Why Marvel's Movies Don't Always Follow the Comic Books

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has exploded into a worldwide phenomenon, bringing Marvel's comic book stories and characters into the mainstream media. While Marvel Studios is almost 20 films deep into the MCU with Avengers: Infinity War on the horizon, the studio has been able to translate the feel of the Marvel Universe to the big screen, without using a comic's story beat for beat.

Some fans will have an issue with not seeing a direct adaptation of Jim Starlin, George Perez and Ron Lim's Infinity Gauntlet when Infinity War arrives in theaters this month, but director Joe Russo says it's a deliberate choice by Marvel Studios to not have its Marvel movies follow Marvel comics.

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"We’re inspired by the books, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not the Marvel comic book universe," Russo told The Telegraph India. "They’re different. As a comic book fan, I think it’s fun to take elements from the books that I identify with. But if I want a literal interpretation, I’ll just read the book. I think that Marvel jumped off with this cinematic experiment that they started 10 years ago with a narrative that diverts from that. So we wanted to fulfill storylines that we’ve set up in Captain America: Winter Soldier and Civil War that we want to carry forward into Avengers: Infinity War and the next one; but not necessarily do a literal interpretation of Jim Starlins’ book. But there are great ideas in that book, and we owe a lot of the movie and what’s behind the movie to Jim."

Russo acknowledges that Starlin's various Thanos-themed story arcs are a big influence on his and Anthony Russo's work on Infinity War, but the MCU has created a new, separate path from the comics. However, he recognizes that you can't please all fans, and a little fan service can go a long way.

"But it’s been important for us to find connective tissue that the audience can relate to and has emotional connection to based upon what they’ve seen before," the director added. "As far as fan service goes, every fan wants something different. You can’t please all fans. We’re fans, and we love making these movies, and we loved comic books growing up. So our mandate all along has been that we’re going to make something that pleases us, that we’re happy with and that we’re excited about and that we want to share with people. Then we keep our fingers crossed that everybody’s as excited about it as we are."

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Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity Warstars 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. Avengers: Infinity War opens April 27, 2018.

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