Avengers: Infinity War Originally Had the Tone of a Gangster Film

Avengers: Infinity War once had the tone of a “gangster film” when it was intended to be narrated by Thanos (Josh Brolin), directors Anthony and Joe Russo revealed.

“It’s a tough question, because at the end of the day we both feel like all the best ideas ended up in the movie, so I don’t know that there’s anything we regret,” Anthony Russo told Backstory Magazine when asked which Endgame concepts never made it beyond the development phase.

“Part of our process throughout Joe’s and my entire career has been a process of experimentation and sort of trying crazy ideas till we find the one that works.”

Added Joe Russo, “The Endgame script was finished prior to Infinity War. Infinity War was harder to write, if I remember correctly.”

Joe added there were “so many different structural approaches” to Infinity War, which ultimately dropped Thanos’ narration but still took the Mad Titan on what the Russos previously called a “hero’s arc.”

“There was one where Thanos narrated the whole movie, and it sort of had the tone of a gangster film, where you’ve got this heavy narration from his point of view,” Joe said. “It was an interesting experiment, taught us a lot about him as a character, but it ultimately didn’t work as a movie structurally. The narration was repetitive, but it led us to the sort of smash-and-grab structure we ultimately used.”

Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely previously admitted “no one liked” an early iteration of Infinity War, which had an arc for its other central character — Thor (Chris Hemsworth) — that “sucked rocks.”

“It goes through all these ebbs and flows, and there was a point in mid-to-late 2016 where no one liked what we all had. And so we flew back to Burbank from Atlanta in sort of a panic, all hands on deck, ‘oh my God, we’re in trouble.’ And the biggest thing that came out of that was the Thor storyline sucked rocks,” McFeely said at San Diego Comic-Con.

Thor’s original journey, which would have pit the Asgardian Avenger against a giant serpent, was “much too adventure-related and very much insufficiently character based,” Markus added.

“And so eventually, Eitri and the Dyson sphere and all of that stuff, only came out of that panic,” McFeely said.

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“And it was dark because it felt like we’d been on it a long time and hadn’t done enough, or done well enough. For any aspiring writers out there, we still feel that way all the time. It’s only sort of by the goodwill of all the people you’re working with and their willingness to grind.”

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