Released last April, Avengers: Infinity War is the nineteenth film in Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It was voted the best film of 2018 by many and is endlessly rewatchable. However, no amount of rewatches could help you uncover all of the Avengers easter eggs that can be found in interviews with the films directors; Anthony and Joe Russo.
So if you’re looking to brush up on your Infinity War trivia, here are twelve things you might have missed.
- Kenneth Branagh’s Uncredited Role
Turns out the phrase “No one in comics stays dead except Uncle Ben” even applies to Marvel Studios directors as Kenneth Branagh, who directed the first movie in the Thor franchise, had a role to play in Avengers: Infinity War.
Although not returning in a directing role, or even being seen on screen, he has the first line in the film. The actor-director can be heard issuing the distress transmission that the Asgardian ship was being attacked.
Back in 2015, Branagh lamented the “good times” he had when filming Thor in an interview with THR:
"I continue to have good relationships with all my Marvel family. It’s a people game the movie game, and although these films are big articulated lorries, they still have to be driven by real people. I fondly remember good times working on Thor. So you always look to repeat that kind of thing, and if it happened again, I’d be delighted."
This brief uncredited cameo shows that Branagh remains in contact with his “Marvel Family” and suggests that he could come back to direct another character in future.
- The Spirit Of Nomad
Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) had a new look for Infinity War. At the end of Captain America: Civil War (2016), Captain America was no longer an Avenger and Steve Rogers had essential given up the mantle; Captain America.
Cap has left the title behind more than a few times before in the comics. First appearing as Nomad in Captain America #180 and later The Captain in Captain America #332
Although the Steve Rogers we got in Infinity War (thankfully) isn’t too overly taken from either of the alternate pseudonyms, there are a few traces such as the beard, the new black suit and the gold buckles.
Ahead of the release of Infinity War, co-director, Joe Russo commented that Steve Rogers' character arc in the movie is in "the spirit of that character."
"Obviously you can’t deal with a character called Captain America without dealing with the thematics behind that, so we wanted a relevancy to it and we wanted to put him in a position where he was questioning the chain of command."
- Thanos Demands Your Silence
The directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, were very serious about keeping the details of the plot a secret from early on.
This stretched as far as giving the cast fake scripts and filming scenes which were never going to be a part of the movie. In an interview with Games Radar, Joe Russo explained:
“We put a lot of effort into making sure nobody knows the true story of the film. All the actors were given fake scripts… very few people have seen the actual film itself."
Paul Bettany (Vision) went on to say that the cast rehearsed scripts that “had fake scenes in it, fake twists in it, fake storylines” and that they didn’t learn the true story until they arrived on set to shoot.
<Embed video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkH_HaD-IFk>
Tom Holland was not allowed to read the script for this movie, since he revealed too many secrets for Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017). In one of the promotional videos for the movie, several of its cast members are in an interrogation room refusing to reveal any spoilers, and Holland's mouth is conspicuously taped shut.
- Tobias Fünke exists
As well as the film being stuffed with references to other Marvel properties, the Russo brothers also like to pay homage to their own works.
As well as having familiar faces from their TV work, Community, popping up in the second and third Captain America movies, a blue Tobias Fünke from Arrested Development appeared in one of The Collector's display cases in Infinity War. He can be seen behind Gamora in one shot.
This isn’t the first time the show has been referenced as the famous Bluth Company stair car appeared during the airport fight in Captain America: Civil War.
- The Remaining Asgardians
The bleak introduction to Infinity War shows the Asgardian ship under-siege by Thanos and the Black Order. However, there’s no inkling of what happened to many characters first met in Thor: Ragnarok.
Thanos’ aim was to wipe out half of every civilisation in the universe and eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed that the ship appears to be in two halves in the exterior shots, suggesting that the surviving inhabitants were stowed away in the other compartment.
Co-Directors Anthony and Joe Russo have confirmed that several Asgardians have escaped Thanos' attack, with Valkyrie being one of them.
- The Children Of Thanos
In the final version of Infinity War, Thanos’ small militia don’t get much of an introduction. They are referred to as “The Children of Thanos” (not to be confused with his adopted daughters, Gamora and Nebula).
There were early drafts of the script where the backstory of was explored more. Ultimately, the story was getting too crowded, so it was removed.
In the comics, these group are known as The Black Order and two of them, Proxima and Corvus, are married. This isn’t mentioned in the movie but is hinted at very slightly by pairing them up, and how she reacts to Corvus getting stabbed.
There were certain drafts where more time was spent on Titan before it collapsed, with more backstory on Thanos. In the end, the screenwriters felt this glimpse was all that was needed.
- River of Blood
The first thing we see after the snap is a sequence with Thanos and young Gamora in some sort of soul stone realm. It’s pretty sombre knowing that despite the Avengers best efforts, Thanos has won but imagine how much more bleak it would be if the titan had to wade through the blood of all those vanquished.
This was almost what happened and even got as far as being mocked up the VFX team until it shelved.
It’s unclear whether this was an in-house decision or one line that Disney wouldn’t let them cross but as VFX Supervisor Dan DeLeeuw put it, it “got a bit dark”.
- Thor and the Dragon
The screenwriters initially weren't sure how Thor would get his new Stormbreaker axe from.
Before settling on having the God of Thunder restart the core of neutron star there was a version of a script that had Thor travel to Nidavellir to craft the axe with the help of dragons.
Eventually this was scrapped in favour of having Thor meet Eitri the dwarf. The reason being that this allowed an opportunity to further display the devastation left behind by Thanos.
- Thor’s Age
Amongst the many details in this film, one piece of information you can be forgiven for missing is Thor’s age.
After the Asgardian meets up with the Guardians of the Galaxy, he tries to explain how serious the threat of Thanos is by discussing the number of fights he’s undertaken previously and claims to be 1,500 years old!
Since the movie is set in 2018, it reveals that Thor was born in 518CE
Based on Chris Hemsworth’s age and the age of on-screen father Odin, Anthony Hopkins, we can work out that Odin died at the ripe old age of 3428.
- Voldemort Vs Squidward
When Thanos arrives on Earth, Ebony Maw is the first of The Black Order to exchange blows with the available Avengers and in true Tony Stark fashion, Tony calls him “Squidward”.
However, in the French dub of the film, this unflattering nickname is replaced with “Voldermort”.
This isn’t because Spongebob Squarepants isn’t popular in France. It’s actually because the French name for Squidward is “Carlo” and the writers were worried the name would be too ordinary for audiences to get the reference.
- Groot’s Last Line
Despite it only sounding like the same three words to us, it turns out every one of Groot’s lines has hidden depth and makes complete sense if you can speak Flora Collosus or have a universal translator.
In a response to a fan on Twitter, James Gunn, director of the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies, revealed that Groot's last line before being dusted was “Dad”. This line was spoken as the teenage Groot reached out towards Rocket Raccoon.
<EMBED TWEET - https://twitter.com/JamesGunn/status/993265674616221696 >
Gunn had previously announced that the Baby Groot planted at the end of the first Guardians film was the son of full-grown Groot from that film and so it makes sense that this Adolescent Groot would see Rocket as a father figure.
It was also revealed the that handheld game played by the teenage tree throughout the film’s first half was Defender.
- Surviving The Snap
Though that traumatic finale showed us the fate of many of the heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are a number of key players that we have to wait until April to find out more about.
Thankfully, the Russo brothers have confirmed a number of fan-favourites that escaped the finger-snap unharmed.
Be warned, potential spoilers below...
That list of characters includes Valkyrie, Aunt May and Howard The Duck
The Russo’s also confirmed that the characters Betty Ross, Lady Sif and the S.H.I.E.L.D agent playing Galaga from the first Avengers were among the casualties.