|Man-Thing (2005) concept art by Peter Pound|
Back in 2004, a movie based on the Marvel comic book character Man-Thing was intended as a direct-to-video release, but ended up getting released in movie theaters as a horror film internationally. In the US, it was released as a Sci-Fi channel movie by Marvel and later on home video.
The character of the "Man-Thing" was created by Stan Lee and writer Roy Thomas and first appeared in Savage Tales #1 (1971) it told the story of scientist Dr. Theodore "Ted" Sallis that gets transformed into a shambling muck monster that can sense emotions.
The film got mixed reviews, but the original design was created by production designer Peter Pound and look pretty amazing.
Peter Pound is a professional production designer, storyboard and concept artist who's worked on Hollywood projects like Dark City (1998), The Crow (1994) and the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).
Click on the images to enlarge.
Here's what Man-Thing looked like in the comics:
Here's what the Man-Thing creature looked like in the film:
Here's Pound's concept art.
Nick Nicolaou, co-creator of Make-Up Effects Group which handled the creature design, told Monster Legacy that Pound's designs were never fully utilized due to budget constraints.
"Production Designer Peter Pound did all the initial concepts of the Man-Thing," Nicolaou said, "I visited his home before pre-production kicked off and we discussed some of the ideas he had been playing with. I gave a lot of input regarding the technical aspects of what we could achieve with the suit and how we could extend parts of the suit, while still having a performer inside. It was a creature suit… plain and simple… we had to work within these parameters. By the time pre-production had come around, Peter had an extensive set of drawings for us to work off.
"There is a lot of history behind the original design and I am a huge fan of the comic and the creature." he added, "However, practical suit considerations have to be taken into account when translating any design, especially from a comic book drawing.
"The Director & Production Designer wanted to 'tweak' the design a little and Marvel were supportive of the changes (I have a FAX from Marvel saying the suit looked amazing). The main difference in the design is the 3 huge tendrils/tentacles that were central to the face of the Man-Thing comic design. With VFX and Practical MUFX budget constraints – we did not want to have these 3 huge tendrils in the center of the face and be static – so we just went with hundreds of smaller tendrils that were not as “in your face”.
"In the story the swampland is a sacred Indian burial site. The branches on the back of the Man-Thing’s head were designed to replicate an American Indian feathered headdress, to link this theme and to physically add more height to the creature suit. The creature had to look huge and we were physically fighting the logistics of doing this, making sure the actor could perform inside the suit and keeping it safe for him to move around in.
"The added height of the skull (sitting on top of actor’s head), raised shoulders and branch extensions, helped us keep a nice balance in the design of the suit. It helped stretch out the overall bulk and added a natural dynamic symmetry.
"We added a lot of vine and branch style sculptural detail to the body form, so it felt like the Man-Thing creature was made from the environment surrounding him."
See more of Peter Pound's inspiring portfolio at http://www.peterpound.com.au
Click on the links if you want to see more of Peter Pound's work or Man-Thing artwork on my blog.
What do you think of the concept art? If you've seen Man-Thing what do you think of the creature?
Official Man-Thing Summary
"Kyle Williams (Matt Le Nevez) thought taking the new post of Sheriff in the sleepy town of Bywater would be exactly the change of pace he needed. But the peaceful town is now what it seems. While investigating a series of gruesome murders, Kyle discovers that the locals are hiding a frightening secret. Torn between who and what to believe, the only straight answers he receives are from feisty young schoolteacher Teri (Rachel Taylor). Together they embark on a quest to unravel the truth."
Directed by Brett Leonard
Cinematography by Steve Arnold
Production Design by Tim Ferrier and Peter Pound
Starring Matthew Le Nevez, Rachael Taylor, Jack Thompson, Conan Stevens
Release Dates: April 30, 2005
Official Site: marvel.com/movies/movie/4/man-thing
© Copyright 2005 Lions Gate Films, Artisan Entertainment, Marvel Enterprises, Fierce Entertainment, Screenland Movieworld, mbH, Samurai Films Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved