Avengers Infinity War Red Skull

Fans who’ve found themselves invested in Captain America/Steve Rogers’ love life might have missed Emily VanCamp‘s Agent Sharon Carter amid all the chaos of Avengers: Infinity War. Now that film’s writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, have explained why she didn’t make the cut, and they’ve also elaborated on one of the movie’s biggest surprises: the return of a villain no one saw coming.

Plus, check out an Infinity War infographic that features the amount of screen time each hero received in Marvel’s latest blockbuster. But be warned: if you haven’t seen the film yet, there are spoilers for Infinity War below.

The Return of Red Skull

In an interview with Collider, Markus and McFeely explained that while the return of Red Skull was surprising to audiences, “he’s always been part of the plan, [but they] haven’t always known where to put him.”

McFeely revealed how the pair came to the realization that they should put Red Skull in the movie:

“When we start, we start while we’re shooting Civil War so Chris and I go back every afternoon and start reading comics and coming up with all the blue sky scenarios and one of the missions was ‘make it as big as you can’. That’s infinity war, that’s the promise of it. So, we had him still out there and as we kept moving along we realized, as a screenwriting thing now, we needed someone to be the voice of expertise when they get to the mystery stone and someone you believed when he told you what the rules were. That could be anybody but now the scene is doing more than one thing because it’s providing you with this delight that this character is back and it’s giving you this voice of expertise and giving you the rules for what you’re about to see.”

Red Skull was played by Ross Marquand this time instead of Hugo Weaving, who famously was not thrilled with his experience playing the role in Captain America: The First Avenger. In Infinity War, Red Skull basically served as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Charon, the mythological being who ferries souls across the River Styx to the land of the dead.

Emily VanCamp Joins Captain America Civil War

Where Was Sharon Carter During Infinity War?

We got the return of Red Skull, but what about Sharon Carter? Peggy Carter’s grand-niece didn’t make the final cut in Infinity War, and in that same Collider interview, the writers explained why. Short answer? There was too much going on to fit her in. Long answer:

Markus: Sharon Carter was a victim of what we came to realize as we were writing it, which is that if you’re writing scenes that set up people before the story has gotten to them such as Steve and Sharon trying to make it work in an apartment, they’re gonna go because the movie does not have time to catch up ‘previously on the life of Steve Rogers.’

McFeely: Once it became sort of a smash-and-grab type movie, anything that wasn’t on the main A plot about and in response to Thanos collecting stones mostly got jettisoned.

I don’t want to throw shade at VanCamp, but…did anyone really miss Sharon Carter in Infinity War? The movie was arguably over-stuffed as it is, and it’s not like the “romance” between Sharon and Steve has ever been convincing anyway. It’d be one thing if this was a love story the audience deeply cared about, but Sharon has always been a lesser character than Peggy, Steve’s true love. The only positive thing that putting her in the film might have done would be to inadvertently give us more of Chris Evans‘ Steve Rogers, a character that seemed a bit underserved in this sequel.

Screen Time Infographic

Speaking of screen time, Geekologie pointed us to this infographic from an Instagram account called The Web Daily, which claims to have broken down the screen time of the individual heroes (and the main villain) in Infinity War.

Click through to see entries for most of the characters. I’m not entirely convinced this is 100% accurate, but short of going to the theater with my own stopwatch in hand, there’s no way to confirm it. But it feels like it’s in the ballpark, and I’m sure once the film arrives on home video, someone will bust out a stopwatch and get a more detailed breakdown.

Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters now.

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