Joe and Anthony Russo's Avengers: Infinity War has been long promoted as a capstone project. It has been repeatedly said that all roads in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been leading here -- and that creates a lot of expectation. The movie has many thinking that it will be the movie that wraps up all the loose ends in the entire franchise... but is that actually the case? I recently had the chance to speak with the filmmakers to get to the bottom of things, and screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus told me the following:
Stephen McFeely: There was [an approach towards tying up loose ends]. Those didn't all make it all the way. We shot some of them, and they were really good scenes, but they're not necessarily on the Thanos plot. And when you've got this much real estate, and the movies is already two-and-a-half hours long, and at that point three hours long, and you're looking at a scene that's really meaningful for fans, if it doesn't have anything to deal with Thanos, that's a deleted scene.
Christopher Markus: But by the time the second movie comes out I think most of those threads will be satisfied.
In the last seven years I've had the opportunity to interview Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus about all their contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- including Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Captain America: Civil War -- and that streak continued this past weekend during the Avengers: Infinity War junket. Sitting down with the screenwriters for a two-on-one interview, one of my first questions out of the gate was in regard to how the film ties up loose ends within the franchise. Their answer suggested that earlier cuts of the blockbuster participated in this activity a lot more, but that many "loose end satisfiers" didn't necessarily make the finished cut of the film.
When I asked producer Kevin Feige the same question, he echoed some of the sentiment -- but also basically suggested a warning to die-hard fans: don't expect Avengers: Infinity War to get lost in nit-picky details. If you're walking into the movie expecting answers regarding the whereabouts of the Abomination from The Incredible Hulk and the location of the missing Pym Particles from Ant-Man, you may be setting the bar just a little bit too high. Said the executive/producer,
I think on more specific levels it does [tie up loose ends]. I think there might be super-duper deep cut levels that it might not. It depends how deep you're going. The fun of this movie was not to have a checklist and mark off loose ends. For the most part it was fulfilling the promise of what I love about an interconnected shared universe, what was so fun about an Avengers movie, and what was so fun about 70 years of the 616.
Finally, I also asked the same question of directors Joe and Anthony Russo during the TV day at the Avengers: Infinity War junket, and Joe Russo's answer was actually quite perfect, if not a bit of a ballerina act around spoilers. Click play on the video player below to hear him talk about the approach to those unsolved mysteries and how much of it is just tied up in the legacy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
Avengers: Infinity War may not ultimately answer every question that you currently have about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it certainly is one hell of a way to catch up with just about every single main character in the franchise. And you can now actually enjoy it all yourself, as the massive blockbuster is now in theaters everywhere.