Avengers: Infinity War directors Anthony and Joe Russo were most excited by the pairing of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), the filmmakers revealed during a live VUDU Watch Party Friday night.
The duo pointed to Stark and Strange because the pairing meant exploring “narcissist vs. narcissist, magic vs. science.”
Stark is summoned by the Sorcerer Supreme and brought to the Sanctum Sanctorum, where he’s reunited with just-returned-to-Earth science bro Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and learns of the impending threat coming to Earth in the form of Thanos (Josh Brolin) — a warlord hellbent on assembling all six massively powerful Infinity Stones.
Along with rookie superhero and stowaway Spider-Man (Tom Holland), the rich, arrogant, playboy superheroes are whisked away to space and clash over their dealings with members of Thanos’ Black Order and the Time Stone, one of the Infinity Stones, in Strange’s possession.
Despite telling the armored Avenger he wouldn’t hesitate to let Stark or his ward die if it meant keeping the Time Stone safe, Strange ultimately relinquishes it to Thanos to spare Stark’s life — bringing the outmatched superheroes into what Strange called the “endgame.”
Co-writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely told Yahoo in May the pairing was inspired by the sitcom Frasier, where Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce played the neurotic and like-minded Crane brothers.
“Frasier was influential in our decision to put Stark and Strange together,” McFeely revealed, saying they were inspired to bring two similar characters together instead of two opposites. The long-running sitcom worked because the younger Crane brother was “even more like Frasier than Frasier,” Markus said.
“That made Frasier a little cooler by comparison,” McFeely added. “And the sparks and the dialogue as a result is high, it's pitched, it's smart.”1comments
“And to take Tony and Dr. Strange who are quite similar — they both have goatees, they’re both arrogant — the impulse might be, ‘well, let’s keep them separate, because they occupy the same space and everyone will get their own arrogant goatee man,’” Markus explained. “But to put them together, one, is funny, and their powers are totally different. But also it helps, again, it helps Tony go, ‘Arrogant people are really annoying. I’m arrogant, huh.’ This is how we become better people in life.”
Avengers: Infinity War is now available to own digitally ahead of its August 14 disc release.