Solo: A Star Wars Story and Avengers: Infinity War actor Paul Bettany has compared the secrecy surrounding both releases and seems to think there was more cloak and dagger on the Marvel set than on Star Wars. Bettany portrays Vision in the mammoth MCU team-up and, despite spending most of his scenes lying down, is a key component of the record-breaking superhero movie. Though Infinity War's success is set to grow for a while yet, Bettany will soon be appearing in another highly anticipated franchise blockbuster, playing Dryden Vos in Solo. The role of Vos was originally handed to Michael K. Williams, but switched to Bettany as a result of the Ron Howard reshoots.
Due to a sharp rise in widespread social media use over recent years, movie studios have been forced to take increasingly drastic measures to keep important plot twists from leaking prior to a film's release. This is especially true of big budget franchise flicks with an army of feverish fans worldwide eagerly looking out for any hints that might be contained in an on-set photo uploaded by an unwitting actor or in an ill-judged comment made during interview.
Both Solo and Infinity War have been highly secretive during filming and in their marketing campaigns and although Solo is yet to hit theaters, the much-maligned #ThanosDemandsYourSilence campaign succeeded in keeping that film's big shocks a mystery until release day. In an interview with SyFyWire, star of both movies, Paul Bettany, has compared the measures taken on the two sets and suggested that Avengers was perhaps the more demanding in terms of preventing leaks. Speaking specifically about Solo, Bettany said:
"They're so careful. You're dressed and undressed there, you can't even take a photograph, if you wanted to take a photograph of yourself. There's somebody with you when you're getting into all of those costumes and there's somebody with you when you walk on to set. You're never alone. I'd love to have stolen my weapons, but I didn't get a chance."
However, Solo's cast were at least able to read the movie's full, finished script - a luxury that apparently wasn't available on the Avengers set. Bettany claims:
"There was one script on one locked iPad. They wrote fake scenes and nobody had read the script. By the time we got into it, I'd never seen anything like it."
While both Solo and Infinity War seem to have been on the more stringent side of movie set secrecy, it's perhaps understandable that the latter would take more extreme measures given the leaks Marvel Studios have experienced in the past. Even if actors don't intend to reveal secrets, mistakes can still be made, as demonstrated when Mark Ruffalo somehow managed to livestream the audio of Thor: Ragnarok's first ten minutes, much to the annoyance of Disney bosses.
Studio attempts to prevent spoilers leaking ahead of time may be completely understandable but there's an argument to be made that not allowing actors read scripts could negatively impact performances. Although this problem wasn't particularly apparent in Avengers: Infinity War, there may come a day when an actor publicly claims they weren't able to give a role their best possible performance because they were in the dark about certain plot elements.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018