You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Seven f/x houses will share ‘X-Men’ duties

Domain, Walczak, Cinesite among the chosen

“X-Men” finally has its f/x team.

After months of stalling, 20th Century Fox has awarded f/x houses Digital Domain, Kleiser Walczak Construction, Cinesite, Hammerhead Prods., Matte World, CORE and POP the lead visuals for its f/x-heavy Marvel Comics actioner “X-Men.”

The decision this week has resulted in a sigh of relief for the companies chosen.

At a time when studios are only beginning to greenlight more f/x-filled projects, the question over who would land the work on one of the most sought-after f/x pics since “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” has been hovering over the f/x biz for much of the year.

The pic is expected to require hundreds of f/x shots. And with some houses charging $1 million per minute, the players chosen should receive a healthy boost in revenue in a highly-competitive market.

Summer bow

“X-Men,” about a group of “uncanny” comic book superheroes of the same name, is still skedded for a summer 2000 bow and is currently shooting in Canada.

The pic not only raised eyebrows in the usually tight-lipped f/x biz after Fox upped its release date from Christmas to summer, but also when production began without an f/x house on set.

With more and more computer-generated visuals appearing even in what are considered non-f/x films, staffers from f/x houses are increasingly involved in a pic’s production from day one.

Sources close to “X-Men” said that Fox had been waiting to decide on just how much it planned to spend on the feature, even opting to wait and take a look at the first dailies from the Bryan Singer-helmed shoot before proceeding with a final f/x budget.

Fox is trying to produce the action-packed pic for around $70 million, and opted not to go to A-list actors for key roles in order to keep costs down and maintain the number of planned visual effects.

Shot counts for specific visuals are still being determined for the houses and the pic itself, but all work created will be overseen by “X-Men’s” visual f/x supervisor Michael Fink (“Lethal Weapon 4,” “Braveheart” and “Batman Returns”).

In fact, the deals are so new that Digital Domain, which worked with Fox on “Fight Club,” “Lake Placid” and “Titanic,” was only delivered the “X-Men” last weekend.

Dividing the work

With work farmed out to seven f/x shops, the pic should hit its release date on time and relinquish fears that the pic will never hit the mark.

“Somehow the work will get done,” Digital Domain’s CEO Scott Ross said in September. “There’ll be a lot of dead bodies along the way, but there always is” (Daily Variety, Sept. 19).

Kleiser Walczak created 3D computer-animated visuals for “The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman” ride at Universal’s Islands of the Adventure theme park, and for the films “Stargate” and “Clear and Present Danger,” as well as for the Columbia Pictures logo.

Cinesite recently worked on “The Mummy,” while Hammerhead completed shark shots for “Deep Blue Sea.”

Pacific Data Images (“Antz,” “The Peacemaker”) had been rumored to be working on the pic, but it has not been awarded any shots as of yet.

Fink was unavailable for comment.

“X-Men” stars Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James Marsden, Hugh Jackson, Anna Paquin, Famke Janssen, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Ray Park.

More Film

  • 'Shazam!' Review: Zachary Levi is Pure

    Film Review: 'Shazam!'

    In “Shazam!,” Zachary Levi brings off something so winning it’s irresistible. He plays a square-jawed, rippling-muscled man of might, with a cheesy Day-Glo lighting bolt affixed to his chest, who projects an insanely wholesome and old-fashioned idea of what a superhero can be. But he’s also playing a breathless teenage kid on the inside, and [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday

    More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers. The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently [...]

  • Doppelgänger Red (Lupita Nyong'o) and Adelaide

    Box Office: 'Us' on Track for Second-Highest Debut of 2019 With $67 Million

    Jordan Peele’s “Us” is on its way to scaring up one of the biggest debuts of 2019, with an estimated $67 million from 3,741 North American locations. Should estimates hold, “Us” will be able to claim several milestones: the highest debut for an original horror movie (the biggest launch for any horror pic goes to [...]

  • NF_D_JGN-D6-2160.cr2

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Idris Elba Netflix 'Turn Up Charlie'

    Idris Elba in Talks to Join Andy Serkis in 'Mouse Guard'

    Idris Elba is in negotiations to join Andy Serkis and Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Fox’s fantasy-action movie “Mouse Guard” with “Maze Runner’s” Wes Ball directing. Fox is planning a live-action movie through performance capture technology employed in the “Planet of the Apes” films, in which Serkis starred as the ape leader Caesar. David Peterson created, wrote, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content