Paul Bettany says filming Anthony and Joe Russo’s Avengers: Infinity War felt like making the biggest movie ever. The upcoming team-up movie not only culminates the past 10 years of storytelling within the Marvel Cinematic Universe but sees virtually major character that has had a hand in pushing the overarching narrative forward come together on-screen for the first time.
There have been superhero movies before in which dozens of characters appeared on-screen, but none appear to be on the scale that the Russos are aiming for Infinity War and their currently untitled Avengers 4 sequel. Scarlett Johansson once said that there’s a scene in Infinity War in which more than 30 characters appear on-screen at once, and the fact that the movie includes more than 60 characters – each from varying MCU installments – proves that this is the biggest superhero movie ever made.
In an interview with Collider, Paul Bettany, who plays the superhero Vision (having previously voiced Tony Stark’s personal A.I. system J.A.R.V.I.S.), explained the sheer size of Avengers: Infinity War, saying he felt like he was making the biggest movie ever, and there’s still one more to do: Avengers 4.
“It felt like the biggest movie that I’ve ever made and will ever make, and we’ve still got to make the [next] one. It’s f***ing crazy! I would come in, often at dawn because of the length of my make-up, and there would just be all of these twinkling lights. It looked like a town, but it wasn’t. It was where all of the trailers were. It was just massive. It’s massive! The call sheets are bananas. When you see the list of cast members, you’re like, ‘How is anybody else making a film in Hollywood, this year? How are they getting films financed? Everybody is in this!'”
Since the Infinity War shoot took up the bulk of the year’s first half, and Avengers 4 will presumably take up virtually the rest of the year (if not part of 2018 as well), many actors and actresses involved with the productions have had to drop other projects in favor of appearing in these films. For instance, Jeremy Renner was unable to return for Mission: Impossible 6 due to scheduling conflicts with Avengers. Interestingly, though, Bettany also says that, despite the film’s size, the Russo brothers had a pretty good handle on things.
“[The Russos] are so great. They’ve got so much trust, from the cast and from Kevin Feige and Marvel, in general. They’re incredibly on top of the day, when you show up, and they’re very open to your input and collaboration. They were incredibly relaxed. It was a wonderful, relaxed set that was stress-free. It was a stress-free set, which was brilliant.”
Avengers: Infinity War wrapped filming earlier this summer, with brief, early-cut footage having been shown at D23 Expo 2017 and San Diego Comic-Con 2017 last month. Now, the cast and crew have returned to Atlanta, GA, to begin production on the movie’s sequel, Avengers 4, releasing the following year in 2019 and concluding the 22-movie saga that began almost 10 years ago with Jon Favreau’s Iron Man. Hopefully, production on that film remains as easy-going as Bettany says Infinity War was.
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