Every ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Secret Revealed on the Audio Commentary
Three months after tearing up the box office, Avengers: Infinity War has just been released on video-on-demand. Although the blu-ray won’t be out for two more weeks, digital copies of the film on some services, such as Movies Anywhere, come with all of the special features.
The one fans have been most looking forward to is the commentary, which was recorded by directors Joe and Anthony Russo, as well as writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. They revealed tons of secrets about the movie, but if you don’t have time to listen to the near three-hour recording for yourself, here are all of the key details.
Kenneth Branagh was a last-minute addition
The very opening of the film features a cameo by Kenneth Branagh. You can hear his voice on the Asgardian distress call. According to the commentary, this was a very last-minute addition; the Russos didn’t think of asking him to come in and record it until they were in the editing process.
In an earlier draft, Gamora and Thanos met on Xandar
A lot of fans were surprised that Thanos getting the Power Stone from Xandar happened off screen. According to the commentary, this sequence was once in the film, and it was actually where Thanos and Gamora originally met up instead of on Knowhere. But Joe Russo says this was cut in an attempt to not be repetitive.
Christopher Markus also says that what happened there wasn’t that interesting, anyway. “But the fact of the matter is, if Thanos went to Xandar to get that stone, you know what happened,” Markus says. “It was a big battle, and he got it.”
Tony knew everything that Vision was up to
Although you might initially assume that Tony is a bit clueless as to what Steve Rogers and Vision were up to off in their own world, the screenwriters say he was actually fully up to speed.
“When he says Steve might be able to help, it’s because Tony knows that Wanda is on the run with Steve, and he knows that Vision has been stepping out and maybe having a relationship with Wanda, and he has been cool with that and probably not called Vision to task for it,” Stephen McFeely says. “Tony knows a lot here, even if we don’t make that clear to the audience.”
The reason Hulk won’t come out isn’t that he’s scared
Why won’t The Hulk come out in the movie? Some fans have presumed that he’s terrified of Thanos after being defeated by him at the start of the film, but that’s apparently not the case.
Instead, Joe Russo says that Bruce Banner usually uses The Hulk to solve crisis situations, but The Hulk is no longer interested in doing so.
“People have speculated whether there was some fear on Hulk’s part about having to face Thanos again, but I think ultimately what it is is that he’s tired of playing hero to Bruce Banner,” Joe Russo says.
Avengers 4 won’t be what we expect
The commentary doesn’t include many references to Avengers 4, but Anthony Russo does bring it up briefly during a conversation about subverting expectations; he suggests that Avengers 4 won’t go where we expect it to.
“Remember our fondness for misdirection as you ask us questions about Avengers 4 over the next year,” Anthony Russo says.
Why Thanos doesn’t just double the universe’s resources
If Thanos is so concerned about overpopulation, why doesn’t he just use the Infinity Gauntlet to double the universe’s resources?
On the commentary, Joe Russo says that it’s because he was told no to an idea that he had that he felt was the only solution and then was proven right when that solution wasn’t acted upon. So now, he’s committed to following through with the initial idea he had, as insane as it might be.
“Although he appears stable at times, he’s not a stable individual,” Russo adds.
The reality stone can’t alter reality permanently
Another potential “plot hole” the Russo Brothers addresses is the question of why Thanos even needs the full gauntlet when he has the Reality Stone, something that can reshape all of reality.
Well, actually, the Russo Brothers suggest in this commentary that the Reality Stone can only really create temporary illusions and can’t really fully alter reality.
The movie was tested before Black Panther came out
Infinity War definitely plays a lot better after you’ve seen Black Panther, but interestingly, it’s noted on this commentary that the film was test screened prior to February, and audience reactions to it changed dramatically after Black Panther came out.
The Russo Brothers also note that test screenings helped them iron out how to edit the movie and know when to cut between the various storylines.
The Wakanda chants weren’t in the script
There’s a rousing moment in the final battle in which M’Baku and the rest of the Wakandan army chants, but this apparently wasn’t in the script, since the Infinity War directors and writers hadn’t even seen Black Panther yet.
The origin of the phrase ‘space dogs’
In the third act, Rocket amusingly refers to the aliens that come to attack Wakanda as “space dogs.” This was apparently because someone in the test screenings referred to these creatures as space dogs, and the Russo Brothers found the term to be so funny that they gave it to Bradley Cooper to say during his recording session.
There was a draft where Captain America didn’t appear until two hours in
In the final version of Infinity War, you may have been frustrated that Captain America doesn’t show up until 40 minutes in. Well, it could have been a lot worse.
According to the commentary, there was an early draft where Steve didn’t even show up until about two hours into the movie. His very first appearance would have been when he runs in to save Vision at the Battle of Wakanda.
Captain America has a ‘big story’ in Avengers 4
Speaking of Captain America, Christopher Markus makes clear on the commentary that although Steve Rogers is a bit sidelined in Infinity War, he has a big storyline in Avengers 4.
The Soul Stone is used during Thanos’ showdown with Doctor Strange
While Thanos is fighting Doctor Strange, there’s a brief moment where you can see Strange’s soul appear to leave his body.
According to the commentary, this is the only instance of the Soul Stone being used in the film prior to the very end.
Doctor Strange saves Tony because he saw the reality where they win
Although fans had assumed this was the case, writer Stephen McFeely seems to confirm on the commentary that the reason Doctor Strange saves Tony from Thanos is a direct result of having seen the one reality where they win.
“Doctor Strange said…’I’m gonna let you die.’ And then he clearly does not,” McFeely says. “And in between then, he looked at 14 million futures.”
Thanos intentionally stretches out the action
By the end of the movie, when Thanos only has one stone left, he’s so powerful that he could put a stop to things a lot earlier than he does, but he’s choosing to let things go on a little bit longer, according to Christopher Markus.
Thanos is transported into Soul World at the end
Yes, when Thanos snaps his fingers and sees young Gamora, he’s definitely in Soul World. On the commentary, Stephen McFeely asks if they’re “committed” to this being Soul World, and Joe Russo responds, “of course it is.”
Joe Russo also poses the question of whether Gamora really exists inside the stone or whether what Thanos is seeing is just in his mind, but he does not answer his own question.
McFeely seems to come close to defending why the ending works despite us knowing the deaths won’t be permanent
While they’re discussing the effects of the snap at the end of the film, the writers and directors explain that the scene is so effective not just because of the deaths but because of everyone’s reactions to them.
Writer Stephen McFeely says as much. He explains, “That’s what I…even if somehow you — scratch that. I don’t get sad when sad things happen nearly as much as I watch people like Danai [Gurira] reacting to sad things happen.”
Perhaps he had something else in mind, but it sure sounds like he was about to get into how “even if” the deaths are reversed, the ending is still tragic, but he probably decided it was best not to even discuss that possibility and accidentally spoil Avengers 4.