How 'Arrested Development' Influenced the Tone of 'Avengers: Infinity War'

There are many fans who don't realize that Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors of Avengers: Infinity War, got their start working on television comedies like Community and Arrested Development.

While some may assume that after directing Marvel Studios blockbusters like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War the Russos would consider their television days distant memories, but the Russos are actually still using the same creative process from their days on Arrested Development for Avengers: Infinity War, as they explained to The Independent while discussing the tone of the new film.

"It's a complex tone, and it's a unique tone because it's made up of several different franchises that have very different tones," Joe Russo said. "It's sort of an unprecedented experiment because never before has someone taken very successful franchises and merged them all together. But, as we've mentioned, we like cross-pollinating genre, and we like experimentation in narrative. So it was exciting for us. The reason that we wanted to do the film was because the level of ambition was so high with it."

Anthony Russo added, "We've always had a creative process throughout our careers where we like to combine things that don't seem like they belong together and see what you get. We describe it as like a mad scientist process. If you go back to something like Arrested Development, an example of this would be that you take a completely absurdist story and you shoot it in the most grounded, realistic way you can possibly present a narrative. The incongruity of those two things gives you something that feels fun and weird and interesting. We've applied that same process to combining all these different tones, all these different characters. It's really just a process of us thinking about how you smash those things together. The way we end up balancing it is that we always try to ground it in an emotional truth for the character. That becomes our guidepost. If something doesn't feel emotionally true or emotionally real for a character, then we can't follow that storyline. We have to always use that as our guidepost through the narrative, and that's how we hold everything together ultimately."

Can you see the influence of Arrested Development on Avengers: Infinity War? Tell us what you think in the comments!


Avengers: Infinity War releases on April 27th. Black Panther is now in theaters. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6th, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.