Cookies notification

This website uses cookies to provide you with a better experience

You can adjust your cookie settings at any time at the bottom of each page. If you do not adjust your settings, you are consenting to us issuing all cookies to you

This notification will be automatically dismissed in , dismiss this countdown.

Moustache impossible! The movie moments you never knew were photoshopped


In case you hadn't heard, DC superhero blockbuster Justice League is hip-deep in reshoots under the auspices of director Joss Whedon. And this is causing problems with the actors who've moved onto other projects, none more-so than Superman himself, Henry Cavill.

The actor is currently putting the finishing touches on Tom Cruise's sixth Mission: Impossible blockbuster, one that requires him to sport a rather fetching moustache. Thing is, whilst he's also juggling the aforementioned Justice League reshoots he's contractually not allowed to shave off the face fungus – meaning the effects crew on the latter will have to digitally remove it frame by frame.

Being the good sport that he is Cavill put out a jokey Instagram reply, which you can see here. Nevertheless this whole strange interlude got us thinking about those subtle effects moments that pulled the wool over our eyes...

Getting all teary – Blood Diamond (2006)

When Leo DiCaprio says his big emotional goodbye to Jennifer Connelly at the end of this gritty adventure epic, we see a single tear arcing down the latter's cheek.

But if you thought Connelly was simply very good at crying on cue, think again. The filmmakers instead decided she didn't look sad enough and CGI'ed the tear onto her face. How's that for micromanagement?

We built this city on CGI – Zodiac (2007)

David Fincher's engrossing, factual serial killer epic sprawls through the decades in its chilling account of the infamous San Francisco Zodiac killer. But the film's evocative depiction of the city during the Summer of Love and beyond was largely accomplished with CGI.

Blue screen was extensively used for street level scenes, allowing Fincher to fully master a sense of atmosphere and detail and pull audiences into the terrifying story.

Blink and you'll miss it – Dark Shadows (2012)

Tim Burton's flop adaptation of a bizarro 1960s TV series stars Johnny Depp as a vampire who rises from the grave to wreak havoc on his 20th century descendants.

It looks to be standard-issue fare for Depp – pale face, weird voice and so on. But did you notice he never blinks once during the movie? That's because all his blinks were all edited out in post-production by the hard-working visual effects team.

The feather – Black Swan (2011)

When Natalie Portman's rapidly fragmenting ballet dancer pulls a feather from her back in Darren Aronofsky's intense psychological drama, it looks so real you could swear it was.

But it's actually CGI. Not only that: those genius post production artists also elongated her rash-filled hands in the ensuing close-up, further adding to the film's disorienting mood. (Further use of CGI comes with the make-believe audience during the visually stunning climactic dance sequence.)

Feeling sheepish – Brokeback Mountain (2005)

When famed director Ang Lee made 1995 costume drama Sense and Sensibility he was said to have become so exasperated wrangling sheep for certain scenes, he vowed never to work with the animals again.

Thing is, his Oscar-winning romantic drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger is filled with them. But if you were thinking Lee had overcome his annoyance to herd loads of the animals, you'd be wrong – many of the animals in the below shot were duplicated using visual effects.

RIP Paul – Furious 7 (2015)

The death of actor Paul Walker midway through production of the seventh Fast & Furious movie threw it into turmoil. Ultimately for that all-important send-off scene his brothers Cody and Caleb were used as stand-ins whilst his face was digitally replicated onto their bodies.

Not that you'd know from the seamless end result – it's a credit to the crew that the moving final scene resonates with such conviction and emotion. It's a fitting testament to a much-loved actor.

With Justice League out on 17th November, there's plenty of time to tell us about your favourite surprise CGI moments. Let us know @Cineworld.

Want more?

Breakdown of the new Justice League trailer

Deadpool 2 image teases Domino