As much as we love the MCU, there's been an area where things are getting increasingly ridiculous. No one important dies. Instead, we get some surprise that saves one of our favorites from oblivion. On one hand, we're glad that Captain America survived that cold freeze and Nick Fury defied any kind of odds to glare once more. But if the MCU is going to have some real stakes, they're going to need to actually start killing off some major characters. And it seems like with Avengers: Infinity War the time has finally come.
When Nerdist visited the set of the third Avengers installment, we asked directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo: Are any major characters going to die in this movie? Anthony told us, "We'll say this. We like mature storytelling. We like dramatic storytelling. We like intense storytelling. I think we appreciate conflict, and we appreciate stakes. And without stakes, there really isn't a lot of value to the story. And I think if you look at the Marvel Universe as a whole as a story that's been told for ten years, you can look at this as the climax. And the stakes will be higher in this movie than they've ever been, times ten."
Take that as a yes.
Online and off, MCU fans are speculating about which of our favorite heroes might fall in the battle against Thanos, with Iron Man and Captain America as popular--though regrettable--frontrunners. But on the set that day, things weren't looking for good for Vision, who has one of the Infinity Stones that Thanos seeks embedded in his forehead.
Nerdist watched the Russos shoot a scene where the Avengers arrive in Wakanda. And while several show signs of battle damage, Vision is most torn up, exiting the Quinjet cradling his left side while a concerned Scarlet Witch aids him in walking.
When we spoke with actors Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen, they were in full costume, and the stone was in place. But on the left side of Bettany's torso was a small orange dot, marking where VFX teams will add some grisly battle damage. So what happened? "These bad guys are trying to get the stone out of my head," Bettany said, eluding to Thanos and his Black Order, "And so Wanda and I fought them off and then we’ve ended up here [in Wakanda] for surgery."
What's in store for Vision? Bettany was playful and elusive, saying, "It’s gonna be kinda of a significant arc because I got one of the Stones in my head."
In the first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War, there's a shot where we see Thanos trying to pluck the Infinity Stone from Vision's forehead, so he might complete his gauntlet. We asked Bettany what would happen if Thanos succeeds? Could that be the death of Vision? " Well, that’s a very big question and one that troubles Vision and Wanda a lot," he said, and then dropped the spoiler topic.
Instead, Bettany and Olsen wanted to focus on the blossoming relationship between Vision and Wanda Maximoff. She told us that like Captain America and Black Widow, the pair has been lying low since Captain America: Civil War. "We all look a bit different to suggest being in hiding," Olsen said, "[Vision and Wanda have] been trying to--within that time--find points of meeting in different places in order to try and forward our relationship."
"Vision’s been on this quest to understand what being human is," Bettany added, "And I think Scarlet Witch--in a large degree--helped him figure that out and what love is." At that point Bettany broke into song, “I wanna know what love is?” Olsen joined in, "I want you to show me!"
Singing aside, things get intense for these two onscreen lovers. "This is definitely the most emotional arc I’ve done in an Avengers film," Olsen teased, "That’s for sure. Because when we’re talking about Vision becoming human. We’re talking about their relationship and it’s a pretty grounded arc."
"And significant," Bettany added. "Yeah, I think it is the most emotional. Also, the cost and the danger that we’re all facing becomes more important than certain beef that people had in the past," he said, referring to the infighting of Captain America: Civil War, "Because it’s so desperate. The point of the Avengers--and by extension mankind--it’s fraught with danger. So I think old grudges are buried and put off until next time."
Avengers: Infinity War opens April 27th. Look for more from our set visit in the coming days.
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Images: Walt Disney Pictures