The movies that inspired Avengers: Infinity War
Anthony and Joe Russo have been very open that when they’re making a movie they look toward countless other movies for inspiration. On Captain America: The Winter Soldier, they looked to the likes of Three Days of the Condor, Rocky, Heat, and The Terminator; while Captain America: Civil War saw them cite The Godfather, Fargo, and Se7en. Now the pair are in the middle of post-production on Avengers: Infinity War and the untitled Avengers 4, and while on set they spoke once again about how they’re inspired by other films and even named the ones influencing the massive new movies.
“We were inspired by ’90s crime films when we were working on the script. So it’s got an energy to it, a bit of a smash and grab energy,” said Anthony Russo. “The movies that we looked at, ‘Two Days in the Valley’ and ‘Out of Sight.’”
Two Days in the Valley and Out of Sight are both ensemble crime movies released in 1996 and 1998, respectively. The latter even features appearances by MCU cast members Don Cheadle, Ving Rhames, Michael Keaton, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Anthony continues, “We always look to movies for an inspiration for the energy that we’re looking for, or a narrative construct that we want to be inspired by, and those two films in particular (were).”
“For us it helps when you are dealing with all these different types of characters and all these different tones that have been established in the various films and story lines,” Joe Russo adds. “It becomes our organizing principal for tone. In terms of what the world is that we’re creating, what rules are we playing by, how does that filter and every character, no matter where they’re coming from has to intersect with the sort of reality of that tone.”
Joe also went on to speak about how they specifically use these movies as inspiration for their movies, saying it’s more than just throwing out a nod to the film as an Easter egg of some sort.
“I think sometimes people have misinterpreted in the past when I’m talking about movies, how we’re using them. Really (it’s) as inspiration for narrative imagery. These movies are so complex you need a unifying peace, or a sense of cohesion, and that cohesion can come from a narrative construct that you can apply all the characters to. It’s hard to find movies with this many characters; you can look at Altman films, which have a tendency to be more veritè. Where we found ‘Two Days in the Valley,’ which really had a narrative thrust to it, and had an energy that we were looking for. Again, just purely something inspires us in the room when we’re working on the script.”
Avengers: Infinity War is even bigger than the films that inspired it, with a confirmed cast that includes at least 40 major players from other Marvel movies, some of them with combating styles of tone.
“There’s a lot of characters in this movie that have tones that they’re bringing from their own franchises,” Anthony said. “I think it’s a very unique film, I don’t think there are a lot of movies that have the kind of tone that this movie has, because it’s a combination of franchises and I don’t think we’ve ever seen that before on this scale. So I think it’s got a really unique tone to it, and I think it’s impulsive.”
But don’t worry that your favorite character might get lost in the shuffle of the movie. The Russos are aware that each and every one of them holds a special place in the heart of at least one viewer, and everyone will get their chance to shine.
Marvel‘s Avengers: Infinity War arrives in theaters on April 27.
Check back here on Friday for our interview with stars Chris Evans (Captain America) and Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) from the set of Avengers: Infinity War!