'Avengers: Infinity War' is the most complicated movie in history: Director Joe Russo

Marcus Goh
Trinh Tran (executive producer), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), and Joe Russo (director) at the “Avengers: Infinity War” film promotional event held at the Marina Bay Sands on Sunday (15 April). (PHOTO: Marcus Goh / Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

“Avengers: Infinity War” is “the most complicated movie in history to put together”, said director Joe Russo.

“I think we shut down Hollywood for a year,” he said during a promotional event for the film held at the Marina Bay Sands on Sunday (15 April). “We had every actor working in the business scheduled somewhere on this (film).”

Also in attendance at the event were actors Robert Downey Jr, Benedict Cumberbatch and Karen Gillan, along with the film’ executive producer Trinh Tran.

Directed by the Russo brothers, Anthony and Joe, “Avengers: Infinity War” will be the 19th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and sports over 20 characters on the movie poster alone. It sees almost every superhero from previous Marvel movies coming together to protect the universe from the greatest threat it has ever seen.

“(The Russo brothers) have been literally shooting for a year while most of us have moved on to other projects or had rest or been travelling or found new (partners),” joked Downey, who plays Iron Man in the film. “And (the Russo brothers) been locked in an editing bay, like a cavernous abandoned ship.”

English actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Dr Strange in the film. (PHOTO: Marcus Goh / Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

Battle of the goatees

When asked about whether Doctor Strange (played by Cumberbatch) and Iron Man would clash in the film, Cumberbatch affirmed that there would be a “clash of the egotistical, vainglorious… goatees”.

Cumberbatch, who is normally clean shaven, sports a goatee in his role as Doctor Strange, just as Downey does as Iron Man.

“Is that what we are? Facial hair bros?” laughed Cumberbatch.

On a more serious note, he added that, “(Iron Man and Doctor Strange) have a bit of a clash, and that’s something to enjoy in the film, to see how the relationship unfolds.”

It looks like the conflict in “Avengers: Infinity War” may not just be against Thanos alone, but with the various superheroes having to join forces to defeat a greater threat. Although this sounds like a similar beat from the first “Avengers” movie, it will probably play out on a larger scale with about four times as many characters.

Actor Robert Downey Jr, who plays Iron Man in the film. (PHOTO: Marcus Goh / Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

Challenges in “Avengers: Infinity War”

The most popular scene in “Captain America: Civil War” was the airport fight between Iron Man and Captain America’s respective teams. It was the 13th Marvel Cinematic Universe film, and saw the Avengers team being torn apart because of ideological differences.

“But one thing that the creatives don’t want to do, is do a bigger repeat of something that’s already worked well,” shared Downey about the aforementioned scene.

“Without giving anything away, I think the challenge this time was: How do you top or better expand something, without repeating something that’s already worked well before?” he said. “I call it the anti-process, usually when something works you want to keep doing that.”

Russo concurred. “You have to be innovative in the (Marvel Cinematic Universe films), because there are 20 of them already.”

Karen Gillan, who plays Nebula. (PHOTO: Marcus Goh / Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore)

Letting female voices shine 

“It’s very important to have female voices in the industry”, said Tran, who spoke about her journey with Marvel Studios, where she started out as an assistant 10 years ago.

“Marvel’s been a family to me, and they were very supportive in bringing me up and allowing me to grow into the position I’m in,” said Tran.

“And with the large amount of cast that we have, some of which are very strong female characters, I think it’s important to let female voices to shine in this area.”

Female cast members slated to appear in “Avengers: Infinity War” include Karen Gillan (Nebula), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), and Letitia Wright (Shuri).

Whatever happened to Hawkeye?

Hawkeye, the archer played by Jeremy Renner in the “Avengers” films, has been mysteriously absent in the promotional material for “Avengers: Infinity War”.

Russo addressed the issue, stating “We did not forget the twice-nominated Jeremy Renner from ‘Infinity War’. We have two movies we’re working with, Avengers 3 and Avengers 4 (referring to “Avengers: Infinity War” and the currently unnamed sequel) and that’s a lot of story real estate.”

“We have a really interesting story cooked up for Hawkeye,” he reassured fans. “But I would say patience is a virtue, and it’s a long play, not a short play.”

“We did not forget Hawkeye.”

“Avengers: Infinity War” opens in cinemas 25 April, 2018.

Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter, having written for “Lion Mums”, “Crimewatch”, “Incredible Tales”, and “Police & Thief”. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. You can find him on social media as Optimarcus and on his site. The views expressed are his own.

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