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“It’s amazing!” Visual effects wizards on bringing ‘WandaVision’ and ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ to life

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Marvel Studios/Disney+

(SPOILERS FOR “SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME”) Cutting-edge tech company MARZ crafted eye-popping visual effects for shows like the Emmy-winning WandaVision and Watchmen, and for big-screen projects including Marvel’s Eternals and the recent blockbuster Spider-Man: No Way Home

The company’s name is an acronym for its stock in trade: Monsters, Aliens, Robots and Zombies. And while its wizards have brought those to life, it’s their expertise in more subtle effects that has won them acclaim.

The best effects are the ones we don’t notice. One of the company’s specialties is digital de-aging: doing with pixels things of which a plastic surgeon could only dream.

The company’s Partner and Chief Operating Officer Matt Panousis tells ABC Audio there’s a “huge demand” for their services. “[Y]ou have so many actors and actresses in their primes right now that want to maintain…their careers in their primes,” he says.

He adds, “it opens up the possibility for actors to play roles that are not representative of their true ages.”

In No Way Home, MARZ’ tech was used to make Tobey Maguire, 46, and Andrew Garfield, 38, appear more like the friendly neighborhood Spider-Men fans remember.

Effects artist and company co-president Lon Molnar enthuses, “From a storytelling point of view, I mean, this is exciting for audiences to be able to see, you know, a younger Michael Douglas [in the MCU] or younger — I don’t want to give anything away — but in Spider-Man just being able to see, you know, younger actors or the way they were perceived 20 years ago.”

MARZ worked extensively on shaping Paul Bettany‘s Vision in WandaVision. So how do they feel about Bettany being nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe?

“I think it’s amazing, and we’re really pleased,” Molnar says, “…but at the end of the day, it all comes down to…Paul’s performance, and all we are doing is enhancing that performance.”

 

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