In the ranking of the surprises in “Deadpool 2,” the reveal that Juggernaut was one of the main baddies is pretty low on the list. Without a doubt, it was a delight to see the “X-Men” villain redeemed after his previous, dreadful appearance in “X-Men: The Last Stand,” but there are things in “Deadpool 2” that are way more surprising (We’re looking at you, X-Force). That being said, in any other superhero film, keeping one of their main villains a secret would have been impossible.
And in a new interview, the director David Leitch discusses the level of secrecy that surrounded Juggernaut’s appearance and how they went about digitally creating the massive character. And yeah, it sounds like a huge pain the butt.
“We had somebody in a gray suit, you know, performance capture, but we weren’t recording,” Leitch said (via CBM). “It was only for a reference on film. We weren’t recording mo-cap. He’s completely animated and so, we just thought, because his geometry, he’s so tall, getting performance capture onset for his physicality wasn’t effective. If it was going to be an actor where we saw his face, we would probably have done a face rig, but it wasn’t that situation. So, we had different stunt performers at different times play him as reference, but it was never a mo-cap situation.”
As we learned after the film’s release, Juggernaut was voiced by actor Ryan Reynolds, who also do the motion-capture for the face. But on set, they didn’t employ the same fancy techniques that Marvel Studios did for Thanos.
When it came to the fight with Colossus, that’s when Leitch and Co. had to get a little creative. “I’ll say this though, for the fight scene at the end with Colossus, we did do mo-cap reference, and so we had a smaller stunt performer — maybe like, 5′ 7″ — fighting a guy who’s 6′ 4″, 6′ 5″, and tried to get more proportions right,” Leitch said. “And we did the fight scene in mo-cap and put cameras on it. And it was still just a reference for the animators, it was really some great animation done by Framestore that pulled us over the finish line.”
Leitch also discussed how they kept the big villain reveal out of the marketing materials, as a true surprise to fans. Thankfully, “Deadpool 2” has a secret weapon that most major tentpole films don’t have – Deadpool. The director credits the character as the reason they were able to hide Juggernaut since Deadpool is always at the center of trailers.
He explains why the reveal was so important, “We were trying to be shocking. [Ryan Reynold is] sort of the keeper of the brand and he has a lot to say with that. And he was really passionate about keeping Juggernaut a secret, just like he is in the script. It’s like, if you knew he was in it, then you would subvert that moment in the prison where Russell and Wade are talking about the monster in the basement, and you kind of subvert that moment for the audience and it’s not as entertaining.”
“Deadpool 2” is in theaters now.
Also, check out the new clip showing Juggernaut in action: