Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are two of the biggest films in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, bringing together virtually all of the heroes that have appeared in the series thus far. One slight complication to having such a massive roster of heroes is that the more people who know the story, the more chances there are for that story to be spoiled. During a recent interview recalling the experience of bringing the two films to life, directors Joe and Anthony Russo reveal that Robert Downey Jr., who birthed the MCU with Iron Man in 2008, is likely the only actor in the MCU to have read the films' entire scripts.
"[Robert Downey Jr.] was probably the only one to actually read the entire script," Joe Russo admitted to Rotten Tomatoes. "I think Benedict [Cumberbatch] got the script that included his scenes only. [Chris] Evans might have read the whole script."
While some audiences might think this is a complex way to make a movie, it ultimately is done to allow each individual actor to have the freedom of ignorance, because if they don't know the entire story, they don't have to worry about letting key details slip out.
"Part of our motivation to do that is it just takes a lot of pressure off of people," Anthony Russo shared. "I mean, it is hard to constantly censor yourself about what you're saying, how you talk, because these movies are your whole life. It's everything you're doing all day long, the inclination is to talk about it. So we take a lot of pressure off of people just by saying, 'Okay, the less you know, the less you have to mind yourself.'"
The larger scope of Infinity War, with various characters on their own journeys, made the actors only having their isolated dialogue easier for the talent, with the directors noting this strategy continued through Endgame, despite the film featuring the characters interacting with one another more in the wake of Thanos' deadly snap.
"[Chris] Hemsworth's character, Thor, doesn't need to know what Captain America's doing for most of Infinity War, so Hemsworth reads his scenes and Evans reads his scenes, so if they don't read the rest of the movie, they don't know what's going on with it, and it makes it easier to have conversations with people," Joe confirmed. "We kept it going through, even more so, with Endgame. There are more secrets in Endgame than there are in Infinity War."
Despite the many complications that come with this shooting strategy, the benefit ultimately goes to the audience, because the chances of anything being spoiled is reduced immensely.
"It is a more tedious way to work, to be honest with you, because we do have to do more discussion on set about context because they don't have the entirety of the script to rely on," Anthony explained. "You do have to work harder in order to work this way, but we do believe it's worth it because the payoff is a special experience in the movie theater for all the audiences."
The secrets of Avengers: Endgame will be revealed when it lands in theaters on April 26th.
What do you think about this shooting strategy? Let us know in the comments below!
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