Cast, crew reveal ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ tidbits

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LOS ANGELES — “Avengers: Infinity War” has the potential to be the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that has so many heroes a scorecard may be necessary to keep track of all the players. Just for the press conference the weekend before the movie hits theaters, 24 cast and crew members talked about the film.

“Avengers: Infinity War” is the culmination of teasing that has chiefly been going on in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise with the super-evil Thanos (Josh Brolin). It takes the combined efforts of the Guardians, the Avengers, Black Panther’s team and a few stand-alone champions like Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) to face Thanos and the ultimate weapon of the Infinity Gauntlet.

Using the term “talk” is a bit of a stretch. Interviews were done before the journalists had the chance to see the movie, eliminating those pesky questions about plot, characters and secret scenes. Even when the questioning comes even remotely close to what will unfold in the new movie, the actors change the subject. But, between the dodging and deflecting, a few bits of information about the film that will kick off the summer movie season are revealed. Mostly it’s dodging and deflecting.

Chris Pratt, Star Lord of “Guardians” fame, is asked a rather generic question about how his character (an Earthling who grew up in space) feels about being near other people from the planet Earth after 30 years.

Pratt stalls and then says, “That’s a good question. It might be best for you to see it so I am going to talk about bass fishing.”

And he does. That is the general response from many of the actors when it comes to what transpires. The closest to any real spoilers that comes out of the press conference is from Holland, who talks about his embarrassment of not actually getting to wear the new Iron Spider Armor during the filming but walked around in his “pajamas” with computers, adding the fashion look later.

One reason for the secrecy is there have been a lot of rumors surrounding the film from which other characters from the Marvel Universe might make an appearance to whether one or more of the heroes dies. When it comes to big rumors and death, Captain America (Chris Evans) is often mentioned because the secret identity character of Steve Rogers he plays has died in the comic books. And, the comic books have been the solid foundation for all the movies.

“It’s the comic books we look at when there’s just a notion of ‘let’s do an Iron Man movie’ or to have the audacity to try to do a version of the Infinity Gauntlet,” says Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige. “It starts with those comics and us beginning rip pages out — or copies of the pages — and put them on the wall and start to be inspired.

“In every single movie we have made — up to and especially including ‘Infinity War’ — there are direct images, storylines, rarely but sometimes actual lines of dialogues that come out of those pages we have put around the development room for inspiration.”

Pulling all this information together fell to directors Joe and Anthony Russo plus Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who wrote the screenplay. Not only did they have to deal with a herd of heroes that are known to be in “Infinity War,” but also were dogged by rumors the film would include cameo appearances by other characters.

The two most mentioned characters include Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Larson’s “Captain Marvel” is new to the movie world and won’t be in theaters until 2019, while Fury has been away from the Marvel world for an extended period.

Anthony Russo explains no character was off the table when the “Infinity War” process started.

“When we began developing this movie, we sat in this room and we had a picture of every single character who has been in the MCU,” Russo says. “We basically spent months and months and months talking about where we could go with each character how we could draw them to this story.

“It was a long creative process we went through thinking about of where we would take the characters. Where we could take the story. How we could align the characters in the most interesting way.”

The process resulted in the massive gathering of heroes that also includes Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Drax (Dave Bautista), Vision (Paul Bettany) Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), War Machine (Don Cheadle, M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth).

A few members of the cast — such as those who just starred in “The Black Panther” — are new to the MCU. But, being surrounded by so many actors from so many blockbuster productions can make even a veteran a little nervous.

Hemsworth’s return to playing the God of Thunder for “Avengers: Infinity War” had him feeling butterflies the first few days of filming.

“The first day was meeting the Guardians and it was like the first day of school for me. They all knew each other and I was the new kid,” Hemsworth says.

Much of how the new and old superheroes come together is being treated with top secret care. The one thing all of the cast and crew agree on is the fun comes in seeing what happens while sitting in the theater.

“Avengers: Infinity War” opens Friday.

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