When Marvel Studios first announced Avengers 3, it was clear the studio was planning something big for the next Avengers sequel. First and foremost, it wasn’t just Avengers 3—it was Avengers 3 and Avengers 4, titled Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2. Eventually Marvel decided that second film wouldn’t be a Part 2 and is instead currently untitled, but the fact remains that these two movies will serve as a culmination of everything that’s happened in the MCU thus far, bringing together all of the characters in two giant movies.
The connectedness of these films was further underlined by the fact that Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo were tapped to direct both Infinity War and the untitled Avengers 4, and the plan was to mount a herculean production that would shoot both movies at the same time—sometimes even shooting scenes from both movies on the same day. Filming has been underway in Atlanta since January, and while the production is full of secrets, a pretty big one slipped under the radar: they’re not shooting both movies at the same time anymore.
Collider’s own Steve Weintraub recently spoke with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige in anticipation of the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and when asked about the studio’s upcoming filming schedule, he revealed that they decided to change course and shoot Infinity War and untitled Avengers 4 as two separate movies:
“We’re doing them one right after another… It became too complicated to cross-board them like that, and we found ourselves—again, something would always pay the price. We wanted to be able to focus and shoot one movie and then focus and shoot another movie.”
Indeed, the Russo brothers previously revealed their intention to make Infinity War and Avengers 4 feel like different films, right down to the cinematography, which would make shooting both movies at the same time extremely difficult. Not to mention the fact that the massive ensemble cast is mighty busy—Chris Pratt alone has been juggling Guardians 2 press duties and filming on Jurassic World 2.
So when will the untitled Avengers 4 shoot? This August, says Feige. That means Infinity War’s shoot will likely wrap up in June or July, though as the Russos and most of the same cast move right along into another movie, the opportunity for pick-ups or shooting extra scenes for Infinity War is rather easy, so it’s possible there may be some additional Infinity War content yet to be shot even as filming on Avengers 4 gets underway.
Whatever the case, it’s interesting (and somewhat heartening) to know that Infinity War and Avengers 4 are being shot separately. If the Russos and Marvel really want to make these movies visually distinct from one another, this is a solid plan of attack.