'Avengers: Infinity War' directors answer 18 of the biggest questions from the movie
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has left audiences with a lot of questions, but fortunately directors Joe and Anthony Russo are providing the answers. The modern blockbuster involves an unprecedented degree of contact between directors and their audiences, and Marvel knows how to use that to ensure their films receive a constant stream of publicity.
With so many characters to involve and so complex a plot, it\'s no surprise that viewers have a lot of questions. The Russos, for their part, seem to be quite enjoying answering them - or, in some cases, offering hints. They\'re refusing to give away anything that they believe would spoil
, of course, but that doesn\'t mean we haven\'t been treated to some fascinating insights into
Why were the trailers so different to the final film? What was the last thing Teen Groot said to Rocket? And why didn\'t Thor take that head shot? They\'ve tackled all this and more. In all these cases, the answers to fan questions add yet another layer of depth to the film, opening up entirely new thematic areas.
Why were the trailers so different from the final film?
and the theatrical cut. According to the Russos, that\'s entirely deliberate; they view the trailers and movies as completely separate products.
You have to be very smart about how you cast a trailer,"
\'cause an audience can watch a trailer and basically tell you what\'s gonna happen in the film."
The Russos actually filmed some scenes specifically for the trailers - including the first trailer\'s "money shot," with the Avengers charging towards the screen. Characters like the Hulk were then added using CG.
Other moments from the trailers were actually lifted from earlier cuts of scenes; that\'s why some lines of dialogue have been changed. "
Fun isn\'t something one considers when balancing the universe,"
This line was originally said by Thanos as he emerged from what the Russos call the "Reality Cloak," revealing to Gamora that he is still alive. The Russos switched it for dialogue that\'s a little more "
Thanos already had the purple gem stone at the film\'s start.
had quite a few "tell, not show" moments - and Thanos\'s acquisition of the Power Stone was one of them.
The Mad Titan had already taken the Power Stone from Xandar by the beginning of the film, and used its power to terrifying effect against the Asgardian refugees. But why did the Russos choose not to show the fall of Xandar in the movie?
Speaking at Iowa City High, Joe Russo explained that the directors thought it would be "
where the film just became repetitive and predictable. Given
had clearly established where the Power Stone was, it was "
Thanos is generally viewed as one of Marvel\'s best villains, but the Black Order has been generally viewed as underwhelming. During his talk at Iowa City High, Joe Russo explained the film simply had too many characters to juggle.
I think people have been waiting 10 years to have the Marvel heroes together in a 2 and half hour film. So If I started to go into the history of them- that\'s a whole other movie altogether."
In Joe Russo\'s view, the Black Order served their purpose, and essentially provided mini-battles on the way to the biggest Boss Battle of them all. "
Almost all of the original Avengers got their chance to shine in
- with one sole exception. Jeremy Renner\'s Hawkeye was completely missing from the film.
, co-screenwriter Christopher Markus insisted there\'s nothing to worry about.
We like Hawkeye so much we gave him a really good story."
The Russos take a similar view; Joe Russo told
a very specific story with him that… is a long play, not a short play. Audiences just need to be patient."
Kevin Feige was even more positive, saying Hawkeye\'s absence in the marketing was good for the character.
ended with the revelation that Ayesha, High Priestess of the Sovereign, was creating a new being - and planned to name him "Adam."
It was an obvious reference to Adam Warlock, an important character in Jim Starlin\'s
comic book miniseries, and many viewers assumed Warlock would appear in
. James Gunn insisted that wasn\'t the case, but still rumors persisted right up until release.
Speaking of Adam Warlock\'s part in the entire epic, the Russo\'s said he won\'t be in Avengers 4 either, with the clarification "
I have no interest as a director in telling a story that\'s already been told or in seeing one that\'s already been told. If I know all the events story as they\'re going to happen then what\'s the point of going to the film?"
How does "Avengers: Infinity War" fit with "Age of Ultron"?
When exactly did this scene take place? Does "Infinity War" cause a plot hole? No.
doesn\'t pay off all that much of the prior setup. One particularly awkward part of the build-up to
, where Thanos dons the Infinity Gauntlet and famously declares: "
Asked about this at a press junket, screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus seemed unconcerned about this. "
We\'ve all sat there and went, \'What the hell is he talking about,\'"
Fortunately, the Russos themselves have an explanation. In an interview with Comic Book, Joe Russo suggested this scene is actually on Nidavellir.
"I think that it would be connected to Eitri," he explained. "I think that clearly he is the one who forged the gauntlet and Thanos had the gauntlet at that point in time. It\'s been a while since any of the Asgardians have interacted with Eitri and his people." The explanation makes sense; Loki took over Asgard at the end of Thor: The Dark World, and under his rule the Asgardians stopped protecting the other Realms. Thanos clearly took advantage of this.
Hasbro released a toy with the Hulk bursting out of the Hulkbuster suit.
is the Hulk\'s. Beaten down by Thanos in the film\'s opening scene, the Hulk refuses to come out and play for the duration of the movie. The Hulk doesn\'t even participate in the Battle of Wakanda, even though he appeared in the trailer\'s "money shot."
Because if every time he\'s in trouble Hulk saves him, Hulk becomes the hero and he becomes whiny. We wanted to force Banner to be the hero."
Most viewers have interpreted the Hulk\'s recalcitrance as fear; that he\'d never been beaten down as badly as he was by Thanos before. The Russos, however, favor a different interpretation. They see this as a continuation of the Hulk\'s arc in
, with the Hulk stressing that he is a person in his own right, and refusing to do Banner\'s bidding:
"I think people have interpreted it as Hulk\'s scared. I mean, certainly, that\'s not a — I don\'t know that the Hulk is ever… he\'s had his ass kicked before, and he loves a good fight. But I think that it\'s really reflective of the journey from Ragnarok. Is that these two characters are constantly in conflict with each other over control. And I think that if the Hulk were to say why, it\'d be [that] Banner only wants Hulk for fighting. I think he\'s had enough of saving Banner\'s ass."
This particular narrative thread was particularly surprising given there had even been promotional action figures teasing the Hulk smashing out of the Hulkbuster. The Russos seemed to imply that was something that happened in earlier scripts; they suggested action figures and promotional material are organized up to a year before filming, while the script is still being worked over. As a result, sometimes there\'s a "disconnect" between the merchandise and the final movie.
Why wasn\'t the reunion between Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes more emotional?
Fans were hoping for more of this bromance.
Bucky Barnes is Steve Rogers\'s closest friend, his only link back to the time he originates from. As a result, some viewers found the brief embrace between Captain America and Bucky to be a short, relatively low-emotion scene in
Joe Russo explained there\'s a simple reason; this wasn\'t the first time Cap and Bucky had met since Shuri awoke the former Winter Soldier from cryogenic suspension.
I think [Cap\'s] made his way to Wakanda a couple of times,"
and that is how we directed that scene, that was not the first time that they were seeing each other since he woke up."
While it made for a less emotional scene, it was presumably necessary in order to maintain the film\'s pace.
What happened to Bruce Banner and Black Widow?
saw director Joss Whedon introduce a surprising romance plot between the two. The Russos elected to largely ignore this relatively unpopular relationship, simply showing Bruce and Natasha share a deep, meaningful glance.
There\'s a sort of unspoken truth that there\'s no need for a spoken resolution,"
Scarlet Witch was easily one of the most powerful and prominent characters in
; her romance with Vision was one of the driving forces of the film\'s plot, and she was portrayed as second only to Thor in terms of power levels. But attentive viewers noticed one major change to Wanda: Elizabeth Olsen had dropped the Eastern European accent. Speaking on the
podcast, Joe Russo explained there was a very good reason for that.
"We intentionally tried to strip that accent away for a couple of reasons,"
"One is that you\'ll notice at the beginning of Civil War, Black Widow is training her how to be a spy. Two, she has now been on the run and one of the most distinguishing characteristics she has is her accent. So if you\'re going to try to disguise yourself and not be caught, you\'re going to try to limit those trigger warnings that would make it easy for someone to identify you which would be inclusive of her accent."
, gaining Stormbreaker - a tool with which he could kill even Thanos. However, he failed.
Had Thor taken the headshot, gone for the instant kill, then half the life in the universe would have been saved from death. Why did he go for the body instead? To Joe Russo, the answer is rooted in Thor\'s humanity.
[Thor] wanted to tell Thanos that he got his revenge,"
These are choices that characters who are feeling immense pain make and hopefully, the audience can learn to empathize with those characters because they can grow through stories."
Driven by grief and a desire for vengeance, Thor struck for Thanos\'s chest rather than his head, and so sealed the universe\'s fate.
To the Russos, Thor is one of the characters who made the wrong choice at the wrong time. They equate this split-second decision with Star-Lord\'s grief-stricken rage on Titan, and seem more than a little amused that viewers are angry with Star-Lord, but not with Thor.
It gives us rich territory to explore with those characters,"
. That\'s left many viewers wondering what happened to Valkyrie, Korg, and Miek?
The movie actually answers this, with dialogue indicating Thanos let half the Asgardians live: could they number among the survivors? Joe Russo has confirmed that Valkyrie, at least, made it out alive.
Prior to that scene, escape ships were deployed for Asgardians,"
But he refused to say whether or not Korg and Miek survived too.
What if Peter Quill just let Gamora go with Thanos?
evolved in development, but screenwriter Stephen McFeely revealed one major scene actually changed during production.
, they admitted that they\'d originally assumed Star-Lord would be unable to fulfill his promise to Gamora. Rather than kill her, he\'d allow her to be taken by Thanos - making her death at Thanos\'s hands all the more devastating to Peter Quill. Chris Pratt and James Gunn lobbied for the scene to be changed, creating scene where Thanos uses the Reality Stone against Quill.
The more I think about it, the better it is that it got changed,"
The revelation that the Red Skull had become the guardian of the Soul Stone was a surprising twist for many. At first glance, it seems little more than an act of fan service; but to the Russos, it was inevitable.
The Russos seem to have toyed with the idea of using a random character, but didn\'t feel it had enough weight. "
Somebody who has a history with the stones may seem like they have a little more authority in terms of their experience,"
Thanos looks like he\'s inside the stone at one point, speaking with a young Gamora.
One of the most curious scenes in the film is the moment when Thanos snaps his fingers. Suddenly, the Mad Titan is in a mysterious orange realm, speaking to a younger version of his "daughter," Gamora. It\'s an intense, painful scene - and the bright orange backdrop left many viewers convinced Thanos is experiencing a vision of the Soul World, inside the Soul Stone. The Russos have confirmed this: using all six Infinity Stones together prompted what Joe Russo has called "
This revelation seems to imply that Gamora is not truly dead; rather, her soul was sacrificed, consumed by the Soul Stone, and she\'s now trapped inside it. Although the Russos are trying to avoid giving direct answers on that point - it\'s surely a spoiler for
- they\'ve skirted very close to confirming it on occasion.
Thanos said it\'s all random. The Russos say it\'s about story.
, Thanos achieves his terrible goal; he snaps his fingers, and half the life in the universe is snuffed out. Among the casualties are half the Avengers, including popular names like Black Panther and Spider-Man.
But how did the Russos decide who should live, and who should die?
It\'s based upon the road that these characters have traveled, in not only this movie, but throughout the entire entity up to this point because, again, these movies are the culmination. So all we can say is that they are very focused story choices."
There\'s a sense in which this has led to a somewhat anti-climatic ending to the film. It\'s pretty certain Thanos\'s actions will be undone; after all, Spidey, T\'Challa, and Doctor Strange all have sequels in the works as part of Phase 4. In reality, though, the Russos had made a deliberate decision to kill off all but the original Avengers, presumably allowing
to serve as a close to the original team\'s story. When asked about this particular point, the Russos have continued to give an amusing response. "
Spider-Man\'s death scene was the most notable of them all, but not every hero had an emotional send-off. Some viewers were particularly disappointed with how
treated Black Panther, who crumbled to dust before the horrified eyes of Okoye.
T\'Challa\'s death was given as much weight as, say, Falcon\'s - and that\'s pretty remarkable given Black Panther is a franchise lead. While screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus openly admit they\'d do it again, they have admitted they failed to realize how strongly T\'Challa would resonate with viewers.
when we\'re writing [Infinity War], and even shooting, there is no Black Panther movie. We don\'t know it\'s going to be so good, so effective, so resonant."
This, then, is the problem with the MCU\'s shared universe model - especially when films release in such swift succession. There was simply no time to pivot, to increase T\'Challa\'s role in the film, or to film a stronger death scene.
Three words can mean so much in the MCU, and fans approached James Gunn on social media to ask him what Teen Groot\'s last words were. His response was heartbreaking: it seems that Teen Groot\'s last thought was to turn to Rocket, and cry out, "
It\'s a revelation that reduced many fans to tears once again, and Gunn was touched and surprised by how much viewers care about his characters.
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