I’ve never attended a press conference like the one for Avengers: Infinity War, and that shouldn’t be too surprising as there’s never really been a cinematic experience like Infinity War. The culmination of 10 years of movies leading to an epic team-up that spans the cosmos as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (along with a few cosmic beings) battle the Mad Titan, Thanos (Josh Brolin). 24 people graced the stage last week in Beverly Hills to discuss the film, but the fact that nobody in the press nor the stars on the stage had seen the finished film as well as the fear of disseminating spoilers meant that nobody could really say too much about the epic events of Avengers: Infinity War.
With so many people on the stage and a packed house of eager press and with only an hour to ask questions, the press conference brought out its moderator, Jeff Goldblum, the Grandmaster from Thor: Ragnarok, to pull random ping pong balls with topics and the actors’ names on it to see who would be asked each question. Once again, before a single question had been asked, this was unlike any press conference I’ve ever attended.
“Snitches end up in ditches,” said Paul Bettany, who plays Vision. The British actor would repeat the line a few more times, warning his co-stars who have had a history of having loose lips on publicity tours.
Star-Lord himself Chris Pratt wasn’t about to divulge any details. “It might be best for you to see it, so I’m going to talk about bass fishing. OK?” then the actor continued into a deadpan rant about the various aspects of bass fishing.
The trailers for Infinity War have teased various team-ups between heroes who have never interacted before, including Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy. “The first day was what you see in the trailers—Thor meeting the Guardians—and it felt kind of like my first day at school because they all knew each other, and I was the new kid,” Hemsworth said. “I had some weird butterflies floating around in my body, but they squeezed them out of me with a big group hug—and all the butterflies went floating out of my ears.”
Co-director Anthony Russo didn’t divulge many details when it came to what people could expect to see in Infinity War, including which characters might surprise the audience. “When we began developing this movie, we had a picture of every single character who’s been in the [Marvel Cinematic Universe] and we hung them on the wall,” the director said. “We spent months and months talking about where we could go with each character. Everyone on this stage has had a very specific journey in the MCU to arrive at in this moment. It was a very long, creative process. It was one of the most fun, creative exercises I think I’ve ever been through.”
“As you know, I can’t say anything, so great question. Thanks for asking that one,” Black Panther star Winston Duke joked when asked about Wakanda’s fate in the epic battles of Infinity War.
Coming off the wild success of Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman was asked if Infinity War might be considered Black Panther 1.5, to which the superhero star countered: “Avengers: Infinity War is Avengers: Infinity War. It’s not Black Panther 1.5 or Black Panther 2 or anything like that. I think we have a strong presence in the movie, and it was great to have some of these people in Wakanda. But it is its own movie.”
“I wish I had a Shuri on TV or on movies that I could’ve seen when I was growing up,” said Letitia Wright, one of the breakout stars from Black Panther. “It’s not just a thing for the guys, it’s also for the young women, old women, anyone to just get into and contribute positively. To have that and for you to use it in your classroom, I’m super grateful. It’s positive and it’s good and it’s a good thing.”
The first big bad that The Avengers had to face, Loki, is still around, much to actor Tom Hiddleston’s surprise. “I am astonished that I am still here,” Hiddleston said. “Loki has fallen through a wormhole, faked his own death, and I never expected to be playing this part for so long. The great privilege that I’ve had is working with every single person on this stage.”
When it comes to the big bad of Infinity War, Thanos, don’t think that Brolin’s bad guy is much impressed with the expansive roster of heroes. “I looked in the trailer like I was impressed with other people?” Brolin responded to the question with a question. “Then obviously I didn’t do my job.”
Young Tom Holland continues his impressive turn as Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, following his great turns in Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming. This time, however, Spidey gets a brand new suit but the young actor wasn’t able to actually wear it. “I didn’t actually get to wear the Iron Spider suit because it’s too amazing to exist in real life so I joined Mark Ruffalo in the man-canceling suit and stood amongst these gods wearing pajamas,” Holland joked of his motion capture suit.
Not every star on the stage was asked thoughtful questions. “I don’t know how to answer that questions,” a bewildered Scarlett Johansson answered when asked about her character’s fashion sense. “I wear a leather unitard for most of this film. I have been for the last ten years. So, if you think of any fashion elements that you would like to include, let us know.”
As the press conference continued, various members of the expansive cast made cracks about the fashion comment, with Pom Klementieff and Mark Ruffalo being among those who got their jabs in.
As for the two men who pretty much anchored the Marvel Cinematic Universe, allowing the superhero tales to build a solid foundation which made it possible for the epic crossover of Avengers: Infinity War, producer Kevin Feige was happy to provide deference to the source material. “It starts with those comics and us beginning to rip pages out or rip copies of pages out, put them on the walls, and start to be inspired,” Feige said. “Every movie we’ve made, up to and including Infinity War, there are moments and rarely but sometimes, actual lines of dialogue [from the comics].”
Then there’s the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the man who starred in their first production 10 years ago, Iron Man himself Robert Downey, Jr. When asked if he’ll be in Avengers 4, the superstar turned to the producer beside him. “Kevin?” he asked. Feige whispered into Downey’s ear and then the Iron Man actor exclaimed, “Yes! We already filmed it!” He then added, “If I die tomorrow,” referring to the premiere of Infinity War, “I’m going to be confused.”
Of all the actors on the stage, Robert Downey, Jr. was the only one to get two questions. Before fielding another question, Downey made sure to call moderator Jeff Goldblum a “[expletive] national treasure” and refused any more questions until everyone else had their turn. You know, just like the leader of the Avengers would do.
Avengers: Infinity War opens in theaters worldwide on April 27, 2018.