Industrial Light & Magic put ‘Wakanda Forever’s’ Namor on top of a helicopter simulation to test his different flight speeds

At one point in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the Talokanil attack the Golden City of Wakanda, flooding much of the city and unleashing a number of water bombs. The resulting melee also provides audiences with a chance to see Namor, King of Talokan (Tenoch Huerta Mejía) in full flight, courtesy of feathered wings attached to his ankles.

Industrial Light & Magic was behind the VFX for the attack on Wakanda and the flying sequences with Namor. Establishing his super-human flight movement and speed initially proved challenging, with one method the visual effects studio employed to explore flight options involving placing a CG Namor digital double atop a helicopter sim in Maya.

ILM visual effects supervisor Craig Hammack, who earned an Oscar Nomination and received the BAFTA for Special Visual Effects for the original Black Panther, worked on Wakanda Forever with production visual effects supervisor Geoffrey Baumann, tells befores & afters more about the flying Namor scenes, plus the Golden City destruction and water bombs.

Finding Namor

b&a: For Namor, what plates would you typically receive for him when he needed to be flying?

Craig Hammack: It was a full mixture. There were shots on the tuning fork, there were shots on full wires and there were shots with him standing on boxes. In post, too, there was actually a decision made that we would need to adjust his costume. The belts needed to be bigger, the shorts needed to have a different pattern on them. Then of course we had to do the wings on his ankles. This meant the majority of the shots where we see Namor from the waist down were CG replacements.