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Avengers: Infinity War has one of the most shocking endings of any superhero film. With the snap of his fingers, Thanos wiped out half of the universe, Avengers included. We all expected deaths in the film, but we were unprepared for the quantity of casualties, who they were and the indiscriminate way in which they were blinked out of existence. We weren't the only ones caught off guard either. The Infinity War cast members only found out they were part of the snap the morning of shooting, as producer Trinh Tran explained:
The reaction of our talent when they found out they would be blipped on the morning of shooting the actual scene. We made a decision early on in production that we were going to be diligent about the spoilers of the film, so there were no copies given out of any of the big moments in the film just in case something happens to it. It was decided that we'd reveal, in person, to the talent that morning that some of them would not survive at the end of the film, so it was a little nerve-wracking to get the responses. Sad, surprised, etc.
It seems the shocked looks on the Avenger's faces as they faded away wasn't all acting. Like their characters, the cast found out what was going to happen right before it actually did. Given the level of secrecy around this film and the lengths the production went to in order to prevent spoilers, it makes sense to tell the actors the morning of about their character deaths to keep things as hush hush as possible. (There is one very loose-lipped cast member to consider.) Still, that must have quite a shock for the actors to hear that their character would be dying that day. It sounds like it was also strange for the people who had to tell the actors, not knowing how they would take it. As Trinh Tran told Comicbook.com, the reactions ran the gamut as you would expect from sadness to surprise and probably everything in between.
Thinking about it, it must have been at least a little bit stressful for some of the actors to not know any of the big moments in the film and what the story held for their characters in advance. In a movie with this big of a villain and vocal public speculation about who is going to die, it must have felt like a guillotine hanging over everyone's heads just waiting to drop until one day it did, suddenly and with a huge impact. Given the amount of online speculation for superhero films and other major franchise properties, tactics like this are used more often to keep audiences unspoiled and on their toes when they walk into theaters.
I think most of us expect many of the snapped characters to return in or after Avengers 4. Spider-Man has a release date to make, after all, but the who and how remains a mystery. Fortunately, we have less than a year to wait to find out. We do have some thoughts though about where those who survived the snap will be when Avengers 4 starts.