Russo Brothers Ditched Thanos as Infinity War Narrator

An earlier draft of the Avengers: Infinity War script had Thanos telling the story of how the Avengers finally met their match...

Avengers: Infinity War - Thanos With the Infinity Gauntlet

In the lead up to the April, 2019 release of their final (for now) MCU instalment, Avengers 4, the Russo brothers have taken part in a new Q&A with Collider, where they both spoke about a broad range of subjects after a special screening of Avengers: Infinity War.

The directing team revealed to the site that several storytelling approaches for this year’s mammoth, Earth-shattering superhero team-up movie were attempted when collaborative writing with scribes Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely began, including a version of the script where Thanos (Josh Brolin) narrated the Avengers’ downfall… but it all quickly spiralled out of control.

“We did three drafts of [Infinity War] that were all radically different,” confirmed Joe Russo. “One draft involved Thanos as the narrator of the film. It was non-linear in structure, it had backstories for the Black Order, and they were all introduced in very cool sequences. But it ended up being a 250-page script and we thought, ‘Alright, we can’t fit all of this storytelling.’”

Once the team ditched the narration and got more linear with the story, however, things shifted in perspective:

Ad – content continues below

“A lot of times when you work on a movie of this scale and you end up with a 250-page draft, it’s the bible for the movie. You gain a lot of information. You write characters out in a way that you start to understand what it is they want. I think writing out Thanos’ narration gave us insight into who he was as a character and what we wanted him to do in this film. So then it was much easier once we started pulling all that out to make it subtext for him as a character, and to make a more linear structure.”

And it was an epiphany that Infinity War was essentially a good old fashioned heist flick that helped them take control of the near-impossible task of including so many characters in one film:

“We did a lot of development on this, but at a certain point we thought, ‘This is really a heist movie, and Thanos is enacting a heist. It’s gotta have a certain structure to it that reflects a heist film.’ So if you look at the movie, its actually is sort of like Two Days In The Valley or Out Of Sight where there’s multiple McGuffins that Thanos is chasing and that all the other characters are trying to get to first, or stop him from getting. So it’s a very simple structure. We thought, we have so many characters in the movie, we have to simplify the structure. I think that’s really what led us from that 250-page draft to what the movie is now is simplifying the plot, keeping it linear, and letting the character moments come through.”

Avengers 4 will be released on May 3, 2019. The complete schedule of upcoming Marvel movies can be found here.

We’re still waiting on that first trailer…