Valkryie Lives! And Other Avengers: Infinity War Home Release Revelations
Yesterday we shared this deleted scene from the home release of Avengers: Infinity War. It gave us a bit background for the tragic “family” story of Thanos (Josh Brolin) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana). Their storyline was one of the most crucial in the film, and the coda to their relationship one of the most heartbreaking. The impact of Avengers: Infinity War on the MCU was, by design, catastrophic. Yet the Russo Brothers and their entire filmmaking team—including writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, must be very satisified by how much the film has impacted the culture at large. Between Thanos halving the population of a subreddit to questions of what the somber ending means for future franchises as well as the fate of favorite characters not seen in the film, Infinity War has lingered and loitered long past its final credits. (And that post-credits scene that introduced you-know-who.)
Now, with the film available on home release, some of those questions you’ve had will be answered, and there’s a LOT to learn about the making of the film. The digital download is available now, while the Blu-ray will be available on August 14. There’s a lot to parse here: Roughly 30 minutes of featurettes; 10 minutes of deleted scenes; a gag reel; and a commentary track provided by the Russo Brothers, Markus and McFeely. Here’s a brief list of some of our favorite tidbits, while we’ll leave a lot for you to explore on your own:
The Russo Brothers confirmed that just because you didn’t see them in Infinity War doesn’t mean they died. Quite a few people survived Thanos’s snap, including Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson). Even though Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Heimdall (Idris Elba) die on the Asgardian ship as the film begins, Valkyrie has already escaped. This is great news to the legion of Valkyrie/Tessa Thompson fans out there—myself included.
Better Late Than Never For Captain America
There was a general agreement that Captain American (Chris Evans) shouldn’t appear until relatively late in the film. At one point, his return was going to come once Thanos’s army had reached Wakanda, but ultimately that was considered way too deep into the story. Instead, the filmmakers settled on his heroic return to help save Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) in Scotland. He’ll have a much bigger role in Avengers 4.
Understanding the Infinity Stones
Even well versed Marvel-heads can sometimes have a tough time understanding exactly what each of the Infinity Stones does. The Soul Stone presumably does something to the soul? Yours or mine? The Time Stone seems self explanatory, until you actually try to explain it. A casual MCU viewer will likely have little to no idea, so, the filmmakers decided that each time Thanos acquired a new Stone, he’d use it in the very next scene. Thus when Thanos gets the Reality Stone from the Collector (Benicio del Toro), he’s able to make Gamora and the Guardians briefly believe she’s killed him, only to reveal what they’re seeing is not reality at all.
While the majority of of Infinity War was shot at Marvel HQ in Pinewood Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, the Wakanda battle scenes were filmed on a ranch outside Atlanta. They had to import African plant life to the ranch, as well as create an artificial river capable of producing 30,000 gallons of water per minute. While they filmed the Battle of Wakanda, Black Panther was still in production. The Russo Brothers asked the actors what their characters would chant on the battlefield, which led to T’Challa’s incredibly moving rally cry. Naturally, Black Panther became a monster hit, so by the time Infinity War returned to the African Nation, Wakanda forever was something the audiences believed in, too.
Iron Man & Spider-Man Versus Ebony Maw
When Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is being tortured by Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) on the spaceship, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) have snuck aboard to try and help. The only problem is Ebony Maw is way too powerful an adversary, and the filmmakers struggled with how to get the good guys a quick win and save Doctor Strange. The answer came by cribbing from two iconic films—Alien and Raiders of the Lost Ark. While the Alien reference is right there in actual movie (it’s Spidey’s idea to shoot Ebony Maw out into space the same way Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley did the alien), it also hints at how in Raiders, Indy declines to use his whip to win a fight and instead pulls a gun. Nothing wrong with a little cribbing if so long as you’re cribbing from the right source material.
Featured image: The VFX team utilized machine learning technology to imbue Thanos with Josh Brolin’s soulful performance. Courtesy Marvel Studios.