The Marvel Cinematic Universe takes pride in many things- A-list cast, cutting-edge VFX, directors, and more. But one of its most precious organs is the costume department. Wardrobe designers and Concept Artists spend weeks and months before coming up with the final design. Heavy investment on the technology has enabled the designers to turn even the wildest imagination into reality. It’s the eye-to-detail and impeccable creativity that gives a story to every character’s wardrobe. Thank goodness the actors and audience don’t have to bear those ridiculous tights anymore. Marvel Studios takes its wardrobe quite seriously and will not compromise on anything. This list features similar exciting secrets and facts about the MCU costumes from behind the scenes.
Costumes Decide The Character Arc
In many cases, the designer’s creativity is confined to the script requirements. But the wardrobe creators of the MCU are free of such boundaries. The concept-art and designing are executed long before the auditions and productions take place. Creators enjoy a great deal of liberty in envisioning the story behind every suit. Once the costumes are drawn, it helps the directors to conceptualize the character arc. James Gunn visualized Peter Quill aka Star-Lord as “a mixture and contradiction of many things- part cowboy, biker, rockstar, retro….” after he saw the design.
The Dilemma Between Comic Books And Movies
The heroes’ costumes keep switching themes under different directors. The comic book accuracy in Captain America and Black Widow’s suit was evident in “The Avengers” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron”. That’s because the movies were helmed by Joss Whedon who wanted to stay true to the source material as a comic book fan himself. When the Russo Brothers took charge of “The Winter Soldier”, “Civil War”, “Infinity War”, etc., these costumes took a more realistic approach.
Before Wanda took charge of Vision’s wardrobe, the android had a pretty good dressing sense in “Captain America: Civil War”. The change from cloak to semi-formal pullovers and shirts underlined his efforts to blend in with his human teammates. According to Joe Russo “The intent with that was that Vision is trying to discover how he fits in. He wants to assimilate, he’s looking for an identity, he doesn’t want to be a singular entity. He wants to see if he can access humanity in some way.”
Steve Rogers’ Journey Through Time
Captain America has jumped both forward and backward in time. After waking up from his prolonged sleep, Steve Rogers took his sweet time to adjust with the modern days and the pop culture. Adapting to the 21st-century fashion trends wasn’t easy for him as he subtly displayed discomfort with his body posture.
Tom Holland’s Struggles
Behind the fictional wars against supervillains, Spider-Man actor, Tom Holland had his own share of first-world problems. Let us not get carried away with how he used to breathe through the suffocating costume. Even doing mundane things like drinking water and using the washroom was another Avenger-level mission for him. The actor had to put a straw through his eye holes to be able to drink.
Ant-Man and Wasp
The details on Ant-Man and Wasp’s armour are subtle and easily overlooked by common viewers. But hardcore fans who have watched the film more than once spotted a brilliant addition. The heroes’ suits might look similar but each of them hid the heads of their counterpart insects.
Ant-Man’s Retro Suit
MCU movies aren’t anything if it’s not for their meticulous style of working. Be it the Easter eggs hidden in the plot or the costumes, all of them require attention to detail. Makers wanted to highlight the fact that Scott Lang’s suit in the first movie belonged to 1960s. While his suit in “Ant-Man and the Wasp” was modern and shiny, the hand-me-down from Hank Pym in the first film had faded colours and crinkles on the leather.
Doctor Strange’s Complicated Cloak
Doesn’t Doctor Strange’s cloak give an ancient vibe and looks like it belonged to Dumbledore’s great-grandfather? The cloak is an important factor of the Sorcerer Supreme’s suit as it is its own entity. It required absolute precision and hours and hours of brainstorming to get the most appropriate ancient sorcerer kind of outfit. Costume designer, Alexandra Byrne wouldn’t have settled for anything less. Her expertise lies in period dramas such as Hamlet, Emma, Mary Queen of Scots and more. So, she clearly knew what she wanted when she decided to make different layers with various fabrics for the cloak. In her words, it was crafted with “hundred shades of red”.
How Hela’s Antlers Were Built
Cate Blanchett is a powerful performer who could rock Hela in any piece of clothing in Thor: Ragnarok. But the Oscar-winning director, Taika Waititi wanted to stay faithful to the Marvel comic books. He “wanted this to embrace the source material and go full-on Jack Kirby.” The Visual Development team grew reservations about the idea after considering the heavyweight of the helmet and the number of antlers on it. So they found a mid-way and used a 3-D scan of Blanchett’s head to create the helmet. The issue with the antlers was also addressed by making them detachable.
What Happens To The Old Costumes?
Every Avenger’s costume has evolved and undergone upgrades since their debut. After all, Spider-Man can’t continue to fight those elite aliens and villains in his red and blue pyjamas. But the studio has a strict policy against discarding the old outfits. There is a dedicated team that maintains these early versions in a warehouse. Storing them comes handy when the script requires flashback scenes. From Captain America’s on-stage costume to Iron Man’s earliest armour suit, all of them are reserved in memorabilia. By the way, feel free let us know if you can get the address to this warehouse.