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Avengers: Infinity War

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Avengers: Infinity War is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2012's The Avengers and 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the nineteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and features an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, and Chris Pratt. In Avengers: Infinity War, the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy attempt to stop Thanos from amassing the all-powerful Infinity Stones.

The film was announced in October 2014 as Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1. The Russo brothers came on board to direct in April 2015 and by May, Markus and McFeely had signed on to write the script for the film, which drew inspiration from Jim Starlin's 1991 The Infinity Gauntlet comic and Jonathan Hickman's 2013 Infinity comic. In 2016, Marvel shortened the title to Avengers: Infinity War. Filming began in January 2017 at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, and lasted until July 2017, shooting back-to-back with an untitled direct sequel. Additional filming took place in Scotland, England, the Downtown Atlanta area, and New York City. With an estimated budget in the range of $316–400 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made.

Avengers: Infinity War held its world premiere on April 23, 2018 in Los Angeles and was released in the United States on April 27, 2018, in IMAX and 3D. The film received praise for the performances of the cast (particularly Brolin), visual effects, emotional weight of the story, and action scenes. It has grossed over $1.9 billion worldwide, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of all time, as well as the highest-grossing film of 2018, the highest-grossing superhero film, and the sixth highest-grossing film in the United States and Canada. In its opening weekend, it grossed $641 million worldwide and $258 million domestically, setting the records for the highest-grossing openings for both. It also became the fastest film in history to reach a worldwide gross of $1 billion, doing so in 11 days. The untitled sequel is set to be released on May 3, 2019.

Cast

  • Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man:
    The leader and benefactor of the Avengers, who is a self-described genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist with electromechanical suits of armor of his own making.[8][9]Co-director Joe Russo explained that Stark "senses this greater threat approaching, so he is doing everything in his power to keep the Earth safe."[10] Downey added that Stark would have smaller goals than in previous films, with the idea of him as a tinkerer continued from Iron Man 3, although this was not reflected in the final film.[11]
  • Chris Hemsworth as Thor:
    An Avenger and the king of Asgard, based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name.[12] Joe Russo stated that Thor's storyline picks up after the events of Thor: Ragnarok, which finds him in a "very profound… very interesting place" with "real emotional motivation".[13] At the recommendation of Hemsworth, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely consulted Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi and screenwriter Eric Pearson to help carry over the comedic and tragic elements of the re-toned Thor from that film.[14] Thor now wields a mystical axe known as Stormbreaker, after the destruction of his hammer Mjolnir in Ragnarok.[15]
  • Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / Hulk:
    An Avenger and a genius scientist who, because of exposure to gamma radiation, transforms into a monster when enraged or agitated.[16][17] Banner spends the film trying to reintegrate with the Avengers, and also tries to "impress upon everybody how dangerous Thanos is."[18] This continues a story arc for the character that was established in Thor: Ragnarok and concludes in the Infinity War sequel,[19] with the difference between Hulk and Banner "starting to blur a little bit". Ruffalo described Hulk in Infinity War as having the mental capacity of a five-year-old.[18]
  • Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America:
    A fugitive superhero and leader of a faction of Avengers. A World War II veteran, he was enhanced to the peak of human physicality by an experimental serum and frozen in suspended animation before waking up in the modern world.[12] Joe Russo said after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Rogers struggles with the conflict between his responsibility to himself and his responsibility to others.[20] The character embodies the "spirit" of his comic alternate identity Nomad in the film,[21] and receives new vibranium gauntlets from Shuri to replace his traditional shield.[15]
  • Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow:
    A highly trained spy, a member of Rogers' faction of Avengers, and a former agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.[22][23] Johansson said that Romanoff's situation in the aftermath of the events of Captain America: Civil War has been "a dark time. I wouldn't say that my character has been particularly hopeful, but I think she's hardened even more than she probably was before."[24]
  • Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange:
    A former neurosurgeon who, after a car accident that led to a journey of healing, discovered the hidden world of magic and alternate dimensions, and became a Master of the Mystic Arts.[25] Markus and McFeely described Strange as "[ending] up being the reasonable adult in the room" with the "widest perspective available" due to the film's stakes.[26]Aaron Lazar served as Cumberbatch's stand-in until the latter completed filming on The Current War. At that point, Cumberbatch re-shot scenes where his face needed to be seen.[27] Julian "JayFunk" Daniels once again assisted Cumberbatch with his finger-tutting movements.[28]
  • Don Cheadle as James "Rhodey" Rhodes / War Machine:
    An officer in the U.S. Air Force who operates the War Machine armor and is an Avenger.[29] Following his paralysis during the events of Civil War, Rhodes is given an apparatus by Stark to walk again, although he is reluctant to don his War Machine armor and rejoin the Avengers due to his injury. Cheadle believed that Rhodes is "negotiating this reunion and his rejoining this team." He also explained that Rhodes' relationship with Stark "deepened" from his accident, saying, "I think Tony feels somewhat responsible and culpable in a way. But again, he's always had my back in a way that only he could really have."[30]
  • Tom Holland as Peter Parker / Spider-Man: A teenager and Stark's protegé who received spider-like abilities after being bitten by a genetically-modified spider.[10]
  • Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa / Black Panther: The king of the African nation of Wakanda, who gained his enhanced strength by ingesting the Heart-Shaped Herb.[23][31]
  • Paul Bettany as Vision:
    An android and Avenger created using the artificial intelligence J.A.R.V.I.S., Ultron, and the Mind Stone.[25] Anthony Russo called Vision "a living MacGuffin. Obviously, that raises the stakes because Vision's life is in danger, and his life is in conflict with Thanos' goals, so something's got to give."[24]
  • Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch: A member of Rogers' faction of Avengers, who can harness magic and engage in hypnosis and telekinesis.[32]
  • Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson / Falcon:
    A member of Rogers' faction of Avengers and former pararescueman trained by the military in aerial combat, using a specially designed wing pack.[33] Mackie noted that Wilson has a grudge with other heroes like Iron Man and Black Panther after the events of Civil War.[24]
  • Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier:
    An enhanced assassin and Rogers' ally and best friend, who reemerged brainwashed after being thought killed in action during World War II.[34] Barnes, who formerly went by Winter Soldier, is given the name White Wolf by the people of Wakanda, who helped remove his Hydra programming.[15]
  • Tom Hiddleston as Loki: Thor's adoptive brother, based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name.[35]
  • Idris Elba as Heimdall: The all-seeing, all-hearing Asgardian former sentry of the Bifröst Bridge, based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name.[36]
  • Peter Dinklage as Eitri: King of the Dwarves of Nidavellir, and weaponsmith, based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name.[37]
  • Benedict Wong as Wong: One of the Masters of the Mystic Arts, tasked with protecting some of Kamar-Taj's most valuable relics and books.[38]
  • Pom Klementieff as Mantis: A member of the Guardians of the Galaxy with empathic powers.[39]
  • Karen Gillan as Nebula: An adopted daughter of Thanos who was raised with Gamora as siblings.[40]
  • Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer: A member of the Guardians and warrior in search of vengeance against Thanos for killing his family.[41] At the end of each day of filming, Bautista would have to sit in a sauna to remove his makeup.[42]
  • Zoe Saldana as Gamora: A member of the Guardians, who is an orphan from an alien world and raised by Thanos, seeking redemption for her past crimes.[43] Ariana Greenblattportrays a young Gamora.[44]
  • Vin Diesel as Groot:
    A member of the Guardians who is a tree-like humanoid.[45] Executive producer James Gunn explained that Groot is still an adolescent in the film, in the same state of growth seen in one of the post-credit scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.[46] Terry Notary provided motion capture for Groot, and said the character is "coming of age, so you'll see the teenager find a mentor to look up to and to model himself after."[47]
  • Bradley Cooper as Rocket:
    A member of the Guardians who is a genetically-engineered raccoon-based bounty hunter and mercenary, and is a master of weapons and battle tactics.[48] Sean Gunn was again the stand-in for Rocket during filming, with his acting and expressions serving as motion reference for the character.[49][50]
  • Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts:
    Stark's fiancée and the CEO of Stark Industries.[51] Downey felt that "Pepper remains the heart of the [Iron Man] story", which was not a focal point in some of the preceding films with Stark. Downey continued that "we wanted to get back to that reality. Not just for them, but let's really see how that can add to the something-worth-fighting-for of it all."[11]
  • Benicio del Toro as Taneleer Tivan / The Collector: One of the Elders of the Universe, who is an obsessive keeper of the largest collection of interstellar fauna, relics, and species of all manner in the galaxy.[52]
  • Josh Brolin as Thanos:
    An intergalactic despot from Titan who longs to collect all six of the Infinity Stones in order to impose his will on all of reality,[53][54][55] wanting to "re-balance the universe".[56]Producer Kevin Feige added that Thanos believes the universe is becoming over-populated, which led to the destruction of his home moon Titan and is something he vowed not to let happen again,[55] and also said "you could almost go so far as to say he is the main character of" the film.[57] McFeely shared this sentiment, describing the film as his "hero journey" in addition to being the film's protagonist, stating, "Part of that is the things that [mean] the most to him. We wanted to show that. It wasn't just power; it wasn't just an ideal; it was people."[26] Brolin likened Thanos to "the Quasimodo of this time" and the novel Perfume, since Thanos was born deformed and considered a "freak" on Titan,[58]while Joe Russo would reference The Godfather for Brolin at times, which Brolin felt helped "to emotionalize the whole thing."[59] Brolin further added that he preferred playing Thanos over Cable in Deadpool 2 because of the amount of work that went into creating the character.[60] Thanos does not wear armor for most of the film, which is symbolic of his growing power as he collects the Infinity Stones.[61] In addition to voicing for the character, Brolin performed motion capture on set.[62]
  • Chris Pratt as Peter Quill / Star-Lord:
    The half-human, half-Celestial leader of the Guardians who was abducted from Earth as a child, and raised by a group of alien thieves and smugglers called the Ravagers.[32]Pratt described his role in the film as "a cameo… you get to be a little more vibrant; a little more irreverent; a little bit more colorful if you want it to be."[63]

Additionally, several other actors reprise their MCU roles: Danai Gurira as Okoye, the head of the Dora Milaje;[64] Letitia Wright as T'Challa's sister Shuri;[65] William Hurt as Thaddeus Ross, the U.S. Secretary of State;[66] Kerry Condon as the voice of Stark's A.I. F.R.I.D.A.Y.;[67] Winston Duke as M'Baku, the leader of Wakanda's mountain tribe the Jabari; Florence Kasumba as Ayo, a member of the Dora Milaje;[68] Jacob Batalon as Parker's friend Ned;[69] Isabella Amara as Parker's classmate Sally;[70] Tiffany Espensen as Parker's classmate Cindy;[71] and Ethan Dizon as Parker's classmate Tiny.[72] Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders make uncredited cameos as Nick Fury and Maria Hill, the former director and deputy director of S.H.I.E.L.D, respectively, in the film's post-credits scene.[73]

Thanos' henchmen, known collectively in the comics as the Black Order and in the film as the "Children of Thanos",[74] include Terry Notary as Cull Obsidian,[75][76] Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Ebony Maw,[77][78] Carrie Coon as Proxima Midnight,[76] and Michael James Shaw as Corvus Glaive.[79] The foursome provided voices and motion-capture performances on set for their characters.[80][79] As Coon was pregnant during filming, she mainly did facial capture for Proxima Midnight with some motion-capture,[81] with stuntwoman Monique Ganderton standing-in and providing the rest on set.[82] Ross Marquand portrays Johann Schmidt / Red Skull, the "Stonekeeper" and former Nazi commander of Hydra during World War II. Marquand replaces Hugo Weaving, who had expressed reluctance to reprise the character from Captain America: The First Avenger.[37][83] Avengers co-creator Stan Leemakes a cameo appearance in the film as Parker's school bus driver,[37] while screenwriter Stephen McFeely cameos as Secretary Ross's aide.[84] David Cross was invited to make a cameo appearance as Tobias Fünke, his character from the sitcom Arrested Development, which the Russo brothers had previously worked on; this was prevented by a scheduling conflict, but Fünke still appears in the film as a specimen in the Collector's collection, played by an uncredited extra.[85]

Production

Main article: Production of Avengers: Infinity War and the untitled Avengers sequel

In October 2014, Marvel announced a two-part sequel to Avengers: Age of Ultron, titled Avengers: Infinity War. Part 1 was scheduled to be released on May 4, 2018, with Part 2scheduled for May 3, 2019.[86][87] In April 2015, Marvel announced that Anthony and Joe Russo would direct both parts of Avengers: Infinity War,[88] with back-to-back filmingexpected to begin in 2016.[89] The same month, Kevin Feige said that the Infinity War films would be two distinct films "because they [have] such shared elements, it felt appropriate… to [subtitle the films] like that. But I wouldn't call it one story that's cut in half. I would say it's going to be two distinct movies."[90] By May 2015, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely had signed on to write the screenplays for both parts of the film,[91] which draws inspiration from Jim Starlin's 1991 "The Infinity Gauntlet" comic and Jonathan Hickman's 2013 "Infinity" comic.[92] Anthony Russo added the film was inspired by 1990s heist films, with Thanos "on a smash-and-grab [to acquire the Infinity Stones], and everybody's trying to catch up the whole movie."[55] In May 2016, the Russos revealed that they would retitle the two films, to further remove the misconception that they were one large film split in two, with Joe stating, "The intention is we will change [the titles], we just haven't come up with [them] yet."[93] That July, Marvel revealed the film's title would be shortened to simply Avengers: Infinity War.[94]

Principal photography began on January 23, 2017,[95] under the working title Mary Lou,[96] at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia,[97] with Trent Opaloch as director of photography.[98] In early February, Marvel confirmed the involvement of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man, Chris Pratt as Peter Quill / Star-Lord, and Tom Holland as Peter Parker / Spider-Man in the film.[10] Additional filming took place in Scotland beginning in February 2017. The filming occurred in Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Scottish Highlands,[99] with studio work taking place at Wardpark Studios in Cumbernauld.[100][101] Filming also began at Durham Cathedral in Durham, England in early May 2017.[102] In late June 2017, filming occurred in Downtown Atlanta,[103] as well as Atlanta's Central Park in early July,[104] before moving to Queens, New York in the middle of the month.[105] Filming concluded on July 14, 2017.[106] For the film's final scene, where Thanos emerges healed in a nipa hut, the filmmakers partnered with Indochina Productions, a studio based in Thailand, to acquire footage of the Banaue Rice Terraces at Ifugao, Philippines.[107]

Later in July 2017, Joe Russo stated there were a couple of unfinished scenes for Infinity War that would be shot "in the next few months".[108] In early March 2018, Disney moved the release of Infinity War in the United States to April 27, 2018, to have it be released the same weekend as some of its international markets.[109][110] Visual effects for the film were created by Industrial Light & Magic,[111] Framestore,[112] Method Studios,[113] Weta Digital, Double Negative, Cinesite, Digital Domain, Rise, Lola VFX, and Perception.[114] With an estimated budget in the range of $316–400 million,[3][4][5] it is one of the most expensive films ever made.[115]

Music

Main article: Avengers: Infinity War (soundtrack)

In June 2016, Alan Silvestri, who composed the score for The Avengers, was revealed to be returning to score both Infinity War and its sequel.[116] Silvestri started to record his score in January 2018,[117] and concluded in late March. Silvestri felt working on the film "was a really different experience than anything I'd done before, especially in regard to the approach and balancing quick shifts in tone."[118] Ludwig Göransson's theme from Black Panther is also used in the film.[119] Hollywood Records and Marvel Music released the soundtrack album digitally on April 27, 2018, with a release on physical formats following on May 18. Two versions were released, a regular and deluxe edition, with the deluxe edition featuring some extended and additional tracks.[120]

Release

Avengers: Infinity War held its world premiere at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on April 23, 2018, screening also at the adjacent El Capitan Theatre and Grauman's Chinese Theatre.[121] It was released in most countries worldwide, including the United States, on April 27, 2018, with a few debuts beginning as early as April 25,[109] and was shown in IMAX and 3D on select screens.[122][123] In the United States, the film opened in 4,474 theaters, 408 of which were IMAX; this was the widest release for a Disney title ever and the second-widest ever after Despicable Me 3's 4,529 theaters. Three of AMC Theatres' locations screened the film for 24 hours straight, with 53 of their locations having showtimes at either 2 AM or 3 AM to accommodate demand.[124] In India, the film had the biggest release ever for a Hollywood film, opening on nearly 2,000 screens in four languages.[125] The film also screened in 515 4DX theaters in 59 countries.[126] It was originally scheduled to be released on May 4, 2018 in the United States.[86][87]

Select footage from the film was screened around various cities during the film's press tour in early April, ahead of the film's Los Angeles premiere. The Russos noted that only a limited amount of the film would be shown at these screenings to reduce the chance of spoilers being leaked. Adam Chitwood of Collider commented that this was "highly unusual as most Marvel movies are screened in their entirety for press about a month before they hit theaters."[127] Ahead of the United States release, AMC Theatres in New York City and Orlando, Florida aired an eleven-MCU film marathon beginning on April 25, leading to a screening of Infinity War. The El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles also had a similar marathon ahead of the film's release.[128]


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