Real-Life Lizards Shaped The Lizard in Spider-Man 2

Insomniac's creative team cleverly took inspiration from prehistoric lizards to conceptualise Lizard.

Real-Life Lizards Shaped The Lizard in Spider-Man 2

SUMMARY

  • Insomniac modelled and animated Lizard to mimic real-life reptiles.
  • Designers had to be careful about the balance between Lizard's movement speed and weight.
  • Dr. Curt Connors makes his appearance as the terrifying Lizard.
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Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is coming to the PlayStation 5 on October 20 and brings two slick protagonists who battle tough anti-heroes that challenge the synergy between Peter Parker and Miles Morales. Dr. Connors (the Lizard), is part of the fight and according to PlayStation Blog, the character design for him has been inspired by real-life lizards. 

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Lizard’s concept art was initially inspired by the comics, to which the creative team added the ‘Marvel flair’ so that the character fits well with the game’s world and a spirit that fights against ever-evolving crises.  

How Insomniac Is Using Bio-mimicry to Design the Lizard

Spider-Man 2 - Lizard Concept Art
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2’s Lizard concept art was initially inspired by prehistoric reptiles.

According to Jacinda Chew, the senior art director at Insomniac Games:

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We looked at a lot of lizard skin for research. The thing about lizards in real life–their skin’s actually really dry. Most people who looked at our Lizard kept initially saying ‘he’s not slimy enough.’ But I think it’s a nod to what people expect a lizard to look like–he’s got that lizard skin, but it’s actually much shinier than what you’d see on a real lizard.

The large reptile’s movement and terrifying primal instincts are visible quite blatantly. Insomniac took references from prehistoric lizards, with a snake-like essence and harsh demeanor. The devil truly lies in those details, as you can spot Lizard’s pupils change in size. You can also spot such intricacies thanks to PlayStation 5’s solid hardware.  

Chew gave us more insights into the team’s biomimicry inclination:

Lizards actually move very low to the ground–it’s not very intimidating. In the comics, Lizard is more bipedal and upright, so more human. We had to thread that needle–he’s bipedal but still has to maintain some of that lizard look, so he’s got that curved back.

The key to perfecting Lizard’s movement was to balance speed with heaviness. When you see him move around, you just immediately feel a sense of threat and boldness that comes from Lizard’s versatile movement regardless of how huge he is. So far, the team is content with how the concept art has turned into a believable video game antagonist. Chew also commented on the Marvel fan-following that exists in the team, and much of the writing and design for Lizard has been inspired by the comics.

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Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 – Meet Dr. Connors

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 - Lizard
Marvel’s Spider-Man stays true to Dr. Connors’ story that started as a quest for helping himself and those like him.

Just like in the comics, Dr. Curt Connors has had a career in medicine. Due to tragic circumstances, Connors lost one of his limbs, which put him in the process of revolutionary research around molecular biology and manipulating DNA. This would help him restore his limb, along with a philanthropic pursuit of helping those like him, by letting them have another chance thanks to his life-changing serum. However, things take a drastic turn and Connors ends up turning into a monstrous lizard, who goes on to become Peter Parker’s foe. 

In Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the Lizard is first mentioned as a backpack Easter egg. Ever since, Insomniac has been working on introducing the villain to the newest game, closely knitting Connor’s, Mile’s, and Peter’s journey into a single narrative. While Lizard was part of Peter Parker’s initial storyline in the comics, the next game will see Miles play a role too.

According to the Spider-Man comics, Lizard has several superhuman powers in his peak form, including the ability to regenerate any missing limbs. He can lift weights up to 12 tons, and his massive leg muscles allow him to jump up to 18 feet. His movement, despite his huge physique, allows him to maneuver at speeds up to 45 miles per hour. This kind of strength certainly makes him a tough foe to go against. 

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What are your thoughts on Insomniac’s version of Lizard? Let us know in the comments.

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Written by Tanay Sharma

Articles Published: 476

Tanay wears more hats than Red Dead Redemption 2 characters. He's a musician, writer, voice-over artist and adores interactive media. His favourite games are the ones with memorable stories and characters. He's pursuing a master's degree in Behavioural Sciences. No, he won't read your mind.