“The visual effects budget for Warner Bros.’ “Green Lantern” has risen by $9 million, with new vfx houses recruited to bolster the team that’s been working overtime to meet the film’s June 17 launch.
The Warner Bros. pic will no doubt meet its date, but other effects-heavy films continue to scramble. In fact, the kind of sturm and drang that’s swirled around “Green Lantern” is actually par for the course on most visual effects-heavy tentpoles these days — and the problem’s growing.
Warners isn’t the only studio grappling with these issues. Alonso said Paramount’s “Captain America” is on a shorter schedule than Marvel prefers, and “We are feeling the heat for it.”“
“”Green Lantern” fell under heightened scrutiny after an early trailer showed little in the way of vfx. Fans grumbled, but that was a calculated risk by WB: Rather than rush some shots for marketing (a common practice), the studio held back the vfx for the second trailer. That gamble seems to have paid off, as footage shown at WonderCon and Cinemacon was well received, and buzz is building.
Chris de Faria, Warner’s exec VP of digital production, animation and visual effects, defended “Green Lantern” and Warner’s process on the pic. “There is no problem on ‘Green Lantern,’?” he said. “We try to add things to make the movie better until the 11th hour. That doesn’t mean we’re risking the movie up to the 11th hour.”
Whispers about problems on the production grew louder after schedule concerns early in the new year triggered high-level meetings to get the project back on track. The cost of its roughly 1,400 visual effects is more than $9 million over the $45 million original f/x budget. That budget is on the low side for a vfx-heavy tentpole, but 3D hadn’t been taken into account in the original budget.
Sony Imageworks and Rising Sun Pictures are the primary vfx studios on “Green Lantern,” and both say they’re delivering on schedule or according to contract. De Faria said one all-CG pre-credit sequence had been cut in development, then added back once the studio saw an early cut, so Pixomondo was brought on late to complete it.”
More money for better effects is a good thing, but it does seem like things are being cut pretty fine.