Avengers: Infinity War has left audiences with a lot of questions, but fortunately directors Joe and Anthony Russo are providing the answers. The modern blockbuster involves an unprecedented degree of contact between directors and their audiences, and Marvel knows how to use that to ensure their films receive a constant stream of publicity.
With so many characters to involve and so complex a plot, it's no surprise that viewers have a lot of questions. The Russos, for their part, seem to be quite enjoying answering them - or, in some cases, offering hints. They're refusing to give away anything that they believe would spoil Avengers 4, of course, but that doesn't mean we haven't been treated to some fascinating insights into Infinity War.
Why were the trailers so different to the final film? What was the last thing Teen Groot said to Rocket? And why didn't Thor take that head shot? They've tackled all this and more. In all these cases, the answers to fan questions add yet another layer of depth to the film, opening up entirely new thematic areas.
Why Were The Trailers So Different To The Final Film?
There's a marked difference between the trailers for Avengers: Infinity War and the theatrical cut. According to the Russos, that's entirely deliberate; they view the trailers and movies as completely separate products. "You have to be very smart about how you cast a trailer," Joe Russo explained, "'cause an audience can watch a trailer and basically tell you what's gonna happen in the film." The Russos actually filmed some scenes specifically for the trailers - including the first trailer's "money shot," with the Avengers charging towards the screen. Characters like the Hulk were then added using CG.
Other moments from the trailers were actually lifted from earlier cuts of scenes; that's why some lines of dialogue have been changed. "Fun isn't something one considers when balancing the universe," Thanos declared in one trailer, "but this does put a smile on my face." This line was originally said by Thanos as he emerged from what the Russos call the "Reality Cloak," revealing to Gamora that he is still alive. The Russos switched it for dialogue that's a little more "characterful," but retained the line for use in the trailer.
Why Didn't We See Thanos Acquire the Power Stone?
The crowded plot of Avengers: Infinity War had quite a few "tell, not show" moments - and Thanos's acquisition of the Power Stone was one of them. The Mad Titan had already taken the Power Stone from Xandar by the beginning of the film, and used its power to terrifying effect against the Asgardian refugees. But why did the Russos choose not to show the fall of Xandar in the movie? Speaking at his alma mater, the University of Iowa, Joe Russo explained that the directors thought it would be "one too many" - that it would cause the writers to "get into a trap," where the film just became repetitive and predictable. Given Guardians of the Galaxy had clearly established where the Power Stone was, it was "easy to deal with it off screen."
Why Did We See So Little Of The Black Order?
Thanos is generally viewed as one of Marvel's best villains, but the Black Order has been generally viewed as underwhelming. During his talk at the University of Iowa, Joe Russo explained that the film simply had too many characters to juggle. "I think people have been waiting 10 years to have the Marvel heroes together in a 2 and half hour film. So If I started to go into the history of them- that’s a whole other movie altogether." In Joe Russo's view, the Black Order served their purpose, and essentially provided mini-battles on the way to the biggest Boss Battle of them all. "Thanos is the true bad guy of the movie," he added, "you don't want the sub-villains overshadowing the super-villain."
Why Wasn't Hawkeye In The Film?
Almost all of the original Avengers got their chance to shine in Infinity War - with one sole exception. Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye was completely missing from the film. In an interview with BuzzFeed, co-screenwriter Christopher Markus insisted there's nothing to worry about. "We like Hawkeye," he assured concerned viewers. "We like Hawkeye so much we gave him a really good story." The Russos take a similar view; Joe Russo told i09 that Marvel had "a very specific story with him that... is a long play, not a short play. Audiences just need to be patient." Kevin Feige was even more positive, saying Hawkeye's absence in the marketing was good for the character.
Why Wasn't Adam Warlock In Infinity War?
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ended with the revelation that Ayesha, High Priestess of the Sovereign, was creating a new being - and planned to name him "Adam." It was an obvious reference to Adam Warlock, an important character in Jim Starlin's Infinity Gauntlet comic book miniseries, and many viewers assumed Warlock would appear in Avengers: Infinity War. James Gunn insisted that wasn't the case, but still rumors persisted right up until release. Speaking of Adam Warlock's part in the entire epic, the Russo's said he won't be in Avengers 4 either, with the clarification "I have no interest as a director in telling a story that’s already been told or in seeing one that’s already been told. If I know all the events story as they’re going to happen then what’s the point of going to the film?"
How Does Infinity War Fit With Avengers: Age Of Ultron?
For all the talk of culmination, Avengers: Infinity War doesn't pay off all that much of the prior setup. One particularly awkward part of the build-up to Infinity War is the post-credits scene for Avengers: Age of Ultron, where Thanos dons the Infinity Gauntlet and famously declares: "Fine, I'll do it myself." Asked about this at a press junket, screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus seemed unconcerned about this. “Not our movie,” McFeely joked. “We’ve all sat there and went, ‘What the hell is he talking about,’” Markus added, “Where was he when he did that?”
Fortunately, the Russos themselves have an explanation. In an interview with Comic Book, Joe Russo suggested this scene is actually on Nidavellir. "I think that it would be connected to Eitri," he explained. "I think that clearly he is the one who forged the gauntlet and Thanos had the gauntlet at that point in time. It's been a while since any of the Asgardians have interacted with Eitri and his people." The explanation makes sense; Loki took over Asgard at the end of Thor: The Dark World, and under his rule the Asgardians stopped protecting the other Realms. Thanos clearly took advantage of this.
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