Marvel Studios' Black Panther was, to a lot of critics and viewers, a revolutionary superhero film in terms of its sociopolitical narrative, but it also contained some of the most beloved, bombastic action sequences the Marvel Cinematic Universe has experienced to date.
One of them was the high-octane car chase in South Korea where King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) suited up to hunt Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) and bring him to justice. Now, courtesy of Luma Pictures, we have deeper insight into how this riveting action sequence was done from a visual effects standpoint.
In a breakdown video, Luma details how it built out the car chase, including CGI cars, intersections, buildings and of course, people, to mimic the South Korean nightlife. This all-digital setting, which shows the evolution of the rough 3-D models to the polished, final product on display, certainly leaves fans wondering just what's real and what isn't.
“We had to damage the Lexus throughout the sequence with bullet hits, damages to the windshield and Panther’s claw marks, and so we built several versions of the car in various damaged states to play out continuity across the sequence," Luma VFX Supervisor Brendan Seals said. “One of the most thrilling shots involved Klaue firing the sonic disruptor at Panther, causing the Lexus LC-500 to instantly obliterate into hundreds of pieces.”
Luma, the VFX studio responsible for this particular chain of events, further indicated that tracking the vehicles was important, as there were very specific notes from director Ryan Coogler and his Marvel team in terms of direction. “There were just a lot of moving parts (literally) and we hand-keyed most of the car pieces. That way we had full control and the ability to address very specific, art-directed client notes,” VFX Animation Supervisor, Raphael A. Pimentel, added.
Ultimately, it proved to be one of the movie's most engaging scenes, and gave us even more memorable moments between Black Panther and Klaue, who simply wanted to drain Wakanda of its vibranium.