Take a look at the picture below and tell me what you see. Angelina Jolie emerging from a pool of water? An outtake from one of her Tomb Raider movies? A shot of her as she prepares to visit Atlantis, her next destination for humanitarian work and possible child adoption? Well, wrong. Wrong. And, um, really wrong.
This photo is not actually Angelina Jolie because it’s not actually real. It’s a computer-generated Angelina from the new ancient action-adventure saga Beowulf. Clips from the upcoming film adaptation of the Old English heroic epic poem (you remember the one, with the warrior slaying the monster, from your high school Brit Lit class — or, if you’re English, just Lit class) were previewed at Comic-Con yesterday. I saw the trailer online, and it completely blew my mind. Check it out yourself and then let’s discuss why.
OK, are you ready for the mind-blowing part? Not a single frame of that was live action. It was 100 percent computer animated. (To fully appreciate its awesomeness, see it in ginormous HD here.) I finished watching and had no idea it was completely CGI. I’m still not sure I believe it.
The movie, helmed by Forrest Gump’s Robert Zemeckis, uses the same motion-capture method as another of the director’s projects, The Polar Express. Clearly, the technology has advanced and is now near photo realistic. Sure, it’s not all pixel-perfect. Poor Robin Wright Penn looks a bit like a long-lost princess from Shrek the Third.
But back to CGI Angelina. As the seductive and fearsome mother of the monster Grendel, she spends most of her role naked (like you weren’t already sold). She also appears to have a real-life ponytail (emphasis on tail) and high-heeled cloven feet. If nothing else, you know this movie will spark one of the great debates of our time: Which is hotter? Real Angelina or animated Angelina? Discuss.