The Indigo Ballroom opened its’ Comic-Con 2011 series with a profile on makeup maestro Rick Baker. The panel celebrated his previous achievements – which include a whopping seven Academy Awards – and highlighted his alien effects for the upcoming 3D three-quel Men in Black 3, which re-teams Baker with franchise mainstays Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and director Barry Sonnenfeld. The time travel flavored scifi comedy also features new roles for Josh Brolin and Flight of the Conchord’s Jemaine Clement.
The discussion featured many anecdotes from the whole of Baker’s career and life and featured the premiere of the first footage from MIB3. Hit the jump for a description of the new aliens and select quotes from the panel.
The most prominent alien on display was Clement’s antagonist, Boris. The character looks very humanoid, most closely resembling a transient in a heavy, threadbare overcoat. His only otherworldly features were black, pupil-less goggles embedded in his face where eyes should be.
Whereas previous entries in the franchise worked to create aliens unlike those ever seen before, at least some of the new extra terrestrials in part III will look familiar to fans of classic and not-so-classic B-movies according to Baker:
“We’re going all the way back to ‘69. Wouldn’t it be cool to have retro aliens?”
And indeed, the aliens are very retro; recalling influences as disparate as This Island Earth, The Twilight Zone’s “To Serve Man”, 1960’s gogo dancers in space helmets, the Apollo Astronaut suits and even the traditional little green man look.
Baker has been lobbying for metatextual in-joke aliens since the original film, reasoning that if aliens exist, perhaps filmmakers who encountered them were influenced in their fiction. Said Baker:
“Lets have ET in there. He could be the operator on the phone.”
Though he remained tightlipped about the sequel’s troubled shoot, Baker did slip in one joke while discussing the development of An American Werewolf in London.
“We actually shot the script, you don’t do that today in movies. We’re still waiting to see what the script for Men in Black 3 looks like… I probably shouldn’t have said that.”
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