Avengers: Infinity War Almost Had Thanos Narrate The Film


Avengers: Infinity War teased the potential for 14,000,605 possible futures, but back in the film’s early stages of development, there were apparently just three radically different paths that the team were considering, and one of them would’ve put us right in the head of the Mad Titan himself.

Last night, directors Anthony and Joe Russo hosted an Infinity War screening and Q&A, where the filmmaking pair reflected on the long journey that the year’s biggest blockbuster took to theaters. Among the various insights offered, Joe recalled how a draft script saw Thanos narrating the events as part of a non-linear structure:

“We did three drafts of this that were all radically different. One draft involved Thanos as the narrator of the film. It was non-linear in structure, it had backstories for the Black Order, and they were all introduced in very cool sequences. But it ended up being a 250-page script and we thought, ‘Alright, we can’t fit all of this storytelling.’”

Ultimately, the team decided to ditch both the Thanos narration idea and the non-linear storytelling, with the inspiration for the film’s eventual, relatively simple structure coming from an unlikely source:

“We did a lot of development on this, but at a certain point we thought, ‘This is really a heist movie, and Thanos is enacting a heist. It’s gotta have a certain structure to it that reflects a heist film.’ So if you look at the movie, its actually is sort of like Two Days in the Valley or Out of Sight where there’s multiple McGuffins that Thanos is chasing and that all the other characters are trying to get to first, or stop him from getting. So it’s a very simple structure.

“We thought, we have so many characters in the movie, we have to simplify the structure. I think that’s really what led us from that 250-page draft to what the movie is now is simplifying the plot, keeping it linear, and letting the character moments come through.”

Steven Soderbergh’s 1998 crime drama Out of Sight may not be the most obvious of films to compare to an intergalactic superhero actioner that ends with half the universe dying, but it’s nice to get a little more clarification on the Russo Brothers’ comments from earlier this year that they took some influence from ‘90s heist movies.

Though last night’s Q&A may not have contained as many Avengers 4 revelations as the fans had hoped, the Russos did offer plenty more thoughts on Thanos’ recent journey to victory. For one thing, the pair provided official confirmation on where exactly the tyrant is in his final scene, explaining that the character has settled down on “Titan 2,” where he likely intends to live out the rest of his days in peace.

Of course, while Thanos may be looking pretty content by the end of Avengers: Infinity War, you can expect to see a turning of the tables when the sequel comes out on May 3rd, 2019.