Avengers: Infinity War has arguably changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever, and it did so using a pretty sly nod to the franchise's past.
Reddit user DraftDraw recently discovered a sort of visual parallel between one of Infinity War's many pivotal scenes - where Thanos (Josh Brolin) stabs Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) with his own technology - with a similar interaction between Tony and Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) in the first Iron Man.
While it's anyone's guess as to whether or not that parallel was intentional, it certainly doesn't seem impossible, considering how much Infinity War's writers and directors were aware of Tony's larger arc.
"The journey that Tony's been on as a genius scientist is the evolution of his armor." co-director Joe Russo said during the film's commentary track. "This is the best it's ever gonna get for Tony and it's nanotech. He goes to the cutting edge of what his mind can deliver, and it still is not enough to beat Thanos. In fact, it barely keeps him in the fight."
"You realize this interesting parallel between Thanos and Tony," co-writer Christopher Markus echoed. "They're both aware of something from an early point and constantly having to deal with being smarter. Thanos is a futurist as much as Tony Stark."
“Downey is such a remarkable performer, and we really love him as a performer and what he’s done with the character." Anthony Russo echoed in a previous interview. "The character started as a very narcissistic, self-centered character. His arc in the first movie was to just begin to take a step beyond that, and we’ve continued him along that line in his journey that he’s had to the point where at the opening of Infinity War, his personal life is very thick. The stakes of his relationship with Pepper (Potts) are very high now. Also the fact that he’s had this mentor relationship with Peter Parker, it’s as if his personal life is becoming fuller and more important to him than it ever had before. And that’s an interesting counterpoint to his life as Iron Man, and also his life as Iron Man is a potential threat to that personal life as well. What’s happening with Tony Stark in this film is that he’s beginning to feel the tension between those two things, and that’s a difficult conflict for him.”
There are a few other layers to this callback as well, in that Marvel has expressed regret for killing off Stane in the first Iron Man, and the fact that Infinity War and the forthcoming Avengers 4 are supposed to change the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it.
"I will say, the entire intention of Infinity War and the next Avengers film next year was to have an ending – to bring a conclusion to 10 plus years, 22 movie narrative in a way that hadn’t been done before in this particular type of film," Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said in an interview earlier this year. "It’s been done before in films where there are a finite number of books, and they finish telling the story for the books, so they come to an ending."5comments
What do you think of the latest Infinity War parallel? Do you think it's intentional, or just a coincidence? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Avengers: Infinity War is now available on digital platforms, DVD, and Blu-ray. Ant-Man and the Wasp is in theaters now. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019; the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019; and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5, 2019.