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So Robert Downey Jr. Broke His Leg While Filming Iron Man 3 & Was Replaced For 6 Weeks

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Posted by: Matt McGloin, Editor/Publisher
created 05/14/2013 - 10:34pm

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7781 Marvel Studios pulls another fast one on Iron Man 3 fans as it comes out that Robert Downey Jr. actually broke his leg while filming.

If you recall, back in August of last year, Robert Downey Jr. was injured while performing a stunt and was said to have hurt his ankle thus delaying production.

Turns out, production never stopped.

A new article talking about the film's special effects mentions that Robert Downey Jr. broke his leg and was actually replaced with a body double with digital edits added in.

CGSociety.org spoke with Iron Man 3 Overall VFX Supervisor, Chris Townsend, who worked with Weta Digital to fix the problem.

In amongst it all, shooting was delayed when Robert Downey Jnr (RDJ) broke his leg during a shoot day and that put the schedule into a tailspin for six weeks. It was during this time that VFX studios very much came to the rescue. “Together with face replacement and full body doubles, somewhere there was a solution to the problem of not having Robert Downey Jnr on set for the time,” explains Townsend. “The collective VFX Supes and unit leads ran into a room as soon as the incident happened to try to ascertain what sequences could they shoot.” There were locations that were locked in that the first unit had to go to. The final sequence on the beach was shot with a body double.

They accepted it all, knowing they would be doing face replacements, as well as full body replacements in some instances, and so the scenes were shot with that in mind. “It was also very important with regards to VFX that they were able to collect background plates, data, lighting and lens info, and the rest of the crew were incredibly obliging with regards to that,” qualifies Townsend. “We were able to reconstruct RDJ as Tony Stark onset, with the help of that body double and the facial captures we’d collected afterwards.

Townsend approached Weta Digital after the leg recovery from RDJ with the shot pieces and they began creating a digital double of him which was used non-stop. Weta is known as one of the very best houses to create digital doubles and the results of their toil is shown to have been successful in the final movie.

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