Just when I was thinking that [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) could never top the awesomeness that was [The Avengers](movie:9040), Marvel comes out with a statement that proves me completely wrong!
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Marvel's executive VP of visual effects, Victoria Alonso, has revealed that Avengers: Age of Ultron will set a new record for VFX shot count for a Marvel Studios film! While [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973) had 2,500 VFX shots and [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073) had 2,750, Avengers, Age of Ultron is expected to top a whopping 3,000 VFX shots! That's a hell of a lot of Hulk Smashes!
So how exactly does Marvel expect to achieve this huge amount of visual effects? Alfonso told the Hollywood Reporter that the Avengers sequel will mostly likely involve working with 7 to 12 VFX vendors in five to seven different countries. Wow. While this might seem like a recipe for a disjointed and fragmented film, Alfonso thinks that being a more global film will be beneficial for the finished result, as VFX teams in other countries will "sometimes have ideas that we don't have. That’s what we gain by being global."
But with 3,000 VFX shots in the film, should we brace ourselves for a visual assault to the eyes, akin to The Hobbit? Personally, I don't think so.
The superhero genre needs VFX to work:
First of all, this might come as a surprise to many of you (as it did me) but with just under 2000 VFX shots, [The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug](movie:512310) actually had less visual effects than The Avengers which clocked in at 2,200. Who would have thought?
I guess this is because the superhero genre lends itself to the use of VFX. Without the use of a lot of VFX shots, characters like the Hulk just won't reach their full potential. Hell, without the use of VFX for an Iron Man suit you'd be left with some crummy, home-made looking craft project suit, and you gotta give RDJ more than that!
The superhero genre works with VFX well:
The fact that films like Avengers are based in real places, like New York City, make the VFX in superhero films look more seamless and less obvious than films in fantasy settings. Even if the entire city is created using VFX, the audience, rather than associate it with a computer generated effect, recognizes it as a real place - even if the city is being blown up and destroyed, it's still easier to swallow than if VFX has been used to create a whole world.
Joss Whedon knows his stuff
Lastly, let's not forget who is at the helm of Age of Ultron. Joss Whedon, the master of superhero and fantasy genres, knows how to get the most out his shots and, as evidenced by The Avengers, give us just the right balance with the visual effects.
I have no doubt that Whedon will produce a well polished and awesome film that won't leave us disappointed...But I guess we'll have to wait until May 1, 2015 to find out!