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Captain Marvel may have been the title dominating box office numbers the past few months, but Goose the Cat came straight for our hearts with his adorable scene-stealing moments, namely when he goes full-Flerken and unleashes his tentacles during a space battle. Behind the scenes, a lot of work went into bringing the comic book character to life – in fact, according to VFX supervisor Christopher Townsend, the trickiest visuals to pull off amongst Captain Marvel were those concerning Goose.
Even though much of the cast worked with actual cats on set, about 80% of the shots of Goose are CGI, and creating his tentacles that line his mouth full of pocket dimensions took a lot of attention to detail. Just check out what Christopher Townsend recently said:
In this case, we liked the tentacles look and then we tasked (Industrial Light & Magic) with creating multiple pieces of artwork to try and come up with some ideas of, 'What do the tentacles look like? Are they silvery? Are they metallic? Are they totally organic? Do they look like octopus tentacles or squid tentacles? Should they look like larvae or snakes?' and they came up with a whole bunch of different looks and some with more or less tentacles.
Imagine sitting in a meeting like that discussing Flerken tentacles for actual work. That’s bonkers. In his interview with ComicBook.com, Christopher Townsend explained that whenever he works on Marvel projects, him and his team try to pay homage to the source material wherever they can. When it came to this feline Flerken, they ended up going with just about the exact design from the comic books.
While they created a bunch of different designs to consider, the one closest to what’s found between the pages of Captain Marvel worked out perfectly. The main change to the character was the name, since in the comics he is known as Chewie. The filmmakers decided to go with a Top Gun reference when naming the character set in the ‘90s instead of tying him to Star Wars, which isn’t as anchored in the period being depicted since it’s more of a hot topic today.
Apparently the CGI versions of the cat was so realistic that the film’s directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck couldn’t tell the difference. On set Brie Larson struggled with her cat allergy and while Samuel L. Jackson was great with the cats as it looks on screen, he gave us some mixed signals about whether he enjoyed working with his feline co-stars. Ben Mendelsohn, who played Talos the Skrull was apparently very patient with them and helped them get used to working with a green alien.
Since the Flerken was shown to not only be adorable but of a “high threat level” in Captain Marvel, fans are awaiting a return for Goose. While many were rooting for a comeback in Avengers: Endgame the character sadly didn’t get the invite. Maybe next time… given Fury’s forgiven the feline for their last encounter.