Paul Bettany has revealed that the scripts of Avengers: Infinity War actually had fake scenes in them. It was all part of a concerted effort to fight leaks.
When Marvel Studios launched the MCU in 2008, nobody could really have imagined how significant it would become. A decade on, 17 blockbusters have made the MCU one of the most profitable film franchises of all time. It's grossed over $5 billion at the global box office, and Black Panther is expected to add between $800-900 million on to that total. That kind of success inevitably draws a great deal of attention, and Marvel are having to take drastic steps in order to prevent leaks.
Take the case of Avengers: Infinity War, for example. The latest issue of Total Film features an interview with Avengers star Paul Bettany. Screen Geek has spotted an intriguing detail: it seems Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo actually produced fake scripts in order to prevent leaks. As Bettany explained:
"When I read the script there were fake scenes in it. I got the directors on the phone and they walked me through what were the fake scenes. They’d had three leaks already, so they’d written a script with lots of fake scenes. There were three Hero iPads that had the only real script on them."
It's just the latest indication of how seriously the cast and crew took this. For example, the loose-lipped Tom Holland wasn't allowed to read the script. "They don't let me read anything," he explained, "because I'm so bad at keeping secrets." In fact, he actually filmed action sequences for Infinity War with absolutely no idea what or who he was supposed to be fighting. All he was told was that CGI would be used to finish off the scenes. Meanwhile, other actors have imposed tight restrictions of their own volition; Dave Bautista has refused to read the script at all.
It seems that, even had one of these actors slipped up, the odds are good they wouldn't have given anything away. The Russo brothers actually prepared scripts with fake scenes, and the real script was only found on three Hero iPads. That's an astounding commitment to secrecy, but it makes sense since even the best actors can slip up (as Mark Ruffalo proved when he unwittingly live-streamed Thor: Ragnarok). The Russo brothers' strategy is a smart one, and it seems likely they had several different versions of the fake scenes - contradictory ones, to cause confusion in the event they leaked.
Fans clearly need to be very careful when it comes to assessing quotes, interviews, spoilers, or leaks. Very few people know exactly what's going to happen in Infinity War, and they're watching their words with care. Meanwhile, Marvel isn't above planting a little disinformation. Some recent set photos caused confusion among fans, and the photographer who took them teased that was "the whole point of today's shoot." The Russos have since insisted that they're "too tired" to film fake scenes, further muddying the waters.
For Marvel, Infinity War is the biggest movie they've ever released. It features a phenomenal cast, and brings an end to an arc that's spanned 10 years' worth of movies. Given that's the case, it's no surprise that Marvel want fans to experience the shock and awe of Infinity War as unspoiled as possible.
Source: Total Film, via Screen Geek
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019