To begin with the obvious — the following contains spoilers. Given the fact that the phrase “extensively break down the film’s ending” is in the title, one would imagine that spoilers are obvious before even clicking the article. But the stupidity of the internet can be shocking at times, so you always want extra careful about these things. So, if you are somehow a Marvel Cinematic Universe fan and you still haven’t seen Avengers: Infinity War, then now is your time to escort yourself out of this article (and straight to the movie theater, because the movie is f*cking awesome).
Okay, now let’s get started. Despite the fact that Infinity War is easily my favorite Marvel movie ever, it’s ending was the worst part of the film (which just goes to show how incredible the rest of the movie was, given that a movie’s “ending” is arguably the most important part). And not because of the idea, but because of the execution.
Any remotely interested fan *already knows* that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 (and after it’s massive success, Black Panther 2) are coming out within the next couple of years, therefore rendering their character’s deaths meaningless. Now, had Disney and Marvel played their cards a little closer to the vest and kept quiet about the future release dates of these movies, THEN the death of Spider-Man, Star-Lord, Black Panther, and all the other heroes that turned to dust would have been far more impactful. But, because I know that Marvel has killed the unkillable, their deaths were ultimately emotionless.
Whether you liked the ending or not, the fact that you’re reading this article means you’re curious nonetheless. So, we decided to pull some key quotes from an Uproxx interview with Anthony and Joe Russo, the directors of the behemoth movie, who revealed more details about the specifics behind the film’s bold conclusion.
The scene with Peter Parker is haunting. Were you worried kids would cry?
Joe Russo: Well, you know, I cried during The Empire Strikes Back. I think there’s a power in narrative and The Empire Strikes Back was one of the more impactful movies when I was in a child. I think I was ten.
I didn’t cry but I remember being horrified, but I was five.
Anthony Russo: Well that’s because you were the wrong age for that. You had to be closer to our age because you can deal with that kind of complexity.
Joe Russo: I stayed and I watched that movie from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. the day that movie came out. I just kept going back and back and back. And I think there’s something about catharsis and we all create catharsis in storytelling. There are things you can deal with in fantasy that you can’t deal with directly in the real world. I would argue that this movie is a reflection of its time. And that there is a level of catharsis the audience is going through collectively and globally as we march into whatever future awaits us.
Was there ever a debate on how sad to make Peter Parker’s death scene?
Joe Russo: With Peter specifically, we knew that would be a gut punch. I mean, that was my favorite character growing up.
Anthony Russo: Once we commit to a story idea, we commit to the fullest version of that. The potency of that moment is a function of us following that creative choice.
Joe Russo: We kept pushing it on set farther and farther with the emotional performance that we wanted. And part of it was improvisation on Tom Holland’s part.
What part did he improvise?
Joe Russo: I think what was scripted was, “I don’t feel so good,” and, “I’m sorry,” and everything in-between is Tom.
So, “I don’t want to go,” was his?
Joe Russo: Yeah. And the emotional level to which we pushed him to, that was really just us just saying, “You’re a child and you don’t understand.”
Anthony Russo: And the moment really expanded with Robert Downey Jr. Ever since we introduced the new Spider-Man in Civil War, Robert has been a very active mentor to him. And not just outside, but in the moment and in the scene while acting. Robert is one of the most remarkable performers on the planet and he makes everyone around him better and he brings everybody up. So, when Robert is tuned in to what you’re doing and, on a performance level, he wants to help feed you and pull you. He can do remarkable things. And he will dance with Tom on a performance level that is amazing and that was one example of it. He’s a very giving performer and he really helped us find that moment with Tom.
And I’ve never heard quite an audience reaction like when Black Panther flakes away…
Anthony Russo: What I love about that moment, Okoye, just the mission of that character to be the King’s protector and she takes that job very seriously.
Joe Russo: And for him to evaporate in her arms…
Anthony Russo: And the way she reacted to that was riveting and we couldn’t cut away from it.