Warning! “Avengers: Infinity War” spoilers!
There was one “Infinity War” death so shocking a Marvel executive tried to stop it, but if we’re talking about the demise that was nothing but feels, that goes to our friendly neighborhood hella dead Spider-Man.
At the end of the new “Avengers” film, Thanos (Josh Brolin) snaps his Infinity Gauntlet–clad finger and causes many of the Marvel Cinematic Universe characters to crumble to dust instantaneously. Spider-Man, however, receives an extended final moment, allowing Tom Holland to deliver a tear-jerking and mostly improvised death scene.
“I don’t feel so good. I don’t know what’s happening,” he says after Thanos’ snap. “I don’t want to go. I don’t want to go, Mr. Stark, please,” he mumbles, embracing Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) as he melts away to nothing.
So why did Spidey get so much time to deliver a heartbreaking monologue, while his compatriots died on the spot?
In an interview with HuffPost, directors Joe and Anthony Russo confirmed the reason: It was due to his Spidey sense, his ability to perceive danger before it hits.
“That’s correct,” Joe Russo said after I asked if Peter Parker’s Spidey sense was behind the early warning. “He was aware of something.”
Though it’s a mainstay power of the character in the Marvel comics, Spidey sense wasn’t established in the previous Spider-Man solo film “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” In fact, it was big news among fans when “Infinity War” showed Peter had Spidey sense in his repertoire in the trailers for the film.
Now we know why.
It all led to Holland’s delivering the most emotional scene of the movie, inspiring memes everywhere:
But the Spidey sense inquiry was far from the only question I had in the wake of watching and rewatching “Infinity War.” Since I had the Russo brothers on the phone, I posed a few more questions for the directors to clear up:
Why is Gamora?
It’s the question on everyone’s minds.
In “Infinity War,” the Guardians of the Galaxy crew initially assumes that the Avengers are working with Thanos and thus have custody of Star-Lord’s boo, Gamora (Zoe Saldana).
So when Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) meets the Avengers, he asks Iron Man, “Where is Gamora?” Iron Man responds, “I’ll do you one better: Who is Gamora?” Drax (Dave Bautista) follows that up with the nonsensical but earnest, “I’ll do you one better: Why is Gamora?”
Really, though: Why is Gamora?
When I asked Joe Russo about the line and whether he has pondered an answer to it, he got a little philosophical. “Why do you think is Gamora?” he asked me, inscrutably. “I don’t know if there is an answer in Drax’s twisted brain.”
Anthony Russo said, “No, sometimes [you] just wonder, has he made a connection there?”
“Remember, this is a man who thinks he can stand so incredibly still that he’s invisible,” Joe Russo said.
What was the secret behind Captain America’s phone number?
A gag in “Infinity War” is that Tony Stark has the number for Captain America (Chris Evans) on a flip phone if he’s needed. The movie prominently shows Cap’s number (678-136-7092) on screen.
The Marvel movies are known for Easter eggs, and this had all the markings of one. But if you were one of the many people who called the number after seeing the film, you know the number doesn’t work and appears to be random. So what’s the point?
“We actually had intended to create a fake voicemail from Steve Rogers,” Joe Russo said. “For the people that left the theater and called that number, they would get a voicemail from Steve Rogers.”
“And that number was the actual number that we were going to use. We were sort of given that number,” said Anthony Russo.
Sadly, the movie’s affiliated legal department got in the way.
“We had it all ready to go, but legal took that away from us,” he added.
Can Groot regenerate from the handle of Stormbreaker?
The end of the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” gave us a new Groot (Vin Diesel), showing us that the treelike creature can regenerate after pretty severe injuries. So given that Groot spared some of his body to create the handle of Thor’s new Stormbreaker weapon, some people have been wondering: Can that handle eventually turn into a new Groot?
Joe Russo left it up in the air.
“I don’t know if every piece of him that detaches ... can grow a future version of him, but who’s to say? That’s an interesting question.”
Was “dad” really Groot’s last word in the script?
Before Groot disappears at the snap of Thanos’ finger, he lets out one last “Groot” to Rocket (Bradley Cooper). “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn said the last word translates to “dad.” Was that word actually in the script?
“It was, and it was ‘dad,’” said Anthony Russo.
Why did everyone’s clothes disappear too?
When peeps start disappearing in “Infinity War,” so do their clothes. But clothes don’t die. Clothes are forever, until you shrink them in the laundry. That’s how it works for me. So what’s going on here?
Joe Russo explained that the clothes disappear because they are “part of their identity.”
“Whatever was elemental to somebody’s presence went with them,” Anthony Russo said.
Should people blame Star-Lord?
The Avengers devise a plan to get the Infinity Gauntlet off Thanos’ hand by slipping it off after Mantis (Pom Klementieff) incapacitates him with her empathy/mind-controlling capabilities. It almost works, but Star-Lord ruins everything by punching Thanos in the face after he learns Gamora is dead.
Thanos gets out of Mantis’ grasp, and the destruction of half the life in the universe ensues.
Star-Lord has been getting a lot of hate since the movie was released. Does he deserve it?
The directors said no.
“His mother was dying of cancer when he was kidnapped by pirates at the age of 10. He was raised by pirates. He had to murder his father to avenge the death of his mother. His girlfriend, who he was in love with, was murdered by another corrupt paternal figure ... He made a very emotional choice,” said Joe Russo.
Anthony Russo reiterated that the shock of Gamora’s death just lets Star-Lord’s emotions get the better of him, adding that Thor also makes this mistake.
“Thor also let his emotions get the better of him. Thor could’ve killed Thanos more quickly than he tried to with the ax. He showed up, and he took a moment — because of his anger, because of his motivation — to tell Thanos that he told him he would die ... and finish him off in a very deliberate way. Thor sort of got lost in his emotions in a similar way as Star-Lord and could also have been responsible for Thanos.”
According to Joe Russo, the mistakes the characters make are all about relatability.
“They make very human choices. I think if we learn anything from narrative is to put yourself inside the POV of someone — or the character itself — you should be able to empathize with that character, understand the choices that they make,” he said.
Was the movie inspired by “The Leftovers”?
Not only do the projects both involve a bunch of people vanishing to some unknown fate, but they both also star actress Carrie Coon, who plays Nora in “The Leftovers” and Proxima Midnight in “Infinity War.”
Is there any inspiration?
Joe Russo said Coon was in the project just because “she’s one of the best actresses working today.” It had nothing to do with a “Leftovers” connection.
He also said he believes “The Leftovers” might have been inspired by the Marvel comic writer Jim Starlin’s ‘Infinity Gauntlet’ story (a source for “Infinity War”) “in the first place.”
“It’s just a cyclical loop there. But we’re just drawing from the original source material,” said Joe Russo.
Did Drax really disappear, or is he just standing still?
Drax disappeared along with half the other heroes at the end of the movie, but as the directors mentioned, he believes he possesses the ability to stand so still, he becomes invisible.
Did he really disappear? Or was he just standing reallllly still?
“That’s a spoiler,” joked Joe Russo.
“That’s to be decided,” Anthony Russo said, laughing. “All we know is what we can gather from the film. Anything more than that can potentially be addressed down the line.”
It seems there’s a chance we may see Drax again, after all. You know, if he ever moves.