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JONAH HEX

Creating The World of Jonah Hex
To bring the Jonah Hex graphic novels to life, Hayward and the producers collaborated with the key department heads to craft an original, visceral world that would reinvent the iconic Western aesthetic and reflect the story's comic book origins. "Whether it was the cinematography, production design, makeup or the costume design, we wanted it all to be a little heightened,” Lazar explains. "We asked ourselves, ‘How far can you take it while staying authentic? How do we keep one foot in reality but also pay tribute to the fact that Jonah Hex has been this amazing comic book?' Essentially, we were able to take reality and stylize it just enough to make it seem totally unique.”

The character's trademark, of course, is the disfiguring scar that takes up half his face. It is the result of Quentin Turnbull's branding iron and a lifelong reminder of the lust for revenge Jonah carries in his heart. "Jonah Hex was my favorite comic book character growing up, and the scar is so much a part of who he is,” says Hayward. "To me, the most striking part of Jonah Hex was that rope of skin that stretches over his mouth. If I look at all the different versions of Jonah Hex that have been drawn over the years, the one unifying idea is this scar.

To create a lifelike prosthetic that would reflect the production's vision for the character's look while nodding at the tradition of the comic, Brolin and the filmmakers worked with makeup effects artist Christien Tinsley and his effects company, Tinsley Studio. "We went through all these different variations of what it should be and what it shouldn't be,” Brolin recalls, "and Christien came up with this ingenious contraption to make it real. Doing something practically gives you a lot of freedom to be creative.”

Tinsley began by attaching a silk tab to the right side of Brolin's face to make the skin taut and allow for a thinner look. Next, he applied the first layer prosthetic and placed dentures that housed a high gauge dental wire to draw back the lips and push the cheek inward to create the negative space that is the Jonah Hex trademark. Finally, Tinsley applied a silicone prosthetic, painted the pieces to blend into Brolin's skin and added facial hair stubble to complete the look.

The complexity of creating a realistic version of a comic book character through makeup and without the aid of VFX enhancement was a challenge the makeup artist reveled in. "From the beginning, I knew we could not match exactly the comic book's exaggerated look nor did we want to,” he comments. "We were balancing an emotionally complicated character that audiences needed to connect with while offering the flavor of the comic book drawings. In order to achieve the look, we knew that it would be an uncomfortable process for the actor. However, Josh was always very encouraging and didn't want to detract from the look simply because of the discomfort. He wanted reality…and he was willing to go through the process in order to achieve that.”

The notion of heightened reality infused the entire production, particularly the costumes created by costume designer Michael Wilkinson and his team. For Jonah Hex, Wilkinson offers, "I like the ambiguous quality that Jonah has in that he seems to be unkillable. People have taken shots at him over the years and he keeps going. He's a true anti-hero, not just a two-dimensional ‘good guy.” With his costume, I wanted to explore how he walks the line between a gritty, sweaty realism and the stylized world of the graphic novel.”

Wilkinson started with the Confederate wool grays that are right out of the graphic novels, and topped it with a linen duster jacket that would help tell Jonah's tale. "You have the litany of his past in his duster jacket,” Wilkinson says. "There are many gunshots through it as well as bloodstains, rips, tears, dried mud and dirt. He has been wandering the Southern states since the Civil War ended, and h

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