It Took Months to Organize
Three months, to be exact. "I can’t really talk about that scene," Sebastian Stan explained cryptically. "But I knew it took them three months in planning this scene to have everyone there." Principal photography on Avengers 4 wrapped a few weeks before Brie Larson had to start work on Captain Marvel, but one of the bigger challenges may have been working around Ant-Man and the Wasp, which was being filmed more or less concurrently with the fourth Avengers movie. Samuel L. Jackson's commitments may also have proven tricky, since he began work on M. Night Shyalaman's Unbreakable/Split follow-up Glass in fall 2017 - right in the middle of Avengers 4's production schedule.
Playing an MCU superhero - or even a supporting character - is a fairly big commitment, but since most characters go a few years between solo movies, Marvel actors tend to stay pretty busy with other projects. Last year, for example, Stan and Jackson worked together on the war film The Last Full Measure. Even Spider-Man actor Tom Holland, who by the end of 2019 will have appeared in five different MCU movies in the space of four years, managed to squeeze in filming a lead role in Doug Liman's sci-fi adaptation Chaos Walking last fall - again, a commitment that may have presented quite a challenge when it came to coordinating Marvel's big team-up scene. Basically, this scene sounds like a coordination nightmare - though hopefully one that will pay off.
It May Have Been The Day Of The Class Photo
The actors of the MCU are busy people, and getting all of them together in one place is no mean feat - but it's a feat that Marvel Studios pulled off with the tenth anniversary photo shoot. This "class photo" featured 79 people - a mix of actors, directors and producers from a decade's worth of Marvel movies. Now, it's unlikely that every single actor who appears in this photo is going to appear in Avengers 4 (among them are actors who played now-deceased characters, and others who played minor villains like Crossbones and the Grandmaster). However, it does make sense that, if Marvel went to the trouble of corralling a massive collection of Marvel actors for a particular scene in Avengers 4, and it took three months of planning to get them all in the same place at the same time, the studio would have booked this photo shoot in for the same time.
Certainly all of the named actors - Samuel L. Jackson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas and Brie Larson - appear in this photo, along with others like Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill) and Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter) whose characters could very well return for one big all-out battle in Avengers 4. The biggest omission from the cast photo is Josh Brolin, who plays cosmic big-bad Thanos, but the Russos could feasibly shoot a big team scene without him, since he plays a CGI character. We don't know the context of this scene, after all; maybe Thanos isn't even in it.
With a mega-franchise as huge as the MCU, and the Avengers movies at the center of it, the pressure is on to make each movie bigger than the last. As Avengers: Age of Ultron demonstrated, sometimes that pressure doesn't always work out for the best. Ultimately, regardless of how many characters the Russos managed to wrangle for this scene, what really matters is the story that will bring them together, and how it's executed. Let's hope it lives up to the hype.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019