If the central character of Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen, entirely in computer graphics, was played by comedian Billy Crudup in Performance Capture, the real physical model was the bodybuilder Greg Plitt, tragically disappeared in 2015 …
Central character of the comic Watchmen – The Guardians created by Alan Moore, and by extension of its adaptation orchestrated by Zack Snyder in 2009 (available on Amazon prime by the way), Dr. Manhattan is the only character in the group to have superpowers. Both omniscient and omnipotent, following a laboratory accident, he is able to make his body take any shape that comes to mind.
Having become the supreme weapon of the United States, he was ordered to assume the identity of Doctor Manhattan, in reference to the famous Manhattan Project; the program developed in the United States which aimed to develop atomic weapons.
Entirely in computer graphics, the character of Dr. Manhattan logically represented one of the biggest challenges of the film at the time. Its creation was therefore done in two stages: the actor Billy Crudup first played his scenes covered with sensors, then the latter were used by the graphic designers to create the character, while retaining the expressions of the actor. A now well-known process called Performance Capture.
The tragic fate of the original model
However, it was not the body of the actor that served as the model for the creation of the character. The impressive musculature was that of a man named Greg Plitt.
Here it is, in picture:
Born in November 1977 in Maryland, graduated from Gilman School in Baltimore in 1996, Greg Plitt enlisted in the army and graduated from the prestigious West Point Military Academy in 2000. Experienced in the airborne unit (and having by the way more than 1000 parachute jumps to his credit), he joined the elite unit of the Rangers for five years.
Passionate about fitness and bodybuilding, Greg Plitt made the covers of many specialized magazines on the subject, but was also a model for Thierry Mugler, and made numerous advertisements for Calvin Klein brands or Old Navy jeans.
On January 17, 2015, while filming a video to promote an energy drink, and running between the tracks of a railroad line, he was struck by a regional train in Burbank, County. Los Angeles. The tragic accident was fully filmed by a camera installed on board the locomotive of the train that struck it.
After reviewing the video, Police said Greg Plitt attempted to run past the train as it approached, but was eventually struck and thrown out of the tracks. CBS News who reported the information, Greg Plitt may have been misled into thinking that the oncoming train was on parallel tracks, not behind him.
Sad end for Greg Plitt, who died at the age of 37 …