'Captain Marvel': How Did Samuel L. Jackson Look So Young?

'Captain Marvel': How Did Samuel L. Jackson Look So Young?

Samuel L Jackson is the youngest looking guy in show business. Jackson is a cool cat 70, and if you’ve seen his March Madness ads with Charles Barkley and Spike Lee you know how he really doesn’t look close to his real age.

Jackson doesn’t seem to age

You can binge watch the Avengers movies to see how Jackson remains ever-youthful as the commanding super spy of S.H.I.E.L.D.

If you go back further, to 1994’s Pulp Fiction, there’s a younger Jackson, but he still looks pretty much the same. By the way, Jackson garnered a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nod for the role of philosopher/hitman Jules Winnfield. He played a small part in 1988’s Coming to America with Eddie Murphy, and you can see he’s still the same cool customer. He’s one of Hollywood’s highest-grossing actors. 

He looks even younger in ‘Captain Marvel’

The latest addition to the Avengers series has Fury crossing paths with Captain Marvel.

They’re Earth’s only hope to stop a Skrull invasion. And in case you haven’t been paying attention, this SHIELD lead is a female–Oscar winner (The Room) Brie Larson. Captain Marvel is set in the 1990s and is a prequel to later movies, so Nick Fury is 25 years younger than the contemporary films.

How CG managed to make Jackson look 25 years younger

De-aging makeup is a thing of the 1990s, these days CGI is used to imitate both youth and age. Lola VFX did some special effects for Captain Marvel. His skin is so youthful they chose not to use a body double, but instead pulled some of the skin back from Jackson’s neck–instant facelift.

Nick Fury would of course never go for such a thing, but that one trick allowed the CGI team to slim, tighten, and smooth over Jackson’s face. Since he’s in 75% of the movie, shooting the scenes and then re-shooting with a body double as both time and cost prohibitive. 

More technical wizardry made Jackson a young Fury

The Lola team reviewed some of Jackson’s movies from the 1990s–Die Hard: With a Vengeance, Sphere, and The Negotiator–to get a visual on how his expressions changed and his face moved when he was in his 40s.

They recreated 40-something Fury frame by frame; by closing pores, reshaping his jawline, and re-lighting shadows to match Jackson in those days. CGI also let Jackson morph into young Fury by changing his posture slightly and slimming him a bit. 

But do we find out what happened to Nick Fury’s eye?

One of the fun things about the Marvel movies is that they cross universes with the comic books. In the comics, Nick lost most of his vision in a WWII grenade blast, and over the years he’s lost 95% of his sight. Since he’s still running strong 1n 2019, the Marvel fan universe has decided that Fury has gotten injections of anti-aging Infinity Formula, and he could have easily lost the eye 75 years ago.

In the movie universe of Captain Marvel, Fury isn’t sporting his signature eyepatch. Marvel Studios has teased the idea that Fury’s eyepatch came courtesy of a scuffle with Captain Marvel’s (alien) cat Goose.

What’s next in the Marvel-verse?

Avengers:Endgame is slated for release the end of April 2019. This one is supposed to tie up loose plot ends–Iron Man tries to return from Triton and Captain America gets the gang back together from the tatters of Infinity War for one last swing at Thanos.

Yes, this movie might be the end of the Iron Man series, but count on the Marvel Comic Universe to find new ways to bring SHIELD and the Avengers together again. The scuttlebutt in Hollywood is that the Black Widow is finally getting her title movie, in May 2020. 

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