Avengers: Endgame director Joe Russo says only one copy of the script exists, the rest are fake
Marvel fans often complain about hearing spoilers, but that doesn’t stop them from trying their best to uncover them. But chances of unearthing new information about Avengers: Endgame are low, considering the incredible lengths to which Marvel goes to protect its secrets. One half of the directing duo the Russo Brothers, Joe Russo has said that during Avengers: Infinity War, “only copy of the film existed on one single iPad, and only a handful of people read that original draft and every other script that existed was fake”.
He said at Monday’s press event in New Delhi that the same strategy was employed on Endgame, “but even more so”.
Russo said that the most basic reason for this is to protect the actors during press interviews. “If they don’t know the story then they can’t slip up,” he said. He continued, invoking plausible deniability, “It’s a lot easier for them to not say things if they don’t know.”
In the past, Marvel Cinematic Universe actors such as Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo have unwittingly revealed major spoilers from films, ahead of release. In 2017, with several months to go till Infinity War’s release, Ruffalo had said in an interview to Good Morning America, “Wait till you see this next one, half... everybody dies.”
Russo, who directs with his brother Anthony, said with a hint of pride, “We’re the ones who withhold the script from the actors.” He said that they often restrict actors’ scripts to their scenes. “Thor in Infinity War doesn’t need to know whats going on with Captain America,” he said. “Their motivations aren’t related because they’re in completely different stories.”
To address these potentially sticky situations, where an actor might question his or her character’s arc, Russo said that he and his brother “have very thoughtful conversations with the actors about their motivations and about specific scenes.” He continued, “If we’re trying to hide something, then well elicit a performance from them using different tactics.”
Some of these tactics include “clearing the sets for important moments” and making sure that “there’s very few people who know exactly what happens”.
It has been said that this elite club of Marvel insiders includes the Russos, president of the studio Kevin Feige, the screenwriting duo Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and star Robert Downey Jr - who has been instrumental in the series success.
“I have an admission to make,” Downey had said on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “When we had those long set-ups, I was writing fake scripts... As a good company man, they’ve indoctrinated me to the point where I was like Manchurian Candidate.”
Actor Karen Gillan, who plays Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, corroborated this process on the Shoot This Now podcast, “We didn’t even get a script, there was no script. Just my scenes. I’d sometimes get them just in the morning, do them, hand them back over at the end of the day. The directors would fill us in on everything that we needed in terms of context, but still, I don’t know what this movie’s about.”
Paul Bettany, who plays Vision in the films, told Hey You Guys earlier this year that “The secrecy around this film extended, this time, to the cast. I mean, really, it was crazy. We read scripts that were fake scripts and then they had fake twists and scenes that never were shot and you’d talk to the director and they’d say ‘all of that stuff at the end? Not happening.’ There were three Hero iPads that had the only real script on them.”
Avengers: Endgame stars Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and others. The film is set for an April 26 release in India, in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
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