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SCENE STEALER

Wings and a prayer in 'Legion'

January 28, 2010
  • Archangel Gabriel's (Kevin Durand) wings in "Legion" are based on those of a raven, eagle and owl.
Archangel Gabriel's (Kevin Durand) wings in "Legion"… (Screen Gems )

Wings take on a role of their own in "Legion," as God sends his army of flocked angels to bring on the apocalypse. "The wings define the angels, so we wanted to create them as weapons as well as for flight and push the idea of angels as warriors," said visual effects supervisor Joe Bauer, referring to the 12- to 14-foot wing spans of Archangel Michael and Gabriel. Early in the conception stage, a metallic look was considered, using a material that matched the Archangel's gladiator-type costumes. But "they looked too heavy, awkward and nearly impossible to fly with," said Jonathan Rothbart, another visual effects supervisor. Instead, a raven's feathers were mimicked for their texture and color. "They have a cool iridescence to them and a blue sheen when hit by light," Rothbart said. CG artists combined the wings of a bald eagle (for their shape and powerful wing span) with an owl (for the way the wind moves through their feathers during flight). Kevlar and leather effects were later added for a tougher, more military look.

-- Liesl Bradner

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