Spoiler Warning: This article talks about the very first scene in the movie, so tread with caution!
Being a massive blockbuster sequel and a science-fiction film set in space, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 features a lot of CGI and special effects. When you've got a talking raccoon as a main character, that can't be helped, but surprisingly little to no CGI was used in a scene that involved Kurt Russell's character, Ego. Audiences are treated to a flashback in 1980 Missouri where Kurt Russell appears de-aged and about 30 years younger. Turns out, that effect was created with some good old fashioned make-up and not more advanced technology.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens up with a flashback showing a young, 1980-circa Ego out on a date with Star-Lord's future mother. It's actually Kurt Russell doing the scene and he looks like he walked straight off the set of Big Trouble in Little China. (You can hardly blame Ms. Quill for falling in love with an alien when he looks like a young Kurt Russell). It's easy to assume that Marvel Studios achieved this using modern technology, but Russell sat down with our own Eric Eisenberg and explained that most of what was in the film was real. According to Russell...
I have a terrific makeup guy, we've done 28 movies together. He did a lot of work makeup wise with some of his own tricks and it's about 90% that, they didn't do much [digitally]. It's amazing what he could do and what we could do with a wig...And then, you know you lighten your voice and you pick up your physicality and you play it, you play young.
Kurt Russell has been working with his own makeup man, Dennis Ledger, since Tango & Cash and 28 movies together later, the two of them are trying to make Russell look like he did when they first met. Russell admits that some things were digitally touched up, but most of it was just makeup. And it looks good! Marvel is sure a fan of face technology, having used it to make Michael Douglas look younger in Ant-Man and Hayley Atwell older in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. No shame in getting the digital facelift, but Marvel went for a more realistic look when it came to portraying a young man who was secretly a planet.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is written and directed by James Gunn, who once more takes the loveable cast of A-holes on a mission to save the galaxy. After a mission goes awry, the Guardians find themselves being hunted from all sides, when they meet Ego, who claims to be Star-Lord's real father. The film stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, and Kurt Russell.
You can experience a young Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which is out in theaters right now and seems to be doing pretty well for itself. To learn more about the sequel, check out everything we know. Check out Russell's full comments in the video below.