The Biggest Difference Between Joss Whedon And The Russos, According To Elizabeth Olsen

Elizabeth Olsen in Captain America: Civil War

Needless to say, there will be spoilers in this article, so stop reading now if you want to go into Avengers: Infinity War knowing nothing.

By the time Avengers: Infinity War opens in theaters, there will be three people who can say they directed an Avengers movie: Joe and Anthony Russo, and Joss Whedon (who directed two of them). So when CinemaBlend traveled to Atlanta to visit the set of the Russo Brothers' pending blockbuster, one of the topics of conversation led to the differences in the approaches to the superhero ensemble thrillers. In a conversation with Infinity War co-stars Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen, the two of them explained to us:

Elizabeth Olsen: The biggest difference is that Joss wrote everything. When he writes them, he plays every single character in, like, a cabin, and he does the fighting sequences as much as he can and then he writes it. I think the main difference is that the Russos delegate, and they trust everything that they've delegated things to. Not saying Joss didn't, but that's a lot of pressure to be a director and then go home to also do rewrites for the next week. So I think it's just as it gets bigger, things become more specific to different departments, and I think it allows maybe even a freedom within the dialogue sometimes... Not saying that one's better than the other, because Joss knows these characters better than maybe each one of the individuals do, because he lives it and breathes it, and the Russos at the beginning of filming are like, 'You're in control of your character. If there are things you think we missed, please participate, please say.'Paul Bettany: They really want you to be a collaborator, and it's great. There's a huge upside for that. For them [the Russos], when you're dealing with so many characters and actors, to have two of them, it's brilliant because you can play one off against the other.

While on the set of Avengers: Infinity War, we were able to see how the Russo brothers collaborate in scenes with their ensemble of super-powered beings (and actors). We caught a scene where Chris Evans' Captain America and Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow lead a team of Avengers -- including a wounded Vision (Paul Bettany) -- to Wakanda to seek aid following an attack. It was fun seeing how Joe Russo would coach certain actors, and Anthony would work with crew, and then they'd switch roles in between takes. Overall, it definitely sounds like a different experience than some of the Avengers-oriented actors were used to.

We know that working on the Avengers movie burned Joss Whedon out, as he said as much during the press tour for Avengers: Age of Ultron. Perhaps having two Russos will help the siblings delegate, and get through Infinity War and the untitled Avengers 4, which is due in theaters next summer. For now, you can catch Avengers: Infinity War when it hits theaters next month.

We'll see how it all plays out when Avengers: Infinity War opens in theaters on April 27. Our set visit coverage from Atlanta will continue this week. Also, all of our Avengers: Infinity War set coverage can be found here. And you can bookmark our Upcoming Marvel Movies guide to stay up to date on all of the future happenings in the MCU.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.