When it comes to a movie as massive as Avengers: Infinity War, with such an intense fan interest, fans pore over every single piece of available footage to try and get some idea of what the full film entails during the lead-up to release. But when folks finally saw the incredibly secretive Infinity War, they were surprised to find that some of the scenes in the trailers—including one major “hero shot” in particular—not only weren’t in the movie, but made no sense.
Indeed, the aforementioned hero shot shows Cap, Black Widow, Black Panther, Hulk, etc. all running towards the camera in Wakanda. Only in the finished movie, these characters never team up and run towards the camera, and Hulk never re-appears. So what gives? Did the film go through massive changes at the last minute?
As it turns out, this was an intentional misdirect crafted by the film’s directors, Joe and Anthony Russo. The duo confirmed on a recent appearance on Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast that when putting together the film’s trailers, they wanted to keep the surprises intact for audiences. Joe Russo explained that they used footage captured for entirely different scenes to stitch together that hero shot in particular:
“We use all the material that we have at our disposal to create a trailer. We look at the trailer as a very different experience than the movie, and I think audiences are so predictive now that you have to be very smart about how you craft a trailer because an audience can watch a trailer and basically tell you what’s gonna happen in the film. We consume too much content. So at our disposal are lots of different shots that aren’t in the movie that we can manipulate through CG to tell a story that we want to tell specifically for the purpose of the trailer and not for the film.”
Anthony Russo confirmed this hero shot was never in the film to begin with:
“That shot that you’re referencing was never in the movie in the version that you saw. It was never even created for the movie in that version. It was literally created in that version for the trailer.”
Fans have also pointed out that the Thanos line, “Fun isn’t something one considers when balancing the universe, but this does put a smile on my face,” also doesn’t appear in the film, but Joe Russo says that wasn’t a misdirect—that line was in the movie, but was changed during post-production:
“That was a scripted line for the movie that we replaced with another line that we thought was a little more specific to the storytelling with Gamora. I think he used to say that on Nowhere to Gamora when he emerged from the Reality Cloak as the aether exposed him. And I think we changed it to something that was a little more specific to the storytelling.”
Ultimately, the misdirects were a welcome reprieve from the onslaught of marketing that usually reveals 2/3 of a movie before you even see it—especially with Disney, who is well known for going full-court press in the month leading up to release. So now we know when the trailer for Avengers 4 drops, maybe don’t take the whole thing at face value.