From 2008's Iron Man to 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has changed tremendously both on and off the screen. Having worked on both films and several in between over a period of ten years, producer Trinh Tran has witnessed the franchise's massive evolution.
Speaking to ComicBook.com in an exclusive interview, Tran opened up about the major differences between the self-contained Iron Man outing and the massive ensemble which followed a decade later.
"From a behind-the-scenes standpoint, it’s seeing the characters from the other 20 or so interconnected movies laughing it up on set during our 10-year anniversary photoshoot," Tran said. "A pretty spectacular moment. Out of this world."
Still, the planning for Avengers: Infinity War was always taking place behind the scenes. "I think [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige always had the idea of an interconnected Marvel Universe," Tran said. "This has been many years in the making. We didn’t know where we were exactly going to be 10 years later – but Avengers: Infinity War is really the culmination of a vision he had in the early years."
Of course, the culmination did not come without a heavy cost. If you ask Thanos, he'll tell you it cost "everything" — but for some of the actors, the film's ending was as much a shock as it was for moviegoers. In fact, the cast members were among the last to find out what was happening to their characters toward the end of the film.
"'The snap' was always part of our story discussions from go," Tran said. "We all agreed Thanos needed that iconic moment, and definitely used the comics as a reference point. We had Brolin, in mocap, snap his finger on the day. Many other filmmaking aspects went into creating the iconic moment. The build-up to the snap was just as important as the snap itself."
Choosing the victims was no easy burden, either. "We were meticulous about each of the characters and spent a lot of time discussing how each character’s death would affect future films," Tran said.
As for whether or not there are any clues to the title of the next Avengers movie hidden in Avengers: Infinity War or packed into its special features attached to digital download and blu-ray copies, Tran said, "You’ll find out in Avengers 4!"
Avengers: Infinity War is available now on digital downloads, and its blu-ray and DVD copies are available on Aug. 14, 2018.