‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Interview: Avengers, Guardians, and One Unimpressed Thanos
Tuesday, April 24th, 2018 at 11:00 am
Avengers: Infinity War is a culmination of 10 years of Marvel Studios films. In the past 18 films that they have released, we’ve seen heroes defend the Earth and the Galaxy from demi-gods, highly intelligent robots, and themselves. Now it all culminates in this one massive event that brings the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy together to defend it against the Mad Titan, himself, Thanos.
We were invited to sit down with our fellow journalists to talk to the cast, directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige about the film. But the thing is, no one had actually seen the film, at least as of this post. So there were really no questions the press could work off of other than the trailers and what has already been reported on.
But one thing we know is going to happen is that Thanos is coming, and it’s going to take one giant superheroic collective effort to stop him. So, what can we expect to see from the two groups who will have to stop Thanos from wiping out half of humanity? Who will live? Who will die? Does Thanos actually consider the Avengers and Guardians an actual threat? Check out what they had to say here below.
Major Character Developments
Given that many of these characters are in a different place from when we last saw them, whether they are divided after the events of Captain America: Civil War or traumatized after losing a loved one, our heroes will have to rally together in order to defeat the eponymous Thanos. Many of them will have to put aside their differences if they want to save the Earth. And apparently a lot of that will play through for Don Cheadle‘s War Machine aka Rhodey in both films:
What I think is really great about this in a way to anchor a lot of the other things that are happening in this story and getting to continue it forward. We always get to have these down notes, in a good way. I think there’s always eye candy in very traumatic things happening and these big these fights look amazing on screen. It comes down to these characters and their interpersonal situations with one another, and their personal journeys that they have. When it comes to Rhodey, I am glad that it is something that is carried through and it wasn’t just dropped. It’s a line that goes through both of the films and comes into play in a very important way, I won’t give it away, but it is something that factors through all the way in and it is cohesive and it keeps the character grounded.
Zoe Saldana, who plays Gamora, also sees her character going through some major changes, especially since the Guardian team member has some very deep familial connections to Thanos.
“Besides these kinds of movies carrying so much action and entertainment and the visual effects that really cater to all of our senses, we wouldn’t be what we are, I think, in the Marvel Universe, if it wasn’t for those emotional beats that those inter-relationships carry, and that thread involves a parent and a child. I will speak on behalf of Karen Gillian’s character [Nebula], we had so much fun with the arc that the Russo brothers and Kevin Feige spearheading this. The relationship that these daughters have with their father because they finally get the opportunity to sort of address what it was like to have a dad that was so complicated.”
New Kid In School
Avengers: Infinity War will bring together the titular Avengers with the Guardians of the Galaxy, which will open doors for all kinds of interesting interactions that we have not seen before in any film. One of them is between Thor and the Guardians. It’s unclear how the god of thunder will meet with the galaxy’s biggest misfits. But it will be the first time that it has happened, and for Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, he felt like he was the new kid at school.
“It felt kinda like the first day at school for me. Everyone knew each other, and I didn’t, so I was the new kid. I had a weird set nervous butterflies walking around in my body. That was a fun thing. It was great to come into a whole new dynamic and a set of people to move around with and interact with. This whole film for me I felt like a fan. Meeting a lot of these people and the characters I watched on screen and be on screen with them as Thor and as Chris also is pretty damn exciting. It was fantastic. It was great.”
Translating What Is On The Page To The Screen
The idea that we have reached a point where we can see title heroes interact with each other is already amazing. But to see 10 years of that culminate to the movie event everyone will be talking about for years to come is still very much unexplainable. Yet, Marvel Studios has always stayed true to the spirit of the comics and never lost its focus since they started with Iron Man back in 2008. Consistency is key, and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige says all of it starts with the pages of a comic book.
“Usually when there is a notion of ‘Let’s do an Iron Man movie’ or ‘Let’s have the audacity to do a version of the Infinity Gauntlet’, it starts with those comics and us beginning to rip pages out, or rip copies of pages out, put them on the walls and start to be inspired. In every single movie we’ve made up to, and especially, Infinity War, there are direct images, storylines, rarely but sometimes actual lines of dialogue that come from those pages we put up in our development room for inspiration. For Infinity War, in particular, there are so many characters and so many threads of storylines from so many movies that we could have pulled from or use for inspiration, and we did it, we kept going back to, and I think we released some behind the scenes footage, and you can see the giant omnibus of the Infinity Gauntlet there with all sorts of dogged-eared pages there and Post-Its in there from those moments. After we see the movie we can talk more specifically about what those moments were, most of them were surrounded around Mr. [Josh] Brolin’s Thanos portrayal, that came directly from Jim Starlin’s work. So it is always a dotted point and a north star for us as we lead these giant productions into reality are right from those books where it all started.”
Diversity Within The Marvel Cinematic Universe
While Black Panther was among the first to have a person of color be the lead in their own superhero film, Zoe Saldana was the one who had helped plant the seeds of leading that campaign. She might be covered in green paint, but the spirit of her nationality reverberates through her character in the Guardians Of The Galaxy films. And she is happy to see more of that in the MCU.
“I am super happy to be an American right now. To be in the entertainment industry. To be a public figure and to be given the opportunity by leaders by our studio heads when they take on the task of broadening the narrative for our stories. It’s plain and simple. As actors, regardless of our race and our gender, we just want to be given equal opportunity to be able to be chameleons and continue growing and connecting with our audiences. So when directors, writers, and producers understand that changes need to come from within, as public figures we have the responsibility to take the lead and broaden that narrative. It just makes someone like me, who would be a positive recipient, super happy because I know that means for our future generations, I have three sons, nothing would make me happier to know that they are going to inherit an influx of storytelling through media that represents them that makes them feel seen and heard and that their lives and their heritage matters, but only through their merits.”
Tom Holland Can Keep His Mouth Shut
Spider-Man actor Tom Holland has a reputation for spoiling anything MCU-related over his social media. As a result, its wildly reported that he was given only portions of the Avengers: Infinity War script and is under strict instructions not to talk about anything because he will literally say something that he is not supposed to say. However, he did talk about the new Iron Spider suit, the high tech upgrade he will be receiving from Tony Stark to fight Thanos.
“I am under strict instructions to keep my mouth shut. I did not get to wear the Iron Spider suit because it is simply too amazing to exist in real life. So I joined the wonderful Mark Ruffalo in the mancasting costume and stood amongst these gods wearing pajamas. It wasn’t quite as heroic as I would like it to be, but I haven’t seen the film yet so I can’t tell you what it does in real life. But I can tell you that it will be amazing.”
Given the magnitude of this film and a few of the actors’ inabilities to keep things spoiler-free, a script can be changed at any given time. This way, no secrets can be leaked out. So at no point in time can one actor have the true script. This had an effect on Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Doctor Strange, who believed he may or may not have had a true script or even true portions of it.
“I read ‘a script.’ Whether I read ‘the script’ is for them to know and me to find out when I see the movie. But whatever script you read may not end up in the film, it always changes. These guys always plus it every day, sometimes after the day, they will probably re-plus it in December after the film is out. They never stop, and this wheelhouse is a busy place to work. So whatever I read is not necessarily what you are going to see. I could tell you stuff about it, but it wouldn’t make any difference.”
Avengers: Infinity War Is Its Own Film
Yes, Captain America: Civil War goes by Avengers 2.5 in some circles, but it is still very much a Captain America film. It’s the same for Avengers: Infinity War, who some believe is actually Black Panther 1.5 because a majority of the new film takes place in Wakanda. So Chadwick Boseman, who plays Black Panther, had to clarify and reassure that Avengers: Infinity War is very much an Avengers film.
“Avengers: Infinity War is Avengers Infinity War. It’s not Black Panther 1.5 or Black Panther 2 or anything like that. I think we have a strong presence in the movie. It was great to have these people, I am not going to say who, in Wakanda, but it is its own movie. It was great to go from what we did, with Black Panther, and bring that to Avengers. It was a relief actually. But it is its own thing.”
The Return Of Coulson?
Despite the Marvel Studio (film division) and Marvel Entertainment (TV division) disconnect, Agent Phil Coulson is still considered to be alive in the MCU, and will make a “return” in Captain Marvel. However, Anthony Russo could not elaborate if the character would be making a return to the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. But he did talk about the process about which character’s story they did need to flesh out in order to give them closure or more meat.
“When we began developing this movie, we sat in a room: Kevin [Feige], Joe [Russo], and I, Markus McFreely, and the writers took a picture of every single character who has been in the MCU and we hung it up on the wall and we basically spent months and months and months and months talking about where we need to go with each character thinking how we could draw them through the story. Every one of these characters, everyone on this stage, has been on a specific journey, through the MCU to arrive at this moment. It was a very long creative process that we went through thinking about where we could take this story, where we could take these characters, how could we could combine the characters in interesting ways? It was about the most fun creative exercise I think I have ever been through in my life because us sitting in a room for months and months and months, telling each other stories about these characters, 99% of which didn’t make their way in movie, but that was our process, we thought about everybody in the MCU. We thought about how they could play a role in the story moving forward.”
Joe Russo chimed in to say that that is how you answer a question without answering it. But he jokingly warned us that the participating talent had an electro shocker underneath their chairs, and he was holding the button that would turn it on should they spoil anything.
Lady Liberators Update
Ever since Tessa Thompson and a group of other fierce MCU female characters crowded Kevin Feige during the Thor: Ragnarok premiere in hopes of getting their own movie, even more fierce female MCU characters have joined the cinematic universe, namely Okoye, Shuri, and Nakia. Danai Guarai, who plays Okoye, has heard the rumors of an all-female Marvel superhero team. As did Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Scarlet Witch. But here is what Guarai had to say.
“I don’t know details on it, I was just thinking about how exciting I am about Brie Larson, who is shooting Captain Marvel right now. How that is going to be a pretty awesome venture. But also the thing that I think is happening that we see happening across many dimensions in the entertainment industry is that we see women take the helm in various realms, and that is not only about time, but I think it would make the world a better place, I think. So I look forward to the future.”
Thanos Is Not Impressed
Contrary to what we may have seen in the two trailers, Thanos is clearly not impressed with the Earthbound heroes or any of the Guardians. Much to his disappointment, Josh Brolin felt that he did not do his job very well.
I looked in the trailer like I was impressed by other people? Then obviously I did not do my job very well. Being a person of the color purple and being naked on the set in order to create a vibe of fear, I really thought I scared everybody, but apparently, I didn’t. But was there somebody I was impressed by? Anthony Mackie. Everybody has their weakness, and Anthony Mackie is Thanos’ weakness.
Does Tony Stark Live Or Die?
One of the biggest questions in Avengers: Infinity War is who lives, who dies, who will get to tell the Avengers 4 story. While no one has seen the movie, as of this post, many have their theories. Even Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t know the answer to this, or at least that’s what he would like us to think. Iron Man had to defer to Feige, who whispered in his ear that they already filmed it. Which doesn’t exactly answer our question. However, Downey Jr. had this to say:
“If I die in this movie, I am going to be confused.”
Avengers: Infinity War opens in theaters on April 27, 2018.