It’s no secret that Avengers: Infinity War is the most ambitious MCU movie yet. Even though previous team-up films haven’t exactly been short on characters, this one will have to juggle pretty much every hero we’ve met over the past ten years of Marvel cinema. So, how did directors the Russo brothers even begin to shoot action scenes that featured such a staggering number of players, all of whom require a part of the limelight?
CinemaBlend asked the duo this tough question during a recent set visit and they revealed that the key is to always focus on the characters, their points-of-view and their motivations, which will help ensure the action doesn’t become too baggy and directionless. It’s something the brothers have tried to do in both of their previous Marvel movies, too, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War.
ANTHONY RUSSO: Everything’s always got to be character based. We know we can’t… if we’re sitting in the editing room, watch the sequence for more than 20 seconds without a character having a point of view or moving the action forward, my brain just shuts down, or I start thinking about my laundry. The action for us, it’s always character based.
JOE RUSSO: In Winter Soldier, in terms of character based, Winter Soldier was so specifically for us, everything in that movie was designed around that version of Captain America that we wanted to see, that we wanted to explore. Everything in that film, all of the stylistic choices just flow from that. Civil War was a bit of an evolution, because even though it was a Captain America movie, we were bringing so many other characters into it, characters that had powers, that were different from the range of characters that we were using in Winter Soldier. And now it’s even more so. So it’s like, as the characters change, as their particular powers change the meter of who they are…
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ANTHONY: The chemistry changes.
JOE: The chemistry, the style of our action evolves with that, because again it has to be specific to character.
ANTHONY: It’s dictated by who’s in the sequence, what is the sequence about, what do the characters want in the sequence. Are we trying to create a sense of urgency, are we trying to slow it down, is it about tension, is it about … aggression. So I think you’ll see several different styles employed in the movie, because the chemistry is different in each sequence and the needs of each sequence are different.
This makes a lot of sense going by their previous movies. As two of the best MCU entries to date, the Russos’ Captain America films worked so well because they kept the story and the character’s arcs at the centre of the movie, which ensured the action scenes were driven and thrilling. Marvel didn’t entrust their most important efforts to them for no reason, after all.
However, the cast of Infinity War is still much larger than anything the Russos have dealt with before. Just look at the battle of Wakanda, which has featured heavily in the trailers. The directors have previously revealed that the location will be home to the gigantic final act of the film, meaning that all of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will likely converge on the nation in order to fight Thanos and his Outriders. It’s sure to be an epic climax, but we don’t envy the Russos for having to keep things “character-based” when there are so many big name heroes running about.
Avengers: Infinity War finally arrives in cinemas on April 27th.