Avengers: Infinity War is the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that will finally marry the Earthbound and cosmic sides of the MCU. That means the Guardians of the Galaxy are finally joining forces with the Avengers, all to fight against Thanos and his quest for the Infinity Stones.
Most of the action we’ve seen in Infinity War trailers so far seems to take place on Earth. And that makes sense; as the movie’s writers pointed out during a recent interview with GameSpot, half the characters in the movie live on Earth, and several of the Infinity Stones happen to be here.
But Infinity War won’t be as Earth-centric as you might suspect, it turns out.
“I will say we tried very hard to make it not 100% Earth, to make it pretty–I would say it’s 50/50,” Infinity War co-writer Chris Markus told GameSpot.
“Thanos is a cosmic character,” said Joe Russo, one of Infinity War‘s co-directors. “I think there’s a lot of really exotic locations in the movie, throughout the universe. It paints on a wide canvas.”
“I think if you saw [the 22 minutes of Infinity War that’s been screened], it’s more balanced between Earth and the cosmic,” added Anthony Russo, the movie’s other co-director. “I think when you see the movie, you’ll see the balance even more.”
Markus continued that they Earth in Infinity War to be “representative of the universe, not ‘the most special planet ever.’ You don’t want Earth to be, you know, America first.”
That of course brings up Wakanda, the fictional African nation we finally got to know in this year’s well-loved Black Panther. Based on what we’ve seen in Infinity War trailers so far, it seems much of the movie takes place in Wakanda.
It’s easy to forget, though, that with Black Panther and Infinity War coming out mere months apart, they couldn’t have possibly known that Wakanda would become such a popular place–or how it would be received at all.
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“It’s lucky that [fans] liked that movie!” said Stephen McFeely, Infinity War’s other co-writer. McFeely and Markus wrote all three Captain America movies, plus Thor: The Dark World, but had nothing to do with Black Panther.
“You just have to have confidence,” Markus said.
“In charting out the story, [Wakanda] was the best place for this part of the movie to go,” McFeely explained. “We all sat around, and Marvel said, ‘Well, they’ll have just been there three months ago, is that a good idea? Let’s talk about that,’ And we tried to find some other way, and we’re like ‘No, this is what’s best for the story.’ And Marvel said, ‘If it’s best for the story, leave it in–and fingers crossed that it’s not boring that we go there again.'”
“And we consulted with them, to see what their battle looked like, what they were doing, so that we weren’t serving the exact same dish,” Markus added.
McFeely said test audiences responded much differently to Infinity War before and after Black Panther hit theaters earlier this year.
“The week before Black Panther came out, we get to Wakanda and people go, ‘Oh, that’s interesting,'” he said. “The week after, people go, ‘Holy crap! Oh my god!’ It’s just free character, it’s free delight, that we didn’t have to work for, you know. It’s very satisfying.”
Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters this Friday, April 27.