Avengers: Infinity War Directors Explain Why The Reality Stone Wasn’t Enough For Thanos

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Avengers: Infinity War went big in a way that we’d yet to see previously from a Marvel movie. Thanos’ interplanetary quest for the Infinity Stones served to bring to together just about every major faction of this franchise’s first three Phases (Ant-Man and his associates being an obvious exception) in an ultimately failed attempt to stop the Mad Titan gaining mastery over their world.

But according to some fans, Thanos needn’t have gone to all the effort that he did, arguing that once he’d attained the Reality Stone from the Collector on Knowhere, he had everything he needed to dispose of half of all life in the universe. After all, with this addition to his gauntlet, the intergalactic despot could already transform Drax and Mantis into unrecognizable shapes with a mere thought, so is turning people into dust really such a stretch?

Perhaps the most obvious answer for why Thanos needed the rest of the Infinity Stones was that there’d be a lot less movie if he didn’t. But if that explanation doesn’t satisfy you, directors Anthony and Joe Russo, along with writer Stephen McFeely, may have an answer that does. On the audio commentary track for the Infinity War home video release, the filmmaking brothers recall being challenged by a young fan on this exact question:

“We were asked by a 12-year-old in DC at a Q&A why Thanos needed all six Stones and why he didn’t just use the Reality Stone to alter reality,” Joe Russo said. “The idea being that only something so dramatic of disposing life in half the universe could be accomplished with the power of all six Stones.”

But while the Reality Stone may give off the appearance of being all powerful, its effects prove largely temporary.

“We sort of used it as an impermanent solution to things,” screenwriter Stephen McFeely said.

“It’s illusory,” Joe Russo added. “It creates illusions.”

Indeed, while Drax and Mantis quickly returned to their natural forms after Thanos left their presence, the effects of the villain’s universe-changing finger-snap will last at least another nine months, until Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 3rd, 2019. In the meantime, you can catch Infinity War right now on Digital HD and from August 14th on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray and DVD.

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