Infinity Stones

After years of lurking, Thanos is finally about to get serious about his quest to track down the Infinity Stones. On the set of Avengers: Infinity War, directors Anthony and Joe Russo told us just how important those Stones are to the upcoming movie’s plot. (Spoiler alert: they’re very important.)

/Film’s Peter Sciretta was among a group of journalists who were invited to the set of Avengers: Infinity War last year. During their discussion with the directors, the topic of the Infinity Stones came up:

Can you talk about the Infinity Stones? At one point these objects were just passed from one person to another, but now they’re very personal. There’s one from Vision, there’s one from Doctor Strange. How does that come into play?

Joe Russo: In a very complicated manner. I think that traditionally in movies there’s a MacGuffin, sometimes the MacGuffin is a person, sometimes it’s a thing. I tend to find that it’s much more emotional when a person is involved. So we have quite a few MacGuffins in this movie that have different relationships with two different people; Doctor Strange is a bearer of an Infinity Stone, he has been charged with protecting that Infinity Stone. So there are a lot of characters that will come into direct conflict with Thanos.

How much would you say the Stones serve the structure of this movie? Thanos getting all the Stones, how much does that –

Anthony Russo: It’s very important to the structure of –

Joe Russo: It’s the bedrock of the film. A key driver of the film.

***

OK, so the idea of the Infinity Stones being a “key driver of the film” in a story called Infinity War is not super surprising, but Joe Russo’s comment about the “very complicated manner” in which the Stones are incorporated into the story has me intrigued. It’s not as simple as Thanos simply taking the Stones – to do so would be to theoretically destroy Vision (who’s Stone is literally a part of him) and to strip Strange of one of his reasons for existing. The fallout from that should provide some solid dramatic material for the brothers to mine, either in the back half of this film or in Avengers 4.

He’s also right about the audience forging a stronger emotional connection to the material when a story’s MacGuffin relies on a person instead of just an object. And say what you will about the immense size of this movie, but the brothers have delivered some of the most emotionally resonant stories in the MCU through their exploration of the relationship between Captain America and Bucky Barnes. Here’s hoping they’re able to keep an emotional connection alive amid the carnage we know is coming in this super-sized sequel.

Avengers: Infinity War arrives in theaters on April 27, 2018.

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