When it comes to secrecy, Avengers: Infinity War gets the gold medal. On the face of it, the film's plot should be simple; Thanos is coming to Earth, intent on acquiring the six Infinity Stones. In reality, though, Marvel, Kevin Feige and the Russo brothers have been careful to keep the production under wraps. But that's nothing on the release: this may be the most secretive movie of all time.
It's clear that Marvel believes this latest blockbuster has a lot of surprise twists and turns (and, rest assured, there are no spoilers in this article), and they want as many fans as possible to experience them through fresh eyes. As a result, the studio has gone to unprecedented lengths in order to keep these secrets. Even the cast and crew didn't really know what happened in the film until the World Premiere on Monday night.
The security is understandable. This film is essentially the ultimate superhero movie, the culmination of a decade of Marvel films. Everything in the MCU has been building up to this, and the sense of anticipation is palpable. Infinity War is unlikely to break box office records, but it will definitely be one of the best-performing movies of the year. What's more, there are clearly unexpected plot and character arcs, designed to set up Avengers 4. Marvel have done everything they can to ensure audiences go in knowing as little as possible, all so they can be shocked and surprised when they actually see the film. So let's take a look at the remarkable measures that have been implemented by the House of Ideas.
The Truth Behind Avengers: Infinity War's Ridiculously Secretive Production
In the age of social media, spoilers spread like wildfire. That's especially the case when a film's cast includes the loose-lipped Tom Holland. Three leaks convinced the Russo brothers that they would have to go to unprecedented lengths to keep the film's plot a secret. Precious few of the cast were actually given the full script. "They gave me my pages," Elizabeth Olsen explained, "and then they explained other things that are happening... I'll be so shocked and surprised. I'll be like, 'Oh I see, that's what was happening to the world at that time."
Naturally, Tom Holland wasn't allowed to read the script. "I know who the villain is, but that's it," he observed in one interview. In fact, incredibly, while filming some action sequences Holland wasn't told which characters he was supposed to be fighting. In one scene, he asked if the directors could tell him what the person he was fighting looked and sounded like; he was told no, because that would give away the secret. When Holland accidentally took a copy of his part of the script home, he posted a clip on Instagram to prove he'd burned it. "To all the producers who are probably freaking out because I forgot to hand in my script," he observed, "here is evidence that I am destroying it."
Only a couple of actors have admitted to reading the full scripts, namely Benedict Cumberbatch and Chris Evans. But it's unclear whether or not they've actually read the right script; incredibly, the Russos actually produced fake scripts, even handing these out to the actors. According to Paul Bettany, these had "fake scenes in it, fake twists in it, fake storylines." Sometimes the actors didn't know the scenes were fake until they got on set, and were given the real deal. Bettany claimed that only three Hero iPads had the real script on them.
It's actually possible Marvel shot some of these fake scenes as well, in part to confuse anyone who was taking set photos. Certainly, one professional photographer noted that he believed one day's shooting had a simple purpose; to confuse. That claim was made towards the end of filming, leading Anthony Russo to respond that the brothers were "too tired to shoot anything that's not going in the movie." Of course, that doesn't mean they hadn't filmed fake scenes earlier on in production.
But that's just the start. As release approached, things got even tighter.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 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