In the last 10 years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become bigger than anyone could imagine. Less than a month ago, fans saw the premiere of a film often referred to as one of the biggest crossovers in the history of cinema. Avengers: Infinity War blew the minds of the fans, made their jaws drop down to the floor, and broke their hearts. It became one of the most successful movies in the MCU. It has already broken quite a few records, and it continues breaking more. It sold the biggest number of presale tickets, it had the highest-grossing opening weekend, and it was the quickest to cross the $1-billion mark at the worldwide box office.
What else should we expect from this film and from other MCU movies? We'll see! For now, we can only be grateful to everyone who is behind the creation of this universe for maintaining such a high standard. Also, we can learn how these movies were created and laugh at behind-the-scenes memes. Believe me, some of them will make even the biggest fans look at the MCU in a completely different way.
Ready to have a peek behind the scenes? Go ahead, but be careful - this article is full of Infinity War spoilers!
15 How Can They Keep A Straight Face?
Throughout the years, Hollywood gave us a number of action movies where characters do things we'd never do in real life. Some of them drive in a chaotic manner, or run around hazardous objects in dangerous places. Others fight with their enemies, fly around, or even do magic. When we watch these movies, we just enjoy the beautifully made scenes and rarely think about the way they were filmed.
Let's take Avengers: Age of Ultron as an example. When we were watching it, we were thrilled with the final battle against Ultron's minions. Remember how all the Avengers were protecting the large chunk of vibranium and preventing Ultron from destroying the city of Sokovia (and the whole world along with it)? It was such an exciting scene! All of the Avengers were standing side by side and displaying their power to the enemy. Thor was flying around with his Mjolnir, Captain America was punching every robot that'd come close to him. Scarlet Witch was manipulating the reality around her and throwing the robots away with the help of her mind. Awesome!
However, when this epic scene was being filmed, everything looked completely different. There were no robots, Thor was only floating around on piano strings, Cap was beating the air, and Wanda was waving her hands in a strange way. I wonder how many takes they had to shoot before everyone could do these strange things with a straight face.
14 Suddenly I Wish I Worked At A Comic Book Store
Benedict Cumberbatch is an awesome guy, and everyone knows it. He's a great actor who seems to be able to play any role – from Sherlock to Smaug the Dragon, from Stephen Hawking to Thomas Edison. Even in his solo Doctor Strange movie, this man managed to play two characters - Stephen Strange himself and his archenemy Dormammu. At the same time, Cumberbatch is a loving hubby and father, as well as the man with manners and exquisite sense of humor.
In addition, even though so many people adore Benedict, he doesn't have the stardom disease so many celebrities are suffering from. He's a very down-to-earth guy, who likes to communicate with his fans from time to time. For example, when he was on the set of Doctor Strange back in 2016, he decided to go to a comic book store and purchase a Doctor Strange comic book, not even dropping his character.
I can only guess how excited everyone was when Benedict entered the store dressed as Doctor Strange! I mean, it's every comic book fan's dream to meet their favorite character in real life and take a photo with him.
Thank you, Benedict, for proving once again how cool you are!
13 Does Anyone Have This Copy?
And now we're coming back to the way our favorite action movies are being made. In the first entry, we saw a photo of the Avengers fighting with invisible robots, and here, we can get a glimpse of how the Guardians of the Galaxy movie was created. We all know that Rocket Raccoon was voiced by Bradley Cooper and Groot had the voice of Vin Diesel. But since both characters have very, um, unusual looks, Cooper and Diesel weren't the people who played them on set.
On the set of Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket was created using a variety of techniques. First, his movements were motion-captured, while Sean Gunn (the film director's brother) was playing him. Secondly, they used a life-size version of a raccoon in some scenes (like in the one from the post above). Then, of course, there was a lot of work done in post-production.
Rocket's wooden friend, Groot, was created digitally. He was given decent musculature that looked exactly like that of a human. Special attention was given to his eyes, because they were to show Groot's emotions.
But on set, there was an actor who was holding Groot's place and wearing a helmet with Groot's head on top of it, so that the actors knew where to look when talking to him.
We all remember how epic and realistic the result looked, but it'd be so fun to see the footage before all the effects were added!
12 Angry Little Stark
Oh my God! Here's another way Hollywood deceives us: until we learn the actual height of an actor, we can never guess how tall or short they are. In the movie, it seems that Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, has the same (or almost the same) height as his colleagues. However, in reality, Robert Downey Jr. is much shorter than Chris Evans (Steve Rogers, aka Captain America), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), and all other male superheroes.
In order to help you understand the difference in height and realize that the photo you see above is real, let me tell you how tall some of the MCU actors are. Robert Downey Jr. is 5'8'', which is 172 centimeters. Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston, who you see right next to him in the photo above are 6 feet (183 centimeters) and 6'1'' (187 centimeters). FYI, Chris Hemsworth (Thor) has an enormous height of 6'3'' (which is 190 centimeters). Next to him, RDJ should look like a very small human being!
However, in the movies, we see that RDJ doesn't look short at all. How do they do it? Do they use some sort of CGI magic to make the actor look taller than he is? In fact, everything is much simpler...
11 Oh, That's How They Do It!
Are you ready to learn the secret behind Robert Downey Jr.'s increased height on the set of Avengers? Just look at the meme above - he's wearing killer heels, just like Pepper Pots does in Iron Man! And, if you take a closer look at RDJ's photos at award ceremonies, opening nights, and other events, you'll see that he's wearing boots and sneakers with rather large platforms.
It doesn't only make him look taller next to his fellow actors, but also lets him be quite stylish.
In fact, while Downey Jr. doesn't mind wearing heels and platforms, but he's not ashamed by his natural height either. He just thinks that doing it isn't a big deal. "There's nothing to talk about there - lots of actors do that, both now and in the past," the actor stated at one of his interviews. "Tom Cruise. Or read up on John Wayne, who even had lifts in his car so he'd look taller driving."
When the man's right, the man's right. Who cares how tall he is, especially when he's such a brilliant actor? Even though it's funny to see Iron Man wearing these super high heels, we don't love him less after it, do we?
10 Go Hawkeye!
Many people keep on saying that Hawkeye is the least important Avenger. Additionally, he doesn't really have any superpowers, so he can't even be called a superhero. Well, it's right that he doesn't have a super-weapon, like Thor's hammer or Cap's shield. He also can't fly and do magic, like Scarlet Witch or Doctor Strange. He doesn't have a super-suit, like Iron Man, and isn't super strong, like Hulk. All he has is his bow and arrows.
At times, it seems that even Clint Barton realizes his lack of strength compared to other Avengers. Remember how he said to Wanda in Age of Ultron, "The city is flying and we're fighting an army of robots. And I have a bow and arrow. Nothing makes sense." The man was right.
However, Hawkeye is still worthy of being called an Avenger. Even though he only shoots his arrows and fights his enemies with his own fists, he's good at both. He's also selfless and brave, just like all other superheroes. In addition, he's actually fabulous!
Just take a look at the photos from the meme above. While everyone is discussing the scene with a straight face, Hawkeye is standing like a runway model and pulling faces. Isn't it hilarious?
9 CGI Is A Powerful Thing
We have already discussed how Groot and Rocket were made beautifully and flawlessly. But they were one of the many characters who required such a huge commitment on behalf of the CGI team. There were countless heroes and villains, including the recently introduced Ebony Maw, Proxima Midnight, Cull Obsidian, Corvus Glaive, and, of course, Thanos himself. All of the actors had to do rather weird things on the set and wear strange clothes that allowed the CGI team to work on their appearance in the movie.
Now let's talk about one of the superheroes who also required some serious CGI work.
It was the Hulk. We all know that Bruce Banner was played by Mark Ruffalo, but few of us realize that Hulk was also performed by this brilliant actor. What we're talking about here is the facial expressions and bodily movements of the green giant. Ruffalo gave it all to Hulk.
It's interesting that Mark Ruffalo didn't just come to play in a motion-capture suit one day. He was prepared to make his character as realistic as possible. For that, the actor trained with the man behind multiple CGI characters - with Andy Serkis (he played Gollum in Lord of the Rings, Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars, etc). That's what I call a commitment!
8 Oh, Tom...
If Peter Parker is Spider-Man, then Tom Holland is no one but a Spoiler-Man. Seriously, there are few other actors who are so good (or should I say, so bad?) at spoiling the movies they play in. In the MCU, there's only one other actor with similar inclinations - it's Mark Ruffalo, whose commitment to the role of Hulk we've just discussed in the previous entry.
It's a fact that filmmakers have already decided not to show full scripts to Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo in order to avoid spoilers. But I'm sure they understand (and you should also understand) that neither Tom nor Mark do it purposefully. Spoilers just, sort of, come out...
The fun thing is that Marvel Studios seems to have found a way to deal with Tom's carelessness. Now Benedict Cumberbatch gives interviews together with him and prevents him from blurting out some of the secrets. Among other things, Cumberbatch would jump into the conversation and answer questions for Tom, or simply bleep his words. Hopefully, the young man will eventually learn from his experienced colleague to keep his mouth shut when necessary.
If only Ruffalo also had such a teacher, when he was a younger actor...
7 Epic Superhero Selfie
In the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War, we saw an epic scene, where two Avengers, Iron Man and Bruce Banner, united with two Sorcerers, Doctor Strange and Wong, in a battle with the Black Order. Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian, the Children of Thanos, came to the Earth to take Infinity Stones for their master. But, of course, neither of the stone keepers wanted to give their stones to the Mad Titan.
The four superheroes started fighting Thanos' minions, but eventually they lost the fight, because Doctor Strange was taken onto Ebony Maw's ship. For this reason, Tony Stark did his best to get onto the ship along with Spider-Man, while Wong remained to guard the New York sanctum and Bruce Banner decided to find Steve Rogers and his team to warn them about the danger.
It all was so epic that few of us could think about the way these scenes were made.
And here, we're not talking about CGI or motion capture stuff. We're talking about the way the four awesome actors - Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, and Mark Ruffalo - worked on the set (how they had fun and took selfies afterwards). In the selfie above, it seems that the four of them were having the best time!
6 And We Have... Never Mind, You Win
Most often, when we watch superhero movies, we root for the protagonist and hate the villain. But sometimes, it doesn't happen this way, not because we don't want to root for the main hero (we still do), but because it's literally impossible to hate the villain.
There are a few examples of lovable villains, and the brightest of them are Joker played by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight and Loki played by Tom Hiddleston in the MCU. It doesn't mean that these characters were similar in any way (they were completely different, in fact), but they still share a common trait - both of them are amazingly charismatic.
Ever since the first movie about Thor came out, Loki received an army of fans. Even though he re,aomed a villain in the first Avengers movie, this army didn't become smaller. In fact, it even got bigger. Loki did a lot of bad things in the MCU, such as trying to get power over Asgard multiple times, faking his own death, sending his father to the Earth realm, and lying to everyone around him. However, he always had the army of fangirls, who are now crying over his fate in Infinity War... #sobbing
5 So Many Namesakes
When the set is full of awesome superheroes and brilliant actors who play them, it's inevitable to have at least a few namesakes around. In Infinity War, there were quite a few of them both on screen and behind the scenes. For example, Star Lord and Spider-Man had quite a few scenes where they were fighting side by side, and I'm not sure that all of us immediately realized that the real name of both of them was Peter.
It's even stranger that they didn't play around this fact in the movie.
Other than these two namesakes, there were quite a few actors in the film who shared the same name. There were three Chris' - Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), and Chris Pratt (Star Lord). There also were two Toms - Tom Hiddleston (Loki) and Tom Holland (Spider-Man), as well as two Benedicts - Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) and Benedict Wong (who's called Wong in the movie, as well).
I wonder if they had any problems coordinating the actors on set. Or did they give everyone special nicknames, so that the actors could understand that the director was talking to them? I think the easiest way was to call them by the names of superheroes they were playing, wasn't it?
4 Wanna Learn The Dance Of My People?
Back in 2012, the first Avengers movie appeared on the big screen. It was great, it was epic, and it was–well, marvelous. To date, it's considered to be one of the best MCU movies. It was the first film to assemble Earth's Mightiest Heroes (in particular Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the Hulk) to fight against the serious threat against the humanity. They had to defeat Loki and his army of Chitauri from invading the planet, while preventing a nuclear bomb from exploding in the center of New York city.
Of course, all their endeavors were successful. They prevented the World's End and became national heroes. Go Avengers!
In the meantime, the actors were having a lot of fun on set. All the actors involved in the filming are cool people with a great sense of humor, so we can only imagine the amount of jokes behind the scenes and how these people bonded during filming. As we see in the photo above, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth became so close that they even decided to come up with a dance of their friendship. It's too bad that we never saw the full version of it. It seems that both actors added quite a few cool moves to the dance.
3 The God Of Mischief Is At It Again
Let's come back to Tom Hiddleston. I mean, isn't he awesome? He's a brilliant actor, who gave life to one of the most charming movie villains ever. He is also so funny. We've seen him having fun with many other MCU actors, in particular with Chris Hemsworth and Benedict Cumberbatch, who are good friends with him.
Even though Tom doesn't seem to be a villain, it seems that he and Loki have at least one thing in common: Both of them kind of like stealing things. Loki tried to steal the Tesseract several times. At first, he wanted to do it for Thanos, but eventually he did it for some other mysterious reason. Perhaps he just couldn't pass by the Space Stone when he saw it in Asgard. And in the photo above, we can see that Hiddleston also likes to take the things that don't belong to him. He stole Captain America's shield and Thor's hammer, and, we must admit, he looks very happy about it!
It means that other actors should be careful with their props, when Tom is hanging around nearby. He'd certainly be glad to also take Doctor Strange's necklace and Thanos' infinity gauntlet.
2 Are They Team Tony?
Okay, here's proof that these four were having the time of their life on the set of Avengers: Infinity War. During one of the breaks, they were having lunch together and made this awesome selfie. But they didn't think that Chris Evans would see the tweet with this photo and realize that he wasn't invited to their little get-together. Ouch...
If it happened before the Civil War between Team Tony and Team Cap began in Captain America: Civil War, I'd assume that it was the real reason the two characters started having difficulties. But since it happened after all the fighting, it must have just added more fuel to the fire.
On the other hand, how could these four invite Cap to their lunch if they didn't even know where he was? From the point of view of the law, he was a jailbreaker and a criminal. He was running around and observing how everything was happening, helping Wanda and Vision out in Scotland, and then joining forces with Wakanda. Did he really have time for lunch? It seems unlikely!
But, of course, we understand that Chris Evans was joking in his tweet, and we do love him for his sense of humor!
1 Thank God There's Marvel!
In the movies, Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch, looks so incredibly cool when she's doing her magic and manipulating the reality around her. She's so powerful that it took her only a couple of moves to scatter away half of the Outriders army that was attacking Wakanda in Infinity War.
But, as we could understand from some of the entries above, what we see on the screen is completely different to what's actually going on during filming. Obviously, Elizabeth Olsen doesn't have the powers of Scarlet Witch, and on set she couldn't emit these red waves from her hands. She was only moving in weird ways, and all the magic was added in post-production. Seeing how Olsen looked like on set, we can't but think that she was repelling a mosquito that was flying around her or performing some sort of rain dance.
Speaking about Elizabeth Olsen, it's worth mentioning that the actress thinks that Scarlet Witch's story in Infinity War is her favorite so far. She says that she feels "more confident and comfortable on set", because now she better understands her character. It seems that the actress is actually thankful for the opportunity to join the MCU. Well, who wouldn't be?