Captain America's original entrance in Avengers: Infinity War would have made it rein Santas, and ruined his darker debut. Oh deer.
In the newly released book, Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War - The Art of the Movie, storyboard artist Bryan Andrews revealed plans for a different sort of arrival for the Star-Spangled Avenger. "There were a few versions of the Edinburgh sequence," he said. "At first, the Russos had it set during the winter festival. Large crowds, snow, and Cap and the gang were already on-site trying to find Vision and Wanda in a crowd of Santas when the Children of Thanos arrive. Lots of fun stuff, but it was too much. Sometimes less is definitely more."
Imagine it for a second, though. It would have been a complete tonal shift away from Cap's mysterious and threatening debut to a chaotic scene with a bunch of scared Santas in which Cap and his companions would have to act as protectors, while also saving Wanda and Vision from the Children of Thanos, aka The Black Order. Plus, a bunch of terrified Santas running for their lives might have unintentionally added comic relief to an otherwise serious movie, trivializing the gravity of the film overall and derailing Cap's arc.
In Captain America: Civil War, we last saw the first Avenger battling Iron Man over the divisive Sokovia Accords and then freeing his fellow teammates from an underwater prison holding his friends that sided with him. In between this time and Avengers: Infinity War, it's unclear where Cap had been, but it's implied that he went into hiding to avoid being captured as a fugitive. So, his reappearance in the world had to reflect where he has been, and that's in the shadows.
Andrews expands on the choice to portray the Edinburgh scene in the way that they did, sans Santas. "As the rest of the script continued to take shape, it would inform this sequence as well. We ended up treating the Children of Thanos' arrival like a horror movie. Vision and Wanda are hunted, fleeing, surviving."
The direction of this scene, as Andrews said, was treated "like a horror movie" which falls in line with the many instances throughout Avengers: Infinity War where it carried that genre through to the fullest. Consider the opening sequence when Loki is crushed to death by Thanos; the torture scene with Doctor Strange where Ebony Maw slowly stabbed him with sharp spears; and, of course, the ending of the film in which half the heroes disintegrate into piles of dust.
Andrews also noted, "instead of Cap running in atop a train, or having some other 'actiony' arrival for him, we had our villains stop and notice a mysterious figure in shadow, who then catches Proxima's spear while stepping into the light looking awesome. It became the perfect 'Awwww yeah' moment for the rugged Cap reveal."
Both Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War - The Art of the Movie and the film are available, now.