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MCU's Thunderbolts Is Trying To "Stay Away" From CGI As Much As Possible, Actress Says

Julia Louis-Dreyfus also speaks about how Marvel has made some "clunkers" over the years.


Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and she's coming back to reprise her character again in Thunderbolts. In a new interview, she discussed the filmmaking process for that movie and talked about how Marvel movies are no longer guaranteed success stories at the box office.

Discussing the making of Thunderbolts, Louis-Dreyfus told The Daily that it's "very methodical," but not in a negative way. She added that Thunderbolts might have fewer CGI sequences than past MCU movies, as the story centers more on humans. "Particularly on this film, they are very much focused on, frankly, the humans' story--believe it or not. I think they are trying to sort of go back to their roots as it were, for real. So there is a lot of focus on that," she said. "They are trying to stay away from as much, I guess you would call it CGI or whatever, as possible. So the stunts are like everywhere."

Louis-Dreyfus said she did a couple of stunt sequences, which involved multiple days of rehearsal. But she made it clear that she's not becoming Tom Cruise and riding a motorcycle off a cliff. Her stunt sequences are "practically nothing," she said, adding that he had "gobs of fun" filming them.

Making Thunderbolts overall was a "very happy experience," she said.

Louis-Dreyfus went on to say that Thunderbolts had one of its two film editors on set during filming. She said only films that have a certain budget can do this, but for the likes of the deep-pocketed Marvel, it was actually a financial savings. That's because the editor being on-hand allowed Marvel to catch things during filming that they might need to fix or address later.

A film editor on set could, for example, notice "that angle if this hand coming in from that direction," she said, and then they could film again on the day instead of six weeks later during editing. Overall, Louis-Dreyfus said Marvel made Thunderbolts with a "wild amount of detail and attention."

The actress went on to talk about the impact that Marvel movies have had on the wider movie industry. Some might think that sequels and franchise movies with huge budgets would nearly always succeed, but she noted, "Even in the Marvel universe, they've had some clunkers." She didn't name any outright, but many have observed that films like The Marvels and Eternals came up short.

"I'm not sure the size of the franchise is the problem in the entertainment business," she said.

Instead, Louis-Dreyfus said corporate consolidation is "more of the problem" and "not the franchise itself." She added that another issue with modern-day filmmaking is having "lots of cooks and lots of people with opinions" involved in the filmmaking process. Movies with new and outside-the-box ideas are "hard to sell, to make," she said.

Dakota Johnson, who played the lead in Sony's Marvel movie flop Madam Web, said one of the issues with the movie was how it was made by committee.

"It's so hard to get movies made, and in these big movies that get made--and it's even starting to happen with the little ones, which is what's really freaking me out--decisions are being made by committees, and art does not do well when it’s made by committee," she said. "Films are made by a filmmaker and a team of artists around them. You cannot make art based on numbers and algorithms."

As for Louis-Dreyfus, she's making big movies like Thunderbolts as well as smaller, more independent fare like A24's Tuesday, in which she plays a mother with a terminally ill daughter who is visited by a bird who is basically her death doula.

Thunderbolts, meanwhile, releases in May 2025. The film also stars Sebastian Stan, Wyatt Russell, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, and Harrison Ford.

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