In terms of crazy, futuristic devices featured in Avengers: Infinity War, items like Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet and the Winter Soldier’s bionic arm all got their due. But the strangest device in the film was only glimpsed for a few seconds, even though its Marvel Cinematic Universe ramifications are undeniable. That device is former S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury’s mysterious pager. Newly released, high-definition stills offer a closer look at the gadget that seemingly sends a distress signal to Captain Marvel in the wake of the Avengers’ defeat.
The pager debuted in Avengers: Infinity War’s after-credits sequence, just after half of the universe’s population was wiped out by Thanos. In the scene, Fury and former S.H.I.E.L.D. Deputy Director Maria Hill are turned to dust along with the half of the universe that lost Thanos’ existential coin toss, but not before Fury is able to get off one final message. He drops the pager just as Captain Marvel’s iconic emblem appears on the display, hinting that the hero will play a pivotal role in the Avengers: Infinity War follow-up in 2019.
New close-up shots of the pager from artofvfx.com show the retrofitted device in all its glory. Apparently, the entire after-credits sequence was a hard-earned victory, according to VFX Supervisor Oliver Schulz, who called the sequence the most difficult in the film (even harder than that Wakanda fight scene, apparently). The devil is in the details, though:
"Each sequence had its own set of challenges but if I had to choose one it would probably be the TAG sequence. The sheer length and the complexity of the different effects alone were quite a task. One thing was that at a later point in the process the decision was made to not move forward with the filmed plate of Nick Fury — instead we would do a camera takeover and switch to a full CG shot. This included a full CG arm crumbling away in close-up together with a full CG environment. Additionally, were also the CG close-up pavement and the all CG pager – which reveals the illuminated Captain Marvel Logo at the end. Sequence Comp Lead Erik Schneider did a great job staying on top of all [these] different elements and delivering a successful shot even when time started to run out."
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Tom Hiddleston, and Josh Brolin. The film is in theaters now.