The Making of Avengers: Endgame
With the release of the movie on 26th April 2019, Avengers Endgame has set records on fire by grossing over $1.22 billion /Rs. 8,506 cr worldwide during it’s opening weekend. This is Marvel’s 3rd movie that has grossed over the $1 billion mark, with the other two being Captain America:Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Based on the Infinity Saga from the Marvel Comics, the movie is the last addition to the 11-year narrative. The longest movie in the Marvel Comics Universe (MCU), with a screen time of over 3 hours, the movie describes how the earth’s mightiest heroes, The Avengers, kill the mad titan Thanos and Avenge the Fallen.
“Whatever it takes”
Marvel had already planted the seeds for a spectacular ending of the Infinity Saga. It introduced the Infinity Stones individually in separate movies. Like, the Space Stone (Tesseract) in Captain America: The First Avenger, the Mind Stone in Loki’s Scepter in Marvel’s The Avengers, the Reality Stone as the “Aether” in Thor: The Dark World, the Power Stone within the orb in Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Time Stone within the “Eye of Agamotto” in Doctor Strange.
In 2014, Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, hinted that they were planning to have the sequel in two parts and that there would be 3 years gap between Avengers: Age of Ultron and the sequel. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely began working on the script during the filming of the Civil War. As the movie housed nearly all the MCU characters, the Endgame saw an integration of all the directors who had directed different movies for Marvel Studios.
Alongside the original comics and the past Marvel movies, the Russo Brothers also looked for inspiration from films like “2 Days in the Valley” and “Out of Sight” to serve the fans with the best climax.
Originally, there were two drafts for the Infinity War. The first one saw Thanos as the narrator, and also had backstories related to the Black Order members. In the second, the movie started with Thanos already wielding the Power Stone. Though the first draft helped the writers to dive into Thanos’ character, both the drafts were discarded. Unlike Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame features mainly an original story that does not draw inspiration from any existing comics.
Both the films, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame were shot at the Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Georgia, United States. The Infinity Was was filmed before the Endgame, as stated by Kevin Feige in April 2017. Although, some scenes were shot simultaneously as per the availability of the cast. Apart from the studio, scenes were also shot in Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland, New York and Atlanta in United States, and Ifugao in Phillipines. The filming for Infinity War began on 23rd January 2017 and concluded on 14th July 2017.
While the filming for the Avengers: Endgame began on 10th August 2017 and was wrapped up by 11th January 2018. The Avengers: Infinity War is the first film to be entirely shot with IMAX digital cameras with the Avengers: Endgame being the Second. About 890 hours of footage was shot for both the films. Reshoots occured twice for the second film, one in September 2018 and the next time in January 2019. Distributed by Walt Disney Studios, the Endgame’s cinematographer was Trent Opaloch and the music was given by Alan Silvestri.
The editing for both the movies was done by Jeffery Ford and Matthew Schmidt. As stated by Jeffery Ford, the two had made several cuts into the Infinity War to adjust the rhythm of the movie. He worked on Infinity War from December 2017 while Matthew Schmidt worked on the Endgame. Later, after the release of the Infinity War, the two teamed up and worked on the Avengers: Endgame. A month before the first trailer of the movie was released, Ford and Schmidt were only half done with the editing. In March 2019, the Russo Brothers confirmed that the editing was over and the final plot was locked.
A number of companies had worked together to make the Visual Effects for the movies; namely Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Framestore, Method Studios, Weta Digital, DNEG, Cinesite, Digital Domain, Rise, Lola VFX, Rise and Perception. The Sequences of the film were handed over to these companies in February 2017. All these companies had worked on individual scenes in the movie. Like Framestone worked on the New York fight scene and Weta Digital worked on the fight on Titan. Framestore spent a month on creating the environment that had to be recreated on the screen. What did it cost? 250,000 photos worth 15TB.
Digital Domain worked on the character of Thanos. For this they developed a specialized software that used machine learning to pick up the movements associated with each and every facial expression. The company created over 400 VFX shots only for Thanos. In total, there are about 3,000 VFX shots in the whole movie.
Iron Man’s spectacular Mark 50 suit that housed nanotechnology, the Black Order members and Spider Man’s Iron Spider armor were carefully sieved into the flim by Framestore. This took over 2 years to work on.
A team of 30 took 2 months to create 26 shots involving Doctor Strange for the film!
How much were the heroes paid?
- Chris Hemworth – $15 million / Rs.104 cr
- Chris Evans – $15 million / Rs. 104 cr
- Robert Downey Jr – $50 – 200 million / Rs. 347 – 1391 cr
- Scarlett Johansson – $15 million / Rs. 104 cr
- Jeremy Renner – $15 million / Rs. 104 million
- Mark Ruffalo – $15 million / Rs. 104 million
Robert Downey Jr was paid $15 million for his minute long cameo in Spider Man: Homecoming. Payments of other actors are not revealed yet.
The role of Sherlock Holmes was played both by Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch. The Russos avoided a Sherlock Holmes joke when Strange meets Stark because they felt it was a very obvious joke. Well, Robert Downey Jr. played the role of Holmes in the 2 films Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011). While, Benedict portrayed the character in the television series of Sherlock.
The cast of the Infinity War were not handed over the scripts before hand. Actually, no actor had the entire script. Apart from these measures, fake scenes were also filmed to protect the secrecy of the film.
Avengers: Endgame is the first MCU movie to have no post credit scenes. Also, Avengers: Infinity War had only one post credit scene and that wasn’t too long. The Russo Brothers had planned this intentionally as they wanted the ending to be definitive one.
Avengers: Endgame is less than $50 million / Rs. 347 cr away from being the highest grossing film in history. It is now at $2.73 billion / Rs. 18,968 cr mark. Apart from this, Endgame is the first movie to cross the Rs. 300 cr mark / $43 million.
Nearly 90% were told that they were attending Tony and Pepper’s marriage, instead of their wedding.
Phil Saunders, is the uncelebrated person who designed all of Iron Man’s suits. As a kid, Phil wished to be a concept designer, whose inspiration was drawn from watching Star Wars. He did the designing work for theme parks, automobiles and game companies before moving towards Marvel. His work is very expressive and fascinating. He designed nearly all of the suits we’ve seen him wearing. Hulkbuster, Mark 43 in Civil War, Bleeding Edge in Endgame and Infinity War, and the War Machine too.
All cost related figures are updated as on 13 June 2019. Including dollar to rupee conversions.