Avengers: Endgame may have featured a cast of thousands (including dozens of named characters with existing fans), but according to filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo, only one of them -- Robert Downey, Jr., who plays Iron Man -- actually got to see the full script during production. While the obvious answer -- it's about spoilers, and Downey has always had more pull (and more riding on the MCU) than any of the other actors -- it out there, the filmmakers took time out during a recent interview to explain just why they chose to go that way. Minor spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame. Their approach left even actors like Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson -- whose arcs also come to a close in Endgame -- a little in the dark.
During a Q&A last week, the Russos gave basically a two-part answer to this (as related on Reddit): Members of the cast are only given scripts that are important to their storyline, and Tony's storyline is threaded throughout pretty much every part of the movie. Building on that, the filmmakers said that it is also easier for actors, who might otherwise become overwhelmed by the scope and complexity of the hours-long story. Yes, there have been other (and longer) big-budget blockbusters before, but in this case, the added elements of time travel and the multiverse likely make it a little harder to get your fingers around, especially when you are not getting real-time plot exposition like the audience is.
Interestingly Downey told reporters during the press tour for Avengers: Infinity War that he did not see the full script for that film.
"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."
Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now.
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