Avengers: Infinity War has one of the biggest headline casts in cinema history, presenting a major task for directors Joe and Anthony Russo: how do you manage so many characters and actors?
Infinity War's huge cast is arguably one of the biggest draws of Infinity War, but it's also a double-edged sword when it comes to proper storytelling. Fans have followed these characters' individual stories for a decade with a promise that, eventually, all of them will come together for an epic blockbuster. That's is easier said than done. Narratively, the Russos had to make sure that every single character in their bench gets enough time in the spotlight, while having several dozen actors involved means one slip-up in the schedule could cause major delays.
Screen Rant spoke with the Russos during our visit on the set of Infinity War regarding the complications of juggling more than 70 characters in a feature film. The directors admit that it could it could be very difficult at times to manage such a large cast - both on and off camera - but it was a responsibility that they were very happy to take:
Joe Russo: It's a high character count in this scene, it's not a very complex scene on an action level, but even a scene where you're just talking becomes massively complex when you have a lot of characters.
Anthony Russo: And a lot of movie stars.
Joe Russo: Yeah. Because you have to shoot every one of them, they're all special, they're all special characters, they're all important to the story line-
Anthony Russo: They're all somebody's favorite character.
Joe Russo: Exactly. Basically, this movie is only achievable with this amazing team that we've been working with, now over several movies. We've gotten an amazing short hand with one another, we're tuned into one another very specifically on a creative level. We have a really strong strong team, we've spent many, many months preparing.
Later in the interview, the Russos talked about adding more characters, and how they fought to have so many people to deal with.
You guys fought to make sure that Spider-Man was going to be in Civil War, are there any characters you guys had to really, "We want these guys"?
Anthony Russo: Everybody. Every character. All the deals are hard, everybody's expensive. It's very complicated to put together a movie of this scale. Sometimes it's easier to just say maybe we should just not do it with these guys-
Joe Russo: These movies are a producing wonder, there are very few producing entities and producers like Kevin Feige who can pull together something like this.
Anthony Russo: Kevin and [Louis D'Esposito] have outdone themselves on this, the Jenga puzzle of actor schedules that we're juggling is staggering. And daunting.
For Infinity War, the Russos have cleverly grouped the Avengers into smaller teams, each with their own goals before they all head to Wakanda for the film's third act, ensuring everyone gets a moment in the spotlight. That helped with story and scheduling, although the group fights were surely an issue. Indeed, the scene filmed when Screen Rant was on set involved an awful lot of heroes.
Fans won't have to wait long to find out how the Russos did, with the film less than six weeks away. A second trailer is also expected to drop soon, but in the meantime, keep it with Screen Rant for more stories from our Avengers: Infinity War set visit.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018