You might think that with a major blockbuster like Avengers: Infinity War, the script would be set in stone before shooting begins. But that’s not entirely true.
Since the movie’s release, we have learned that many of the best moments were not even in the script, and five memorable scenes were actually improvised. Here’s a look at those flourishes the actors added, including the one line that ended up becoming perhaps the most quoted of the movie (page 7).
Robert Downey Jr. improvised a Tony Stark line
Robert Downey Jr. has improvised a lot of great Tony Stark moments in the Marvel movies, and this was no different with Infinity War.
One line that he apparently added came during the scene where Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and Iron Man are arguing over whether to return to Earth or go confront Thanos. Peter Parker tells them, “I’m backup,” but Tony shuts him down, saying, “adults are talking.”
Tom Holland revealed at a recent event that this “adults are talking” line was all Downey Jr.’s. The “I’m backup” line was also improvised by Holland.
Next: Chris Pratt and Chris Hemsworth also did some improv on the movie.
Chris Pratt and Chris Hemsworth improvised a lot of their scene together
There’s a great scene between Chris Pratt and Chris Hemsworth early on in the movie, with Star-Lord growing jealous of Thor and mimicking his voice.
In an interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the Russo Brothers revealed that a good amount of this wasn’t scripted. “A lot of the scene between Pratt and Hemsworth was improvised on set…a lot of that first meeting between Thor and the Guardians, a lot of interplay between Pratt and Hemsworth and Bautista, was improvised quite a bit,” Anthony Russo said.
Russo also explained how improvisation worked on the movie: they would shoot the script for a few takes, then shoot without the script for a few takes, and then do a few more takes combining the best of both.
Next: These key scenes in the movie were tweaked.
James Gunn had some key tweaks to the script
Infinity War is the first time that the Guardians of the Galaxy have appeared in a film that was not written by James Gunn. So in order to ensure that the characters felt like they do in the Guardians films, Gunn made some suggestions to the Infinity War screenwriters.
For instance, the film’s writers explained to Comicbook.com that Gunn came up with the moment where Drax is slowly eating a snack, seeming to think that he is invisible.
A more serious scene that Gunn adjusted was the one in which Star-Lord attempts to kill Gamora to prevent Thanos from taking her. According to BuzzFeed, in the original script, Star-Lord couldn’t bring himself to shoot Gamora. But Gunn felt that Peter would do it, so the screenwriters changed this.
Next: Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth came up with this scene.
Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth came up with a scene
Captain America and Thor don’t share much screentime in Infinity War. But they do have one hilarious moment during the battle on Wakanda. Steve Rogers notes that Thor has short hair now, and Thor observes, “I see you’ve copied my beard.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, this little exchange was not in the script. On the day of shooting, Hemsworth and Evans simply came up with that together.
Next: The script was also changed in this way.
Taika Waititi also contributed to the script
James Gunn wasn’t the only Marvel director to tweak the Avengers script; so did Taika Waititi, the director of Thor: Ragnarok.
Stephen McFeely told The Hollywood Reporter that some great moments came from Waititi. “There are at least a couple of jokes in there Taika himself said in passing that we thought were gold,” he said.
In general, McFeely also said that the tone of Thor: Ragnarok informed the direction they took Thor in.
Next: Tom Holland improvised this touching Spider-man moment.
Holland improvised a moving Spider-Man scene
One of the most memorable moments in all of Infinity War is Peter Parker collapsing into Tony Stark’s arms and telling him, “I don’t want to go.” This line, as it turns out, was not in the script. Joe Russo told Uproxx that all that was scripted was “I don’t feel so good” and “I’m sorry.” Everything in between was Holland’s work.
The Russo Brothers revealed in another interview that the first few takes of this scene actually fell flat because it just felt like “a piece of plot that was happening.” So the Russos suggested that Holland play the scene like Spider-Man doesn’t want to go, and Holland decided to have Peter actually say that. It was at this point that it all really clicked.
“And the emotional level to which we pushed him to, that was really just us just saying, ‘You’re a child and you don’t understand,'” Russo explained.
Next: No one can stop quoting this line, and it wasn’t even in the script.
Dave Bautista improvised the best Drax joke
By far the best Drax line comes when the Guardians and the Avengers clash on Titan. Peter Quill asks Tony Stark, “Where is Gamora?” Tony replies, “I’ll do you one better: Who is Gamora?” Drax adds, “I’ll do you one better: Why is Gamora?”
This always gets a big laugh, and it might be the No. 1 most quoted line of the movie. But it wasn’t in the script. The film’s screenwriters told Yahoo that in the screenplay, this exchange ended with Tony’s “Who is Gamora?”
“And then one day Bautista just goes, ‘I’ll do you one better: Why is Gamora?’” screenwriter Christopher Markus said. “It’s like, ‘OK, you’re very good at your job.’”
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