Avengers: Infinity War definitely broke the mold of storytelling in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Josh Brolin's Thanos ending the movie as the bad guy who emerged victorious; leaving our beloved heroes defeated, physically as well as mentally. This, of course, all came down to the famous snap, influenced by the Infinity Gauntlet comics, which eliminated half of all life in the galaxy.
However, according to the film's writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, there was an earlier draft of the script which had the snap taking place in Avengers 4, and not in its predecessor.
In an interview with the New York Times, Markus revealed that a two-part finale was always the plan, but it was indeed a challenge figuring out just when exactly this universe-altering moment should take place. “It wasn’t just, well, we’ve got too much story, we’d better chop it in half,” he said. However, the narrative they were eyeing, especially one to keep fans guessing what would happen in the Infinity War follow-up drove their decision.
“[...] what we realized is, it would feel more like a cliffhanger than we intended,” he continued, referring to how it would have played out in the sequel. “[...] it would be a continuation of exactly what you were watching before,” he said, clearly realizing they needed to give Infinity War its own distinct moment, setting up unpredictable and equally high stakes for the sequel.
This creative decision he said is what allows Avengers 4 to be “be as big as it wants to be, and as sprawling.” Given that fans are waiting to see how the MCU's heroes go after the Mad Titan again, and how they intend to resurrect the lives he took, it's safe to say it was a bold move, but one that certainly paid dividends.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, 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. The film is in theaters now.