much something like this would cost the studio. In the case of Justice League, the re-shoots were rumored to cost as much as $25 million total. I wonder how much of that money went to pesky mustache extermination.

Did you notice Henry Cavill’s weird CGI lip when watching Justice League or not? Be sure to let us know below in the comments!

Images: Warner Bros.

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