Creating a comic book movie is a very complex affair. It’s tricky making comic book characters work for non-comic book fans and making them realistic all at the same time. While true-blue comic book fans would love exact copies of costumes and looks, filmmakers know they need to choose from various options to find the right cinematic fit. That’s been proven true with the MCU as each movie has a horde of artists doing various work on each film. Marvel has been rewarding fans as each entry in the MCU has a book on The Art of [the film]. They showcase concept drawings of costumes, character looks, locations, key scenes and more. Each book is a great resource as they showcase not just original looks but also story ideas from early scripts that never came to be.
The latest is for Infinity War, the culmination of the entire MCU so far. As you’d expect, the book is terrific in showcasing various concept art for the characters and events. That includes various ideas that didn’t make it into the final film. Sometimes, it’s different looks for the characters. Other cases include early script sequences that didn’t make it at all. Indeed, the movie could have looked a lot different in terms of who teamed up with whom and the action sequences. Some revelations are just wild from looks to story ideas -- and several were true surprises. Here are 25 of the most baffling things fans of Infinity War will learn from the Art of book. Prepare to see the movie in a new light!
24 LOKI’S FATE
Obviously, the directors Joe and Anthony Russo had to be very careful with spoilers on the movie. They joked about how Spider-Man/Peter Parker actor Tom Holland had a bad habit of babbling spoilers to friends. They used the old trick of giving out separate scripts so actors only knew their own scenes and not others. One of the biggest secrets was keeping quiet how Loki would be dispatched by Thanos in the first ten minutes of the movie. Even most of the crew had no idea until the scene was filmed.
The artists were also in the dark, unaware the film would open with a big fight scene as Thor and Loki take on Thanos. Instead, according to the book, the film was to open with the duo already defeated. The book also includes drawings of scenes in which Loki is alive later in the movie. They were as surprised as anyone to learn Loki would be gone very early on -- the art shows some intriguing possibilities for the character.
23 THE SUPER HULK BUSTER
When the Hulkbuster showed up in the trailers for the movie, folks assumed it was Iron Man breaking it out for use in Wakanda. It turns out it’s actually used by the powerless Bruce Banner. The irony of Bruce using the suit designed to take him down is fun, and he actually handles himself well in the mechanical armor.
Original concept drawings had the suit boasting some unique touches. One idea was for Shuri to give it a layer of vibranium that would enhance its abilities. There were also ideas for attachments like a huge “hook” arm and more weapons he would use. True, the armor would suffer some beatings from the Outriders, but it was still meant to be a serious force on screen. Having it be even bigger for the Hulk himself to use would make the armor more formidable for this film.
22 THE FREAKIER EFFECTS OF THE SNAP
The most memorable moment of the movie is, of course, The Snap. In the original comic, when Thanos snaps his fingers with the Gauntlet, half the population of the universe just vanishes. The movie has the far more chilling sight of people turning into dust and blowing away. Yet the original idea was even crazier.
The book reveals, rather than folks vanishing one by one, they basically all go at once. It also has the sight of their souls torn from their bodies and floating away, as if in agony. The bodies would hold together before being collapsing into nothing. It gives fuel to the theory of the souls of those gone are now trapped within the Soul Stone. Either way, it showcases how the original “Snappening” could have been even more nightmarish on screen.
21 CAP’S SHIELD WAS A TRIBUTE
The trailers showcased one of the movie’s best lines when Black Panther is barking out orders to handle Thanos’ invasion. Turning to Cap, T’Challa states “get this man a shield.” Having given up his classic shield at the end of Civil War, Cap needs another. He ends up with some unique triangular weapons attached to his gauntlets. Not only do they act as shields but also some knives to use for attacks.
The shield itself was designed as a tribute to the original triangular shield Cap used in the 1940s. There’s also a touch that was played with in a deleted scene as Howard Stark had used vibranium to create Cap’s original shield. This design has T’Challa paying tribute to Howard’s inventiveness and how Cap should think of forgiving Tony. It’s a nice touch for how this new shield was developed.
20 THE INHUMANS WERE TO DEBUT
It’s almost laughable to remember but at one point the Inhumans were going to be a major big-screen movie. At the same 2015 event announcing Infinity War, Marvel stated that Inhumans would be their Summer 2018 entry. Thus, the original scripts had the Inhumans as the ones who held the Soul Stone on their city on the moon. Thanos would invade it, causing a massive battle that would include Thanos fighting Black Bolt and the rest of the Royal Family.
This would set up their own film of the Inhumans revealing themselves to the world. However, as everyone knows, Marvel shifted their plans when they got Spider-Man for the MCU. The Inhumans ended up becoming a flop TV show, so bad fans prefer to ignore it completely. It’s so intriguing to imagine how the biggest misfire of the MCU almost had a start in their biggest movie.
19 HOWARD THE DUCK
The space scenes involving the Guardians of the Galaxy were always the trickiest parts to make work for the movie. The Russos were worried about too much action in space to distract fans from the storyline on Earth. The Guardians had a lot more to do, which included after Thanos captures Gamora and the hunt for her. Desperate to find where Thanos could be, Star-Lord would head to a planet to interrupt a cosmic card game. Among the players would be Howard the Duck, the cult favorite character who had appeared in the post-credits scene of the first Guardians movie.
The scene would also have included a cameo from Ken Jeong and naturally some nutty comedy of him and Howard bouncing off each other. The Russos say they loved the scene and hated cutting it but it would have dragged the movie down. Just another case of bad luck for the duck.
In the final movie, Thor travels to the cosmic furnace Nidavellir with Rocket and Groot. They meet the giant dwarf Eitri (Peter Dinklage) who helps Thor create his new weapon, Stormbreaker. The original ideas had the trio going on a much different journey. Instead of space, Thor would seek out the spirit of his grandfather Bor (who briefly appeared in Age of Ultron) for info on stopping Thanos. This would involve a spiritual journey that would integrate parts of Norse mythology into the storyline.
It also means a different look for Thor as this image shows he would still be missing an eye even when he gains his axe. Also, instead of Stormbreaker, he has Jarbjorn, the axe Thor uses in the comics when he briefly loses his hammer. It shows how the God of Thunder could have boasted a different look for the final battle.
17 A SANTA CAMEO?
The Russos wanted to wait as long as possible for Captain America to make his entrance. This leads to the scene where Wanda and the Vision are attacked in Scotland by the Black Order. They’re on the ropes when Cap shows up with Falcon and Black Widow to save them. An original idea was that it wouldn’t be until the big battle at Wakanda that Cap shows up in a huge entrance. The Russos wisely realized that was just too long to wait for a key Avenger to show up.
This led to the Scottish sequence which was to take place during a winter festival. That included Cap and his friends making their way through a horde of Santas to try and get to Vision and Wanda. Having this battle taking place amid a Christmas setting would have been a far different tone so fans are probably happy with what we got.
16 THE NOVA CORPS DESTRUCTION WOULD BE SEEN
The Nova Corps had been introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy as a galactic space force. They aid the Guardians in the big battle with Ronan to show off their power nicely. In Infinity War, Thor mentions how Thanos wiped out Xandar and the Corps to get his hands on the Power Stone. This would have been the actual opening of the movie or at least a flashback, showing Thanos and his forces tearing the planet apart.
It would sell the power of the Black Order as they easily dispatch Nova Corps officers while Thanos himself destroys their leader. It was cut as taking up too much time which is a shame as it would have been intriguing to see Thanos’ forces cut loose on such a scale.
15 CAP-SHARON ROMANCE
Introduced in Winter Soldier, Sharon Carter was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who is first assigned to keep an eye on Steve Rogers. She later aids him in the fight against HYDRA. Civil War reveals she was the grand-niece of Steve’s old love Peggy Carter. They grow closer and share a kiss before Steve has to leave. The original scripts would reveal Sharon was aiding Steve and his team while they were on the run and their romance had grown.
It would be a nice call-back to the comics where the duo have a long relationship. But between scripts changes and Emily VanCamp’s schedule shooting her TV show The Resident, they couldn’t work her in. A shame a nice part of Steve’s human life couldn’t make it on screen.
14 STEVE AND TONY WOULD HAVE A SCENE
It’s interesting how, for so much of the movie, the Avengers remain divided. The conflict from Civil War is mentioned but the team mostly remains split up in their own adventures. The original script, however, had the team finally uniting when Thanos’ forces first attack Earth. This would include the long-awaited scene where Steve and Tony have it out on all their differences.
They would argue about the Sakovia Accords and what Winter Soldier did before realizing they need to work together. There would still be tension that would play into the movie and the mistrust between the two former friends would be strong. The script was shifted so they end up on separate paths but perhaps the sequel will finally have Cap and Iron Man back to being allies.
13 WARLOCK ALMOST ADDED
The post-credits scenes for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 indicate a mysterious “Adam” is being created by the Sovereign. This is Adam Warlock, a long-popular cosmic character. The original scripts for Infinity War had Adam making his big debut.
This would make sense as in the comics Warlock and Thanos have had a long rivalry and clashed in the original Infinity Gauntlet series. Thus, having him showing up to aid in the fight with Thanos would make sense. However, the Russos quickly realized it was already difficult having to handle so many characters in the movie without adding in a huge one with a complex backstory. Thus, Warlock was cut and will probably have to wait until the next Guardians film to make his big splash in the MCU.
12 TWO MOVIES AT ONCE
Fans were rocked when the first peek at Infinity War also revealed it would be two movies. For awhile, it was simply going to be “Part 1” and “Part 2”. There was also a shift in plans with regard to breaking it up. An early idea was to have the first movie end with Thanos just getting the Stones. Thankfully, they realized having him do the “Snap” was a perfect cliff-hanger. A major touch was going to be that both movies would be shot at the same time, much like Lord of the Rings. They actually had that planned for most of the pre-production stage.
However, they soon realized the logistics of getting all the actors on that schedule was completely impossible. Thus, breaking up the shooting was the logical choice. Even for the MCU, balancing two mega-movies at the same time was too daunting a task.
GAMORA’S MORE CHILLING FATE
A key scene of the movie is when Thanos and Gamora find the Soul Stone on Vormir. They’re told that to gain it, a person must sacrifice that which they love the most. Gamora laughs that Thanos is out of luck as he loves nothing. Too late, she realizes that, in his own twisted way, Thanos loves her. He thus throws her off a massive tower to her death.
In the movie, it’s already a gripping scene yet the concept art shows it could have been worse. At least in the film, you see Gamora’s body on the ground. In some artwork, she would have been thrown into a pool of creatures or a black hole that tears her apart. It showcases how this heartbreaking moment could have been even more chilling for audiences.
11 THANOS’ EXILE
Thanos’ entire defense for his actions is his past on Titan. He saw the planet’s population was using up their resources and headed to destruction. While changing their ways was good, Thanos’ idea to just wipe out half the population naturally wasn’t the answer. He uses the Reality Stone to show Strange how his planet was a pristine land before it fell.
The original script would have included a brief flashback showing how Thanos was put on trial by his people and exiled from Titan. That was why he wasn’t around when the planet finally collapsed into civil war and destruction. That convinced Thanos the entire universe would suffer the same fate unless he “fixed” it. It was dropped as too much backstory yet would explain more of Thanos’ mad motivations for his crusade.
10 THE WHITE WOLF
The end of Black Panther shows Bucky Barnes in Wakanda where he’s known as the White Wolf. In Infinity War, Bucky gets a new arm and shows up in his old Winter Soldier gear. But some concepts played with Bucky getting a totally new look. A few included how Bucky finally shaves off his beard and gets a haircut to look as he did in World War II.
Other concepts included some Wakandan designs to his clothing as he would want to pay tribute to this land that’s helped him out. That even included some touches to his new arm with some stylish colors to it. The producers ended up just sticking to his old look yet it’s interesting how the Winter Soldier could have really embraced his new identity for the film.
9 TRANSFORMING TONY?
The MCU team loves to update Iron Man’s armor for every movie. In this, Tony debuts his very cool nanotech suit that forms around him in seconds. He also has some interesting “wings” that break out behind him for flight. An early idea was for Tony to take a bold new direction when he’s chasing Thanos’ ship. His suit would basically break off the wings and let them form around him to turn the entire suit into a high-speed rocket.
In other words, Tony built himself a Transformer. It was deemed a bit too much even for Tony and kept to just basic rockets. But it’s possible this can show up in the next movie and show how the Iron Man suit is always adapting.
8 THANOS’ POOL
When Thanos does his “Snap”, he briefly finds himself inside the Soul Stone. He’s met by a young Gamora who confronts him, telling him he has to give up “everything” for his mad quest. The producers had a nice image of Thanos wading through a huge pool to reach this young Gamora. It could have been far darker.
The original idea was for Thanos to be wading through a pool of pure red. This would turn out to be the blood of his millions of victims. That Thanos failed to see he was literally walking through his bloody past would be a nice touch for the character. It was dropped as being way too dark yet shows off the twisted persona of the Mad Titan.
7 A NIGHTMARE RED SKULL
One of the biggest shocks of the movie is when Thanos and Gamora head to Vormir to find the Soul Stone. In a moment that had audiences gasping, the Stone’s guardian turns out to be none other than the Red Skull. When he was sucked into the Tesseract in Captain America, the Skull ended up on this world where he’s been condemned to watch over the Stone ever since. Hugo Weaving did not reprise the role but Rose Marquand did an excellent job filling in. The Skull looks mostly the same in just a black robe.
However, early concepts imagined that his time on this planet had warped the Skull majorly. Several of the ideas were truly nightmarish and looking more like out of a Guillermo Del Toro movie. You had a Skull with no eyes, warped features and body and even a near ghost. In the end, they went with a more “normal” approach yet it’s fascinating how this already monstrous villain could have been even worse on screen.
6 GUNN MAKING UNCLEAN GROOT
The Russo brothers had pretty much carte blanche to handle the Marvel characters as they wanted. However, they did reach out to other MCU directors for some input. That included James Gunn to handle the Guardians of the Galaxy characters. Gunn was a big help in the Russos getting into the Guardians and handle their personalities. His biggest contribution was for Teen Groot as Gunn suggested the living tree have a tough attitude to go with his rebellious nature. He also threw in the idea that Groot be a mostly unclean figure who never bathes.
That’s why, if you look closely, you can see pieces of bark and leaves flaking off Groot as the movie goes along. It’s a great touch that shows the cooperation of the MCU team and how each creator helps inspire another.
5 THE OUTRIDERS
In the movie, the Outriders are the beasts Thanos uses for his mass invasion of Wakanda. They were, however, to have shown up much earlier in the movie. When the Black Orders invades Manhattan, they would have had slews of the Outriders with them. The artwork showcases how the Outriders manage to get the better of Doctor Strange only for Spider-Man to race in to help.
The art shows some humor in Spidey accidentally webbing up Strange with the Outriders and then overtaken fighting a bunch of them. You can practically see Strange’s eye roll as he tries to escape the webbing. In the movie, only Ebony Maw and Cult Obsidian appear for the New York fight but this could have been a pretty cool fight.
4 THOR AND ROCKET VS SERPENT
As noted, a major early plot line was for Thor, Rocket and Groot to go on a mystical quest for a new weapon for Thor. This would allow the producers to work in some fun bits of Norse mythology. One idea was that to gain his powered axe, Thor has to prove his worthiness by fighting an ancient Asgardian serpent. It would have been a huge fight with Thor giving his all while Rocket supplied the wisecracks.
However, it was decided this was going to add one too many big special effects sequences to the film as well as slow down the narrative. The whole plot was dropped for the “space furnace” sequence with Peter Dinklage. Yet this piece showcases what could have been an intriguing team-up for Thor and Rocket.
3 STREET CAPTAIN AMERICA
When Cap makes his big debut in the movie, he’s wearing a throwback to the “stealth suit” he had in Winter Soldier. But there were ideas for Cap taking on some different looks. One idea was a suit much like the USAgent character. Another was for Cap to basically be like the “Nomad” persona he took up in the 1970s. He would wear no costume, thinking he wasn’t worthy of the Cap moniker anymore.
This shows him in a cool street outfit which he still manages to sell like a military uniform. While the producers liked the idea, they decided it was best to have Cap in some sort of costume. Yet this shows some intriguing ideas of the Sentinel of Liberty really taking the “super-soldier” label to heart.
2 FALCON WAS TO BE IN SPACE
Scripts change a lot over time and Infinity War was no exception. A major idea early on was that instead of Spider-Man, the Falcon would be the one to join Tony on his space battle. As noted, an early idea was for Cap and Tony’s sides to come together earlier to face Thanos’ forces. That would lead to Tony and Sam the ones to fly into space and meet the Guardians.
The Russo brothers liked the idea of Sam and Tony, such opposite personalities, clashing a lot while rescuing Strange. That would lead to the comedy of the duo finding common ground dealing with the insanity of the Guardians. However, the storyline was altered and thus, Spider-Man took the journey instead. That worked out great but this could have been an intriguing twist.
1 HULK WAS TO BE IN THE FINAL BATTLE
One of the few complaints of fans about the movie was a major lie in the trailers. They showed the Hulk with the rest of the team as they charged into battle in Wakanda. As the movie relates, Bruce is unable to turn into the Hulk at all and has to wear the Hulkbuster armor instead. However, as this art work shows, the Hulk was to be in the final battle.
He was to get right in the thick of things, smashing up guys left and right. That would have led to a major showdown with Thanos which would end with Hulk “depowered” back into Bruce. The decision to change it to just Bruce was made early on yet the trailers could have been right after all in the Jade Giant part of the huge battle.