With Avengers: Endgame arriving in theaters on April 26th (like you didn’t know!), I recently sat down with executive producer Trinh Tran for an exclusive interview. Since the studio and the filmmakers are trying to keep everything about the storyline on Endgame under wraps, it’s a different kind of interview than a typical discussion. I could only ask spoiler-free questions, and when it comes to Endgame, pretty much everything is a spoiler. However, I don’t blame the studio or filmmakers. The fact is, the MCU has been building towards this film since Iron Man first arrived over a decade ago and I couldn’t be more excited to see what will happen when Endgame unspools in theaters around the world next week.
During the interview, what Trinh Tran did talk about the three-hour runtime, deleted scenes, the incredible VFX on both Infinity War and Endgame, how they will always keep adding to (or “plussing”) the movie till the very last second, the incredible scheduling challenges when you have such a large cast, why Kevin Feige is such a great leader, and more.
Check out what she had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about. Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Bradley Cooper, and Josh Brolin.
Collider: Who ruined the most takes and why?
TRINH TRAN: Who ruined the most takes? This is the first time I’ve ever been asked that question. Oh my gosh.
I come prepared.
TRAN: Who ruined the most takes? Huh. I can’t say. They’re all…they’re actually all pretty darn good. And by the way, we shot this in 2017 so I’m trying to recall from a while back. I don’t know. I guess if I had to say somebody, I’m literally going to jokingly say Mark. I don’t know why. ‘Cause I can see him from what I remember. He’s such a sweet guy and he’s full of energy and fun and you know.
Every Marvel movie gets plussed. And that’s something that makes these movies so much better.
Was Endgame something that you guys plussed a lot? Or was it just like a day or two?
TRAN: Oh plus in the sense of just making better?
Yeah, looking at additional photography to improve sequences. I know the filmmaking process and most of our readers do as well. It’s like until opening day do whatever you can to make it better.
TRAN: Exactly. I think we do that for every single movie at Marvel.
TRAN: Any chance that we get and every single day, we’ll just keep plussing until you literally have to pry the piece out of our hands. And we were literally plussing until Friday, I mean when everything pretty much was done. When Joe and Anthony walked over to, I don’t know if you were there, but when he walked over to introduce that piece. I was sitting in DI and we were still plussing away until the very last minute. And we had a couple of visual effects shots that were coming in. So it was down to the very last minute. And they came back and we were still working. So it is, yes, we plus on every single level, of every single movie. And I think more so on Infinity War and Endgame. It was a very special case because we shot it back to back.
Every movie has deleted scenes, but do you remember was the first cut of Endgame a lot longer than what you ended up with?
TRAN: No it actually sat around pretty much the same, a very similar timeframe. There weren’t a lot of things that was removed in that sense.
Well can fans look forward to deleted scenes on the Blu-ray?
TRAN: Yeah, of course. There’s always going to be something.
My question is, do you have like five or 10 minutes?
TRAN: You know what? I haven’t seen the footage that our editor has put together just yet because we literally just finished the movie not long ago. So I think they are working on it and we’re going to be seeing something soon.
I know Joe and Anthony Russo told me that they did three or four early screenings. And every movie has early screenings and they said that no one left, everyone was captivated. But what did you guys learn from those early screenings that maybe impacted the finished film?
TRAN: Without getting into the context of what the story is, it’s always helpful for that, groups of people when we do those screenings to get feedback right. Because they’re sort of in a way our feedback of what the general audience might think of the movie. So it is always helpful that there’s those certain kinds of feedback. I can’t specifically say what those feedback are without giving context to what the movie is, because there are specific to a scene or a sequence. But we always find those feedback very, very helpful in the process.
From those screenings, did you actually make any significant changes? Or was it more like, “Oh, they didn’t really understand this. We got to add a line here, add a line there.”
TRAN: I don’t think there were huge significant changes to this from what I recall. I think there’s just is always either somebody doesn’t really quite understand this part or this doesn’t quite, connect with. So there’s stuff like that that we take into consideration as we’re piecing it together in editorial.
The VFX in Infinity War are incredible, and the film was robbed at the academy. How did what you learned making Infinity War impact Endgame? What’s the VFX easier, because you already sort of figured out the template? Or are you guys pushing again forward with the VFX in this?
TRAN: Well we didn’t have the fortunate space and time to kind of have two separate movies in that sense. Where we have enough time to have that impact, if that makes sense. Like if had Infinity War and Endgame shot separately and we went into post separately in that sense, then maybe that would have factored in. But because we were developing these two movies at the same time and we shot these two movies, sort of back to back. With, Infinity War being at the first half of 2017 and the Endgame being the latter half.
It was just both of the process were pretty much going at the same speed in that sense. So there wasn’t much time of like how Infinity War would have been. Sure there might be a little thing here and there, but it’s not like a big overall where we had another year to go, “Oh, what can we change, if anything for that movie?” Because When Infinity War came out, we’ve already filmed Endgame.