In amongst it all, shooting was delayed when Robert Downey Jnr (RDJ) broke his leg during a shoot day and that put the schedule into a tailspin for six weeks. It was during this time that VFX studios very much came to the rescue. “Together with face replacement and full body doubles, somewhere there was a solution to the problem of not having Robert Downey Jnr on set for the time,” explains Townsend. “The collective VFX Supes and unit leads ran into a room as soon as the incident happened to try to ascertain what sequences could they shoot.” There were locations that were locked in that the first unit had to go to. The final sequence on the beach was shot with a body double.
They accepted it all, knowing they would be doing face replacements, as well as full body replacements in some instances, and so the scenes were shot with that in mind. “It was also very important with regards to VFX that they were able to collect background plates, data, lighting and lens info, and the rest of the crew were incredibly obliging with regards to that,” qualifies Townsend. “We were able to reconstruct RDJ as Tony Stark onset, with the help of that body double and the facial captures we’d collected afterwards.”