INTERVIEW: The Russos on Infinity War's Unique Challenges and Their Marvel Futures

Thanos is coming, and there's nothing Earth's Mightiest Heroes can do about it - or is there?

Ahead of Marvel Studios' latest superhero blockbuster's theatrical release, CBR spoke with co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo about Avengers: Infinity War. While the pair refused to divulge any spoilers regarding the Marvel Cinematic Universe's biggest ensemble film to date, the pair were more than willing to open up about the daunting nature of tackling a project with such high expectations attached to it.

The brothers also promised CBR that yes, much like their previous two outings (Captain America: Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War), Infinity War will end with a game-changing moment, and deliver on the hype that has been building around Thanos for over half a decade.

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CBR: When I've talked to people about this movie, there's a lot of excitement, but there's also a sense of nervousness about it -- that it's going to be an emotional, maybe traumatic viewing experience. How do you react to that? Is there validity to it, and how heavy do things get?

Joe Russo: We like complex storytelling. You can go back and you look at Winter Soldier, and you look at Civil War, we're not afraid to take swings, we're not afraid of stakes. We appreciate stakes, especially as comic book fanatics and comic book fans. For us, I don't know how else you can tell the story of Thanos and Infinity War without incredible stakes. There are going to be a lot of surprises, and we've told people to prepare themselves for those surprises. Ultimately, we don't want to say any more than that. But it will be a complicated experience.

Captain America Civil War

Anthony Russo: And I would point this out -- if you look back at our road in the MCU, Winter Soldier ended with a game-changer; the destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Civil War ended in a game-changer for the MCU; the Avengers split up, and Steve Rogers' and Tony Stark's relationship is destroyed. Most likely, if you carry that forward, Infinity War's going to end with a game-changer.

While the tone does look very serious, at the same time, knowing both of you and your body of work and Marvel movies in general, guessing there's still plenty of room for some levity there?

Joe Russo: Without question. I think if the movie were to get complicated at points, that you have to balance the film out. A lot of these characters deal with crisis through humor. They've illustrated that, and it's part of their character traits. I think what is important for us is to honor that. When you get Thor and the Guardians together, there's going to be a very specific tone.

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As the movie progresses, the stakes get higher, so the tone will shift as the movie progresses. But certainly early on, as these characters meet each other, these are big personalities, these are big egos. Stark and Strange in a room together is two narcissists -- one's a man of magic, one's a man of science -- they're just naturally going to conflict with each other, and a lot of humor comes from conflict.

Anthony Russo: When you're dealing with a large ensemble like this, each individual character has a different relationship to what's happening in the story. For example, Civil War was a story about the Avengers splitting apart. But there were certain characters in that film, like Spider-Man or Ant-Man who weren't really involved in that conflict. So they were able to enter the film and have a different tone to them, because they didn't have all the baggage of the central conflict.

Similarly, in this movie, there are characters like Gamora and Nebula, who are daughters of Thanos. They're uncomfortably close to a very dangerous person. That creates a certain tone of them in the film. Whereas other characters have different relationships with him -- [some] characters have never even heard of Thanos when this movie starts.

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