WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters now.
As the culmination of ten years and 18 films, Avengers: Infinity War and its marketing material sent the rumor mill into overtime, so the Russos did what they needed to: utilized the art of misleading editing. Knowing that audiences would try to guess the film's major plot points, the Russos employed a bit of misdirection in their marketing to keep the mystery alive.
The Russos keep their Marvel films fresh by following their instincts and taking risks. Joe Russo told Variety that Marvel Studios has always been supportive of this approach, saying, "They’ve always been risk-takers… If you look at every film we’ve done for Marvel, there are huge, game-changing events at the end of the movies. We are interested in pushing the boundaries and pushing the story forward in unexpected ways, surprising the audience as much as we can."
“We do our best work when we follow our instincts and tell the story we want to tell,” he added. “When you try to predict what an audience wants, you’re going to make mush. When you commit to the story you want to tell, it tends to have a much more resonant impact on the audience… The audience can tell you they love chocolate ice cream, but if you give it to them every day, they’re going to get sick of it real fast. You’ve got to stay ahead of them.”
Considering Infinity War's record-smashing box office success, it seems the Russos' tactics have paid off.
Avengers: Infinity War is directed by Joe and Anthony Russo and stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, 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, among others.