The second season of Netflix’s animated sci-fi anthology Love, Death and Robots contains a short titled “Life Hutch,” starring Michael B. Jordan as a space explorer who gets trapped in the titular Life Hutch along with a malfunctioning maintenance robot that tries to destroy anything that moves. But was that the real Michael B. Jordan or a CG character? The answer is both, and that’s what’s amazing.
Netflix has released this “Inside the Animation” mini-doc about the short, starring Jordan and series creator Alex Beatty, revealing how they digitised the actor — but also utilised him for a few live-action scenes. The process that captured Jordan’s facial animation alone is amazing, as are the results; as the video suggests, I absolutely cannot tell who’s the real Michael B. Jordan and who’s the animated version because they’ve captured his likeness and facial movements so completely. I’ll even go so far as to say that Love, Death and Robots’ CG Michael B. Jordan is superior to Star Wars’ CG versions of Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One and Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian (although that last one’s a gimme, since he looked terrible).
The series also released a second behind-the-scenes vid, taking a quick look at all the short that comprise Love, Death and Robots’ second season. Since these two videos are labelled Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, it seems a safe guess that more are coming. Will they be more interesting than a picture-perfect CG replica of Michael B. Jordan? Possibly not, but I bet they’ll still be interesting.