Avengers: Infinity War Directors Say They Almost Included A Sherlock Joke


It’s the kind of the glaring in-joke that the Deadpool movies would’ve pounced on. Avengers: Infinity War sees the meeting of two incarnations of arguably the most famous detective in literary history, and yet this slightly surreal phenomenon goes completely unacknowledged throughout the course of the Marvel mega hit.

The two actors in question, of course, are Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch. While the pair respectively play Tony Stark and Stephen Strange in the ensemble actioner, each has also found success in the role of Sherlock Holmes, with Downey Jr. playing the titular hero of the 2009 movie and its 2011 sequel, while Cumberbatch stars in the more concisely titled Sherlock, the ongoing series produced by the BBC.

It doesn’t take a master detective to see the comedic setup here, but directors Anthony and Joe Russo weren’t biting. Moreover, in the audio commentary track for the Infinity War home video release, the brothers explain their decision to refrain from making the obvious Sherlock jokes.

“I should’ve said, ‘No shit, Sherlock,'” one of them says, referring to the scene in the park where the two heroes finally meet.

“Everybody really wanted that joke. It’s a meta joke that requires you to be a fan of other movies,” adds the other brother. “It is also a very obvious joke. Not that we can’t be accused of having made obvious jokes before.”

While the reference may have been lost on a few viewers unaware of the work that the Iron Man and Doctor Strange actors have been getting outside of the MCU, the more convincing argument made by the brothers is that the punchline would’ve just been a little too easy.

While a one-line nod to Sherlock Holmes wouldn’t have disrupted the pacing much, the filmmakers’ decision to steer clear of this little wink to the audience is pretty understandable, seeing how these superhero in-jokes have a history of eliciting as many eye-rolls as laughs (“Holey rusted metal, Batman!” in Batman Forever and “I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!” in X-Men: Last Stand both spring to mind).

That being said, with Avengers: Infinity War newly available on Digital HD and coming to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray and DVD on August 14th, you can now re-watch the historic meeting between the two detectives and make all the Sherlock jokes you want from the privacy of your living room.