Infinity War Runtime

How much of the Infinity Gauntlet story is going to be in this?

Christopher Markus: I can no longer keep track of which thing that’s called infinity is what.

Stephen McFeely: Is gauntlet Pip the Troll?

Yeah he comes to Earth, he gets reincarnated

Christopher Markus: Yeah there’s a car accident.

Stephen McFeely: They assume the bodies…

Christopher Markus: All of it! [laughter] That’s why we’re so conversived in it. It has elements of everything that had the word “Infinity” in front of it.

Stephen McFeely: That’s right. We steal all the things that are helpful to us and we’re not slavish to anything that doesn’t.

Christopher Markus: Well it’s also because a lot of those things then, you know, then you get into things like characters we don’t have the rights to. Silver Surfer is flying all over those things but it’s like, “You’re in [Defenders].” [laughter] Unfortunately he flew to Century City and never came back.

How do you guys approach introducing a major character in the MCU like how you did with Black Panther in Civil War before his movie, with Captain Marvel for her movie, Pip the Troll for his movie? [laughter]

Christopher Markus: 2022. [laughter]

Stephen McFeely: Well there’s a lot of conversations, right, and I’m neither confirming nor denying what you just supposed, neither on Pip the Troll or how Captain Marvel works, okay? But we have had to juggle both Marvel – Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Marvel – specifically because they all exist in various ways in and around these two movies.

Christopher Markus: Thor 3.

Stephen McFeely: Well, at least that’s before this first movie. Black Panther is, too. So we think we handled it and solved it in fairly clever ways, [knocks on wood] but it certainly was an issue. If you wanna do what you wanna do here, how does it affect this movie and not just make this movie. Why is Ant-Man and Wasp not in Infinity War Part Two? So we gotta work on that and figure it out.

Christopher Markus: And also, how do you do it so like… I think he’s writing down, “Ant-Man and Wasp are not in Infinity War Part Two” because you just said that.

Stephen McFeely: No no, how is the story of that movie not just part two of this?

Christopher Markus: How do you not fall into the trap of what these movies are sometimes accused of which is just sometimes feeding each other and not being standalone things

Stephen McFeely: Right.

Christopher Markus: You can’t make them overly dependent on each other, and yet you still want to have this bloodstream flowing through the universe.

Stephen McFeely: Peyton Reed and his group of writers are going to make whatever movie they want. We had very small requests like, “It would be great if right there that person was—is that okay? Good?” You always make the best movie you can. Same thing with Black Panther and same thing with Captain Marvel. They’re gonna make the movies they’re gonna make and in this unique case, very small tiny suggestions for beginnings and endings like that.

Matching the tones too. I mean obviously, the tones of Guardians and those movies are so different from what we expect Black Panther to be versus what, you know, Spider-Man—I mean all those movies play such different roles. How do you work with that?

Christopher Markus: Well, I mean sometimes you play into it. You cut to the Guardians and it’s a breather. If you’re going from T’Challa and Captain America being very intense, you cut to Quill and Drax and it’s like… [sighs] It doesn’t mean they’re not carrying as much plot, it just means the tone is different. But it’s also fun to drag people into each other’s tones. Pull someone into the Guardians and have them go, “What the f*ck is with you guys?”

What would you say is the tone of the movie and what type of movie is it.. Is is a disaster movie?

Stephen McFeely: It is difficult to explain.

Christopher Markus: It’s Oscar-worthy.

[laughter]

Stephen McFeely: Can we not have that conversation? [laughter] This is embargoed. So Lord of the Rings, big epic thing right? It’s three movies! This is 23 movies! When is someone going to get Fighty the Thullbird award. All it’s doing is remaking Hollywood, please! Sorry.

[laughter]

Just to follow up on that because the Oscars are notoriously against the superhero genre. I’m curious what you guys think it will take for a Marvel movie to actually get that attention?

Christopher Markus: I don’t know, I mean people mumble about it with various movies for various reasons. There was an article about Wonder Woman this Monday and there’s articles about Logan, none of which are us. I think someone has to come to Jesus, so to speak, and take a look at the amount of work that’s been done.

Stephen McFeely: You can work very hard on a crappy movie. You’re not just rewarding work.

Christopher Markus: No but, Return of the King is no better or worse than the other two. It got cumulative awards. And frankly, if you go back and look at it you’re like, “Really, you gave that Oscars?” Maybe they had extra Oscars that year.

Stephen McFeely: Two Towers is better, let’s face it.

[laughter]

Christopher Markus: So there’s one level where there does have to be, “Well f*ck, that’s a bigger achievement than anybody’s ever pulled off on a multi-movie scale.” But also, I don’t know what it’s going to take to remove the prejudice from the eyes of these people. It’s a civil rights drama and we’re the victims.

Stephen McFeely: Star Wars was nominated for Best Picture. Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Christopher Markus: No, I think it’s more than possible for someone with no blinders on to go in and go, “Well hell, that was a heavy lift.”

Stephen McFeely: And that movie kicked my ass all over the place.

Christopher Markus: It’s like diving. The degree of difficulty. I think sometimes people are like, “That movie was really simple and pure and should get an award.” And that’s great, but you should also go, “Holy sh*t, that was a crazy complicated dive and they did it.” But the Oscars are not actually an accurate measure of anything.

Stephen McFeely: Did we whine enough there? [laughter]

You called Thanos an amoral philosopher, and I’m curious because I don’t think he’s literally talking to the Devil and you don’t need to confirm or deny that, but he’s not just going to be spouting his philosophy out. Can you say anything about who’s Thanos’ supporting cast? How did you crack that?

Stephen McFeely: Yes, you needed to make sure that he wasn’t just all by himself. It also means that he didn’t have the same scene over and over again as he went collecting stones and knocked people around. That’s how you get this sort of tapestry film where he has emissaries who are doing some of his work while he is doing a lot of his own heavy lifting.

At the end of Ultron, he said “Fine, I’ll do it myself.”

Stephen McFeely: Not our movie.

[laughter]

Christopher Markus: And we’ve all sat there and went, “What the hell is he talking about? Where was he when he did that?”

There was also the other gauntlet in Guardians. 

Stephen McFeely: Another delightful, delightful problem.

Christopher Markus: Odin’s a bit of a showman. Thanos turns out to have quite a few people to talk to both on his side and not on his side. Weirdly I think he’s the most understandable guy in the movie sometimes.

Does he have an arc in this movie?

Stephen McFeely: Yes, one of the big challenges is how to make sure he’s not just a relentless machine collecting stones like he’s going shopping. So we want to give him a full weighted emotional story. You can kind of say this is Thanos’ origin story so that he will get the weight of any of the previous heroes in terms of the decisions he has to make in order to get what he wants.

Christopher Markus: I mean the big thing about all of these movies, but these two. You know, all the way along the line we wanted to give people choices and make them continue to have to sacrifice this decision for this decision and not just have it be like, “I have no choice in this matter.” Aliens attack New York City, what are you gonna do, not fight them? No you have to. So not criticizing that, but in order to sustain this long of an epic, to keep the waters a little muddy, to keep them going like, “Interesting, he did that. I might not have done that.” And to do that for everybody, heroes and villains alike, until you get to the end and you go, “Huh shouldn’t have done that.”

We see a bunch of Avengers here, but there’s no Iron Man or Hawkeye. Can you talk about their roles?

Stephen McFeely: As I said earlier, it’s Nashville, so everyone’s in a different bubble. Some bubbles come together and break apart, some bubbles come together for the third act. That kind of stuff.

Christopher Markus: Other people are uttlery CG, so what are you gonna do?

[laughter]

Stephen McFeely: That’s right.

Christopher Markus: Oh, he’s in the scene.

Stephen McFeely: Sure you just didn’t see him. Ant-Man’s all over that. [laughter]

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