In the latest installment of Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ franchise, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’, over 22,000 prostheses, 117 pairs of contact lenses, and 500 wigs were used in the creation of the film’s numerous characters. This broke the world record for prosthetic limbs used in a film, previously held by ‘The Grinch Stole Christmas’. The makeup team, led by makeup designer Brian Dmitriou and prosthetics designer John Rusek, were tasked with creating the unique looks of the film’s characters.
The team had 75 make-up artists on set, with up to 90 at times, to complete the intricate makeup designs. Prosthetics designer Rusek had two people working on each prosthesis to save time, which was vital when creating over 22,000 prosthetic limbs. The duo was responsible for bringing the original characters to life, such as villain The High Evolutionary and new hybrid human-animal creatures.
James Gunn, the film’s director, wanted accuracy in the portrayal of characters. For example, Chuck Iwuji, who plays the villainous High Evolutionary, had much of his face covered by prosthetics. Gunn wanted to ensure the actor’s performance was visible through the prosthetics, and therefore had the team pull the prosthesis back into the helmet. The process took no longer than two hours to transform Iwuji into the film’s newest villain, cutting down to 70-75 minutes after several sessions.
The makeup team created a wide variety of humanoid-animal hybrids, with around 30 people wearing unique makeup every day. The attention to detail was impeccable, with prosthetic limbs, custom wigs, contact lenses, and teeth for each character. Nine-piece prosthetic make-up was used for Bat-Mama, the character played by Pom Klementieff.
Before the actors got into their roles, the makeup and prosthetics team provided classes to ensure accuracy in performance and makeup application. The precision of the makeup even extended to the nails, with special effects artist Adam Walls creating nail art for each character.
In short, the makeup and prosthetics team took great care to create an authentic and intricate look for each character in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’. The result was an entertaining and visually stunning film, with the world record for prosthetic limbs used in a film being broken.