Every Marvel film is a daunting task for the production teams. With the studio’s unprecedented run of successful films — a run that has just reached the 20-movie mark — every production is approached with care, time and passion. The people at the head of these movies know that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not only a worldwide phenomenon with countless fans, they also that the characters featured in those films mean a whole lot to comic book readers and general audiences alike. While every single film from the MCU was a daunting task, from the first Iron Man film to The Avengers and Captain America: Civil War, each had its own set of challenges. But none of these can even come close to Avengers: Infinity War.
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo joined Marvel Studios to direct Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War, a sequence of film that saw the brothers tackle bigger and bigger casts. But with Infinity War, the directors faced the biggest Marvel movie ever — a film that not only had to convincingly introduce Thanos, but also bring together Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the Guardians of the Galaxy. The directors, as well as writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, had to tackle the biggest cast of superheroes ever assembled on film and deliver an exhilarating experience the likes of which we had never seen before. It’s safe to say that such a production didn’t happen overnight: in the directors’ commentary of the home release of the film, the writers and the Russos divulged 17 important revelations from the making of the film.
17. A FAMILIAR DISTRESS SIGNAL
Since Avengers: Infinity War was such a busy film, there was literally not a second to waste. For that reason, even the opening Marvel Studios crawl of the movie served a purpose by setting the tone of Infinity War. There was no Marvel theme, but rather a distress signal, coming from Thor’s Asgardian ship, the Ark.
The distress signal comes as a result of Thanos’ attack on the ship filled with Asgardian survivors. In the directors’ commentary of the film, it was revealed that it was the director of the first Thor film, Sir Kenneth Branagh, who graciously accepted the Russo brothers’ request to have him record the voice of the Asgardian distress signal.
16. A DIFFERENT ARK
Thor: Ragnarok ended with Asgard destroyed and Thor assuming the mantle of King of the Asgardians. While they no longer had a home, they took refuge in a spaceship known as the Ark and made their way towards Earth. However, they were eventually intercepted by Thanos, who attacked the ship.
Viewers might have noticed the interior of the Ark is much different in Infinity War than it was in Ragnarok. The directors explained that this was made to reflect the seriousness of the third Avengers film. Ragnarok was a funny and bright film, whereas Infinity War was much darker and serious. For that reason, the interior of the Ark had to be altered.
15. HEIMDALL’S SECRET POWER
While the Black Order is in the process of killing every last Asgardian on Thor’s spaceship, Heimdall musters the last of his strength and magic to summon the Bifrost and transport Bruce Banner/the Hulk back to Earth, where he will be able to warn Doctor Strange and Wong of the imminent arrival of Thanos.
According to the writers of the film, Heimdall’s magic is a callback to the first Avengers film. When Thor finds himself on Earth again even though the Bifrost was destroyed, Loki asks the God of Thunder how much dark magic required him to make the trip. Well, it turns out that the answer was Heimdall, who possesses dark magic powers.
14. ASGARDIAN SURVIVORS
What few Asgardians had managed to survive the onslaught of Hela and the destruction of the magical realm by Surtur escaped on a spaceship known as the Ark. Among these survivors were Valkyrie, Korg and Miek, who were nowhere to be seen on the spaceship during the opening scene of Avengers: Infinity War.
While some began to wonder what had happened to the characters, the directors’ commentary of the film revealed that Valkyrie is indeed alive, and that, even though we didn’t see her in Infinity War, she managed to escape with a few other Asgardians. This means that Thor isn’t the last Asgardian left alive, and that Korg and Miek will be able to make a comeback further down the road.
13. THE DESTRUCTION OF XANDAR
When we first saw Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, the Mad Titan was already in possession of the Power Stone, which was last seen in the care of the Nova Corps on Xandar. While some assumed that the film would feature the destruction of the planet at the hands of the villain, it instead chose to skip that moment.
According to the writers and directors of the film, there was a version of the script that did open with the destruction of Xandar. However, it was taken out because the scene didn’t serve much purpose. It was decided that, since we would already see Thanos cause much destruction, the scene would have only felt repetitive in such a destructive movie.
12. THE FALLOUT FROM CIVIL WAR
At the beginning of Infinity War, it isn’t long before Doctor Strange recruits Tony Stark with the help of Bruce Banner. Soon after, it’s decided that Vision must be found and protected because of the Mind Stone that is in his possession. However, Stark reveals that he doesn’t know where the Vision is anymore.
According to the directors’ commentary, Tony is aware that the reason Vision has turned off his transponder is because he is spending time with Wanda Maximoff, who is a member of Captain America’s Secret Avengers. As an enforcer of the Sokovia Accords, Tony could easily go after Cap and his team, but he chooses not to.
11. WHY HULK WILL NOT TRANSFORM
At the start of Avengers: Infinity War, the Hulk engages Thanos in combat, but it isn’t long before the Mad Titan delivers a brutal beating on the Jade Giant. Then, throughout the rest of the movie, the Hulk refuses to come out, no matter how much Bruce Banner tries to transform into the green rage monster.
Many fans assumed that the Hulk didn’t want to come out because of his defeat at the hands of Thanos, but the truth is actually a lot more complicated than that. The Hulk went through some character development in Thor: Ragnarok and, after being hailed as a champion on Sakaar, he doesn’t want to simply help Banner anymore whenever he wants to transform.
10. THE BLACK ORDER’S POWER LEVELS
In writer Jonathan Hickman’s massive Avengers comic book run, the members of Thanos’ Black Order made their first appearances as fearsome and incredibly powerful supervillains that could defeat the Avengers. However, fans of the comics might have been surprised to notice that the Black Order were less powerful in Infinity War.
According to the writers and directors of the film, the power levels of Ebony Maw, Cull Obsidian (Black Dwarf in the comics), Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive were dialed down so that they wouldn’t outshine the main villain of the film, Thanos. On top of that, their abilities were also altered to bring them on more equal grounds with the Avengers.
9. A NOD TO THE INFINITY GAUNTLET COMIC
When the Guardians of the Galaxy go up against Thanos on Knowhere, they are shocked to discover that the Mad Titan is already in possession of the Reality Stone. Before they can even make their attack, the villain uses the power of the red gem to slice Drax into small cubes, and transform Mantis into a swirling ribbon.
The directors of the film revealed that this special use of the Reality Stone was meant to be an homage to the 1991 comic series The Infinity Gauntlet by Jim Starlin and George Pérez. The comic book served as great inspiration for the direction of the third Avengers film, and it featured some fun uses of the Infinity Gems similar to this.
8. WHY THANOS WAITED THIS LONG TO MAKE HIS MOVE
Throughout various Marvel Cinematic Universe films, the Infinity Stones slowly began to reveal themselves, with Thanos working in the shadows. However, many fans wondered why, following 2012’s The Avengers, it would take so long for the villain to make his move.
According to the directors of the film, that is because Thanos simply didn’t have the location of all six Stones. It is only when the Mad Titan finally discovers the location of the Soul Stone on Vormir, thanks to a recording inside of Nebula, that he now has everything he needs to strike. With the location of the Soul Stone revealed, Thanos can now move to collect all six gems.
7. THE SMARTEST PERSON IN THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
The Marvel Universe (both comic book and cinematic) is a place filled with geniuses. In the movies alone, you have Tony Stark, Bruce Banner and King T’Challa who are geniuses in their respective fields. However, none of them can come close to the Black Panther’s sister, the Princess of Wakanda, Shuri.
The directors’ commentary of Avengers: Infinity War confirms that Shuri is the smartest person in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yes, smarter than Stark, and much smarter than Banner. It’s why she is the only one who could even come close to removing the Mind Stone from Vision, and why she was so important during the battle of Wakanda.
6. SPACE DOGS
During the third act of Avengers: Infinity War, Proxima Midnight and Cull Obsidian unleash an army of thousands of Outriders on Wakanda — ravenous alien creatures with multiple arms. The Outriders make up the bulk of the Black Order’s army, and they are quite frightening. Viewers might recall a scene where Rocket, when shooting up the Outriders, calls them “space dogs.”
Well, it turns out that the line “space dogs” actually comes from an unlikely source: during a test screening of the film, one member of the audience called the Outriders “space dogs” and the directors thought the term so funny that they added the line to Bradley Cooper’s Rocket voice-over dialogue.
5. DON’T LET THANOS CLOSE HIS FIST
During the battle between Thanos and Iron Man, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy, the superheroes devise a plan to remove the Gauntlet from the Mad Titan’s hand. But in order to get the chance to approach, they have to make sure that the villain doesn’t close his fist, which activates the power of the Infinity Stones.
The notion that Thanos had to close his fist to use the Infinity Gauntlet was a rule established by the writers and the directors in order to have the Avengers be able to fight Thanos. This added urgency to the scene, and made it so that Thanos wasn’t simply able to activate the Stones no matter what.
4. A BIGGER ARC FOR CAPTAIN AMERICA
There are so many characters involved in the plot of Avengers: Infinity War that there was only so much story real estate that could be devoted to any one character. For that reason, some of the main characters from the franchise had bigger roles, while others had considerably less screen-time.
Such was the case for Steve Rogers, who spent most of the film as a quiet soldier. However, fans shouldn’t have to worry: the directors of the film confirmed that Chris Evans would have a much bigger role to play in Avengers 4, and the case is also the same for the other characters who didn’t have as big a role as Iron Man or Doctor Strange.
3. CONFIRMED: SOUL WORLD
Near the end of Avengers: Infinity War, when Thanos finally assembles all of the Infinity Stones and snaps his fingers, before we can see the result of his act, the character is transported to an ethereal realm where he communes with Gamora as a child. Most fans obviously began to theorize that this was a glimpse at Soul World, the reality withheld inside the Soul Stone.
While it was never confirmed, the theory was pretty much accepted by all fans. Well now, the directors’ commentary of the film makes it official: Thanos is indeed in Soul World. What does that mean about Gamora then? It could be that a piece of her soul is in the gem, and that she could theoretically return.
2. THANOS IS PERMANENTLY DAMAGED FROM THE GAUNTLET
After Thanos snaps his fingers and is briefly taken to Soul World, we see that the Infinity Gauntlet, which is still on his hand, is badly damaged. On top of that, it looks like the power of the snap even managed to wound Thanos. When we see him on his porch at the the end of the film, the scars are still present on his arm and neck.
Well, according to the directors’ commentary, using the Gauntlet for such an act took its toll on Thanos, and the Mad Titan will remain permanently damaged because of it. This makes sense, considering the massive levels of power the villain was wielding. Furthermore, with the Gauntlet damaged, there might be no easy fixes to the snap.
1. WHY SPIDER-MAN TAKES LONGER TO DISAPPEAR
After Thanos snaps his fingers, he wipes out half of all life in the universe. Fan-favorite characters instantly disappear, crumbling to dust. It starts with Bucky Barnes and the Black Panther, and quickly continues with Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Doctor Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy. However, Spider-Man takes longer to disappear than everyone else.
According to the directors, this was decided on the day of shooting to make the scene more emotional. Peter Parker took longer to disappear because of his strength as Spider-Man. Since he felt his death coming because of his spider-sense, Peter put all of his youthful energy and strength into staying alive – which only makes his departure all the more heart-breaking.
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