Justice League VFX Supervisor Bryan Hirota explained how they created a horrific but worthy death for Joe Morton’s Silas Stone.
One of the notable differences in Zack Snyder’s Justice League was the heroic sacrifice of Cyborg‘s father, Silas Stone, so that the team could track down Steppenwolf to put a stop to his nefarious plans for the planet. But in the moment of his death, VFX supervisor Bryan Hirota told Heroic Hollywood just how gruesome his death is as they layered all the horrific effects on Silas’ body from the laser heating up the Mother Box.
“We started devving his death in the original theatrical version and it got cut out because the idea was that he shouldn’t die. In Zack’s version, he needs to die, so we needed to get back into it. With this laser inside this glass box, Zack had, at least like conceptually, the idea that this box was like hot and sort of like a microwave or something and that stuff should be happening to Silas’ skin.
And, you know, like maybe, there should be little bits of his hair or clothes starting to smolder. And then he wanted him to get disintegrated in the wider shot. Not exactly like but not entirely divorced from the birth of Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen. In the closeup, we had a bunch of layered effects because we imagined bubbly microwave-type skin with steam escaping, and then with things that had less high moisture count, like the hair and the clothes, we would start to get like that cigarette paper kind of burn and smoke.”
Bryan Hirota went on to explain that the team wanted to give Silas Stone a worthy send-off to make his death feel meaningful to both Ray Fisher‘s Cyborg and the audience. The Justice League VFX team thought about how the laser would affect Silas’ internal organs, noting that the insides of his left eye pop before we see his bones start to disintegrate. Watching the character get eviscerated is emotional, but there’s complexity woven into it too.
“Before we cut out to the wider shot, the internals of his left eye pop and go sort of Milky white through the pupil because we were thinking that whatever was in there also reacted to the microwave thing. We spent a lot of time trying to layer that stuff… these various different sort of disgusting things happening to Silas, because we felt that he deserved a worthy death. And then he just disintegrates and the remote control thing falls out of his hand and he has internal structures like bones and things, which disintegrate at slightly different rates than his skin and clothes. Just again, to just to try to give it a little bit more complexity.”
What did you make of Silas Stone being eviscerated in Justice League? Was it a necessary death? Sound-off in the comments below!
Here is the official synopsis for Zack Snyder’s Justice League:
“In ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE, determined to ensure Superman’s (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) aligns forces with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, Batman (Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.”
Directed by Zack Snyder, Justice League stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J. K. Simmons, Harry Lennix, and Ciarán Hinds.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is now available on HBO Max. Stay tuned for the latest news regarding Joe Morton’s Silas Stone, Cyborg and the future of the DC Extended Universe, and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content!