Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you'll be aware that the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - Avengers: Infinity War - has stormed into cinemas worldwide. Don't worry - there won't be any spoilers here! However, we will say that audiences everywhere have been shocked, impressed, and a little bit traumatized by what went down in the movie. If you haven't seen it yet, why not?!
Of course, Avengers hype isn't exactly a new phenomenon. The MCU has been in full swing for a decade now, beginning with Iron Man all the way back in 2008. Since then, 18 more movies have chronicled the exploits of the world's - and the universe's - greatest heroes. The first crossover movie came in 2012's The Avengers, which saw the team uniting for the first time to save New York City. It's been a wild ride since then, but the world is still enamored with this motley crew - despite all of the changes and challenges they've faced.
But the question is, are the Avengers movies as fun to make as they are to watch? What goes on behind-the-scenes of these consistently popular flicks? Well, we think we have the answer to that second question, at least! We've collected together some of the juiciest behind-the-scenes secrets of the Avengers movies to date - and they're right here for your enjoyment!
22 Tom Holland Was Banned From Seeing Most Of Infinity War's Script
Tom Holland is one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's most popular rising stars. He's become the third actor to portray Spider-Man in the last twenty years, and so far, he's doing a pretty good job of it! As the Radio Times reported, Holland won the Rising Star Award at last year's BAFTAs and received a lot of praise for his performance in Spider-Man: Homecoming. He's also got a legion of adoring fans, mainly thanks to his British boyish charm.
However, nobody's perfect, and it seems like Holland has one pretty huge flaw: he just can't stop himself from revealing spoilers about the movies in which he stars! This has become particularly evident as the young star has traveled the world promoting Avengers: Infinity War.
According to Insider, Holland recently spoiled the eventual fate of Spider-Man in the movie to an entire theater full of fans.
We won't disclose exactly which spoiler he revealed, but it was BIG.
Apparently, even while Infinity War was still in the production stage its directors suspected that Holland may not be the best secret-keeper in the world. Nerdist reported that they tried to limit his ability to leak spoilers by only giving him small portions of the script to read! If Spider-Man wasn't in a scene, poor Tom wasn't allowed to know what was going on. It was a clever idea from the Russo brothers... Shame it didn't work!
21 Robert Downey Jr. Totally Ruled The Roost On-Set
Anyone who's ever watched an interview with Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr. can tell just how charismatic he is. He's a joker, a charmer, and a bona fide star! It's therefore not much of a surprise to hear that Downey Jr. was the life and soul of the party on the set of his various Marvel movies and that he totally ruled the roost!
For example, back when he was filming The Avengers, Downey Jr. constantly flaunted the "no food on set" rule enforced by the directors.
According to The Huffington Post, he would regularly hide small snacks here and there to access during filming. He was so masterful at it that nobody else could work out where his secret stash was located! At one point, Downey Jr's snacking habits actually made it into the final movie. That scene where Tony Stark offers Bruce Banner a grape was totally improvised, and it only took place because the actor just happened to be eating at the time.
This wasn't the only improvised moment that Downey Jr. snuck into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, when filming Iron Man he frequently just ignored the script that he was given and came up with his own hilarious alternative lines instead! According to Looper, director Jon Favreau was totally fine with this because, in reality, the script was nowhere near complete when filming began. Never mind - it all worked out fine in the end!
20 Tom Hiddleston's Loki Was Supposed To Disappear After The First Avengers Movie
Tom Hiddleston's Loki has appeared in five Marvel Cinematic Universe movies so far, and he's become an unexpected fan favorite! Considering the character is - initially at least - an antagonist, fans really, really seem to like him! In fact, the character's popularity amongst viewers led to his MCU storyline being vastly changed from its original course.
It's time to cast your minds back to the second movie in the Thor franchise: The Dark World. Thor, his then-girlfriend Jane Foster, and Loki all travel to Svartalfheim to confront the evil Malekith, a dark elf who's just dealt the brothers' mother, Frigga, a fatal blow. In a moment of redemption, Loki sacrifices himself to save Thor and Jane, apparently perishing from a fatal wound dealt by Malekith's henchman Algrim. Of course, later in the movie, it's revealed that this was a trick: Loki is alive and well, and is now posing as Odin to get access to the Asgardian throne.
However, according to Digital Spy, Loki's passing on Svartalfheim was supposed to be very final. Tom Hiddleston has admitted that he and Chris Hemsworth filmed that scene as if Loki was most definitely deceased, without the possibility of return! The character was only saved when test audiences reacted badly to the idea that he was gone for good. The final scene revealing that Loki had made it was filmed at the very last minute, and the character's place in the future of the MCU was confirmed.
19 Mark Ruffalo Is The Only Hulk Actor To Play The Green Guy And Bruce Banner
Spider-Man isn't the only MCU character to have had several changes in actor over the past few years. The Hulk - aka, affable scientist Bruce Banner - has also been recast a couple of times! Eric Bana took on the role in 2003's Hulk, while Edward Norton appeared in 2008's The Incredible Hulk. As Uproxx reported at the time, Norton abruptly left the franchise in 2010 prior to The Avengers being filmed, leading to Mark Ruffalo filling the green giant's shoes!
This third incarnation of Bruce Banner/ The Hulk has had the most staying power without a doubt. Ruffalo has now portrayed the character in five MCU films and is slated to appear once again in Avengers 4 next year.
Marvel finally seem to have found the right Hulk actor for them on their third attempt, and fans couldn't be happier!
As well as being generally great at playing the part of Dr. Banner, Mark Ruffalo holds a very special record when it comes to portraying this character. As Metro reports, he's the only actor to have portrayed both The Hulk and Bruce Banner! Edward Norton and Eric Bana both had stunt doubles perform the motion-capture for the Hulk, but Ruffalo has chosen to do it himself. He admitted to Metro that he does prefer playing Bruce Banner, though, simply because of the technology involved in bringing the Green Guy to life! That's fair enough - walking around with dots on your face can't be too fun!
18 In 'Age Of Ultron', Scarlett Johansson's Pregnancy Was Successfully Disguised
Avengers: Age of Ultron was a pretty eventful movie for Scarlett Johansson's character Black Widow. She began a relationship with Bruce Banner, only to end up heartbroken when he disappeared following the climactic battle in Sokovia. She once again helped to defend the Earth from a dangerous threat - the titular Ultron - and proved once again that she's one of the most impressive characters in the franchise. Who wouldn't want to be a butt-kicking assassin like Natasha Romanoff?
All in all, this movie gave Black Widow a lot of airtime thanks to her personal struggles and world-saving antics. However, despite being pretty visible on-screen for a lot of the film, Scarlett Johansson managed to disguise a pretty big secret from viewers. As E! Online notes, the actress was actually pregnant while starring in the movie! In fact, she was pretty much ready to give birth by the time filming concluded - shooting wrapped in August 2014, and the star welcomed her daughter Rose into the world a month later.
So how did the makers of Age of Ultron hide the fact that Johansson was expecting? Using technological wizardry, of course! The actress told E! that she had three stunt doubles for the movie, and that her face was often "grafted onto their bodies" in post-production. For scenes that required Johansson to be present, her bump was edited out in post-production - or she just conveniently stood behind various props! It did the job, as her pregnancy was totally hidden.
17 Gwyneth Paltrow Wasn't Allowed To Wear Shoes In The Avengers
Yep, you read that right: poor Gwyneth Paltrow had to go barefoot for all of her scenes in The Avengers! The actress made her third appearance as Pepper Potts in the movie, by which point the character was the girlfriend of Tony Stark - aka Iron Man. While Pepper wasn't a main character in The Avengers, she still appeared a couple of times while supporting (and occasionally berating) Tony.
Now, onto the question of Pepper's shoes - or, rather, her lack of them.
According to BathroomReader.com, Paltrow didn't forgo footwear for the fun of it! In fact, this happened due to her tall stature
. CelebHeights.com reports that Paltrow stands at 5 foot 9 inches, while Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr. measures in at closer to 5 foot 8.
The producers of The Avengers decided that Tony Stark should be at least the same height as Pepper Potts, if not a bit taller, but the actors' natural heights made this tricky! To solve this conundrum, Downey Jr. wore shoes with slight platforms, while Paltrow wore no shoes at all. Problem solved! Isn't it weird how movie heroines always have to be shorter than the heroes, though? Women can be tall too, guys - take it from an author who's 5 foot 10 inches!
16 The "New York" Battle Scene In The Avengers Was Mostly Filmed Elsewhere
Man, the events of the first Avengers movie feel like a distant memory now, don't they? Anyone who's seen Infinity War will know just how much things have now changed for our favorite group of superheroes! All those years ago, the climactic battle of The Avengers supposedly took place in New York. Aliens and Avengers alike caused huge amounts of damage in the city (looking at you, Hulk), although it could have been a lot worse if Captain America and co hadn't been there to save the day. The hustle and bustle of NYC was the perfect place for this big battle to take place, right?
Well, sorry to burst your bubble, New York fans, but the city itself actually barely features in that end battle scene. According to news outlet Cleveland.com, most of this sequence was shot in Ohio, with Cleveland's East Ninth Street doubling as NYC's 42nd Street. Filming in New York is incredibly disruptive and expensive for movie companies, so it's no wonder Marvel chose to go somewhere else! Two days in the Big Apple was all The Avengers' production team could manage. Still, you'd never know that the scenes were filmed elsewhere - they did a really good job of giving Cleveland a makeover!
15 The Superhero Costumes Are Incredibly Uncomfortable To Wear
There's no doubt about it: the Avengers' costumes are all pretty cool to look at. Captain America's classic outfit definitely fits his All-American Hero status. Iron Man's suit is just too impressive for words - it can do so many things, and it looks so majestic! It's Thor who looks the most regal, though, in his cape and Asgardian armor. They're not the only ones, either - the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the best sources of cosplay ideas out there.
Unfortunately, though, it seems like the actors behind these superheroes aren't quite as fond of their outfits as the rest of us are!
According to Looper, Paul Bettany finds his Vision costume borderline painful to endure, mainly because he can't hear properly while wearing it! Scarlett Johannson, on the other hand, claims that her Black Widow catsuit once got so hot that she started to hallucinate mid-scene. That doesn't seem healthy...
For his part, Thor actor Chris Hemsworth thinks his costume has actually got more comfortable over the years! He told Vanity Fair that after the events of Thor: Ragnarok, he no longer has to wear such a heavy wig. His armor is also a lot less bulky, much to the actor's relief! Even when you're as strong as Hemsworth, carrying all of that metal around all day can't be ideal...
14 Scarlett Witch Was Nearly Portrayed By Lindsay Lohan
Avengers: Age of Ultron saw the introduction of two new characters into the MCU fold: Quicksilver, portrayed by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Scarlet Witch, portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen. While these twin mutants both had some pretty impressive superpowers, only one of them made it out of the movie alive. Scarlet Witch has since made her mark in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, falling in love with Paul Bettany's Vision along the way.
It's hard to imagine anyone other than Olsen - the younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley, by the way - taking on this iconic role. However, she wasn't the only actress considered for the part! According to Syfy, Irish actress and Lady Bird star Saoirse Ronan was Joss Whedon's top pick for the part. In fact, he actually molded his ideas about the character's appearance and mannerisms around Ronan!
Unfortunately, though, she passed up on the chance to star in Age of Ultron, and the movie's producers had to look elsewhere.
Apparently, at one point "elsewhere" included bringing Lindsay Lohan in for a Scarlet Witch audition! According to The Daily Telegraph, Lohan claimed on her 2014 docu-series Lindsay that she was very close to securing a role in Age of Ultron. Since Scarlet Witch was the only major new female role in the film, we can safely assume this is the part the actress read for. However, it wasn't to be, allegedly due to Lohan's agent being too complacent. Poor Lindsay!
13 Robert Downey Jr. Earns A Whole Lot More Than His Co-Stars
Being asked to pick your favorite Avenger is a bit like being asked to choose a favorite child. They're all so cool, and all help to save the world in their own unique ways! While their roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are undoubtedly very different, each major player is arguably equally crucial to the overarching plot of the series.
Because of this, you'd think that the paychecks of each major Avengers actor would be about the same. Sure, maybe characters with less screentime - Hawkeye, for example - might earn a bit less, but big players like Captain America and Iron Man must be on the same pay grade, right? Well, apparently not. Robert Downey Jr. earns a substantial amount more than all of his colleagues - like, to a practically ridiculous degree.
Let's take Avengers: Age of Ultron as an example here. According to CinemaBlend, Mark Ruffalo took home $2.8 million for his role as the Hulk. That's no small sum! However, it is the lowest amount out of all of the main characters. Chris Evans took home $6.9 million, while Scarlett Johannson earned a whopping $20 million for her emotional turn as Black Widow! Downey Jr. can't have earned much more than that, right? Wrong. He took home double Johansson's salary and 20 times that of Ruffalo - a cool $40 million. Looks like Iron Man really is the star of the show!
12 The Aliens In The Avengers Went From Flashy To Fearsome
At the end of the first Avengers movie, New York finds itself under siege from a whole fleet of terrifying alien spacecraft. While Iron Man eventually manages to save the day with the help of an actual nuclear missile, these powerful enemies put up a pretty good fight in the process! The Chitauri were pretty creepy looking creatures, with the combination of their
reptilian features and slightly rough-around-the-edges aesthetic making them a formidable threat to the human race. It didn't help that they were serving Loki, who at the time was hell-bent on ruling Earth.
While the writers of The Avengers always had the Chitauri in mind as the alien enemies of the movie, the appearance of these extraterrestrial beings changed a lot in the pre-production process.
They weren't always the understated slightly-rusting-steel color that they eventually became in the final film! Speaking to i09, Avengers production designer James Chinlund revealed that these baddies were initially a lot flashier in appearance!
According to Chinlund, the Chitauri started life as "opalescent snowy white" creatures who wore gleaming gold armor. The design was supposed to reflect their regal origins, and project a sense of superiority: these guys thought that they could just saunter onto Earth and conquer our planet in mere minutes! However, Chinlund eventually settled for the more "battle-hardened" look that we see in the movie. To be fair, it makes sense for an army-for-hire to be a bit worn down. It shows just how many battles they've fought - and won!
11 Chris Evans And Jeremy Renner Were Called Out By Fans For Something Controversial
While Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner may portray virtuous superheroes on the big screen, in reality, they're fallible humans just like the rest of us. They make mistakes, and they don't always act in an honorable way - Captain America would be ashamed!
Jokes aside, Evans and Renner did face a lot of rightful criticism over their discussion of female MCU characters in the press tour for Avengers: Age of Ultron. In particular, their comments regarding Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow raised many eyebrows and provoked a disappointed and angry reaction amongst their fans. According to Time, the two relegated the character to the role of a "flirty sidekick", and even referred to her in derogatory terms. Obviously, this isn't the correct way to be speaking about any woman - fictional or otherwise. However, it's particularly worrying when the subject of these comments is one of the few strong, female role models in the MCU.
As Entertainment Weekly reported, both Renner and Evans quickly released statements apologizing for their inappropriate remarks, which were apparently just misplaced "jokes". For his part, Evans described the discussion as "juvenile and offensive", while Renner blamed an "exhausting and tedious press tour" for his "tasteless" comments. While some fans defended the actors' original words, calling them nothing more than sarcasm, others were severely let down by their idols' mistakes.
10 Thanos Wasn't Originally Going To Feature In The First Avengers Movie
While Infinity War may be the first Marvel movie that truly explores Thanos' character and motivations, it's certainly not the first film in the series in which this villain has cropped up. We first met this formidable mastermind in a post-credits scene following The Avengers! It was revealed that he was the brains behind Loki and the Chitauri's failed invasion of Earth. Following this, Thanos also featured as a background antagonist in Guardians of the Galaxy and cropped up in the mid-credits scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Marvel has been building up to his appearance in Infinity War for a long time!
However, having Thanos as a visible antagonist throughout the entirety of the MCU series wasn't initially the plan. In fact, his cameo in The Avengers was a last-minute addition that Joss Whedon tagged on to the end of the film!
Speaking to /Film, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confessed that including Thanos was all Whedon's idea, and was never meant to be part of some big, over-arching storyline.
While it looks like it was planned all along, it really wasn't!
Whedon confirmed in the same interview that adding in the Thanos scene came about thanks to a surprise moment of inspiration. In fact, he didn't think that Marvel would want to roll with it - at the time, they had no major plans for this villainous character! As we know, though, Whedon got his way, and the path to Infinity War began.
9 Ultron Actor James Spader Left The Rest Of The Avengers In Awe
In the final cut of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ultron actor James Spader is entirely unrecognizable. Through the power of CGI, this pretty normal human guy is transformed into a malicious, terrifying-looking android. You might think that this led to Spader having an easy job - since his actual presence was edited out of most scenes to make way for Ultron, he only really had to act with his voice, right?
Nope! Spader actually did much of the motion-capture work for Ultron too, appearing on-set with many dots on his face and a pole on his head to represent the character's true height. Yep, really. According to Nerdist, this was all revealed in the DVD extras for Age of Ultron: there's a clip of Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson acting alongside Spader in his wacky get-up. Considering the man himself hardly looks fearsome in his motion-capture outfit, his fellow cast members must have had to work hard to make sure they were interacting with this villain in an authentic way!
While this motion-capture acting is by no means easy for any actor to undertake, Spader apparently pulled it off with aplomb. CinemaBlend quotes Joss Whedon as calling the actor "wonderful" due to his willingness to embrace the technology. Plus, being suited and geared up apparently gave Spader the "distance from humanity" he needed to get into character as Ultron. All in all, he gave a pretty phenomenal performance!
8 Quicksilver Actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson Had A Lot Of Doubts About Starring In A Marvel Movie
Landing a part in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie must be the absolute dream for many actors. Not only do you get to act as an ACTUAL SUPERHERO for days on end, your career is given a major boost thanks to the popularity of the series. Oh, you also get to hang out with the likes of Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., and Chris Pratt. What's not to love?
However, not every actor out there has shown this expected enthusiasm when given the chance to join the MCU. A prime example of this is Quicksilver actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson. While the actor only ended up joining the franchise for one movie, he still apparently had serious misgivings when accepting this limited part.
According to Syfy, Taylor-Johnson wasn't sure that he could stand out in Age of Ultron when surrounded by an already-established cast of big-name stars.
He thought that Quicksilver simply might not cut it with audiences compared to other heroes like Iron Man and Thor, and negotiated with Joss Whedon for a whole year regarding the correct direction for the character. Eventually, Taylor-Johnson was satisfied, and Quicksilver as we know him (in the MCU, at least) was born. He also passed away shortly afterward, but hey - at least we were treated to his presence in one movie!
7 Infinity War Is One Of The Most Expensive Movies Ever Produced
When it comes to making their smash-hit MCU movies, Marvel Studios aren't afraid to drop some serious cash on production. To be fair, all of the technology involved must cost a lot - there's so much CGI to deal with! Then there's paying for incredible shooting locations, awarding the actors their insanely high salaries, creating authentic and awesome-looking costumes... We can see how these movies' expenses must rack up pretty quickly!
However, the making of Avengers: Infinity War has been costly on a whole new level for the studio. In fact, it's become one of the most expensive movies to make of all time! According to The Daily Telegraph, the movie's final cost came to around $300 million. This puts it in joint second in the expensive movies ranking, alongside DC's rival crossover movie Justice League and Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Still, none of these films managed to beat Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which remains the most expensive movie ever made thanks to its $378.5 million budget.
While $300 million is undoubtedly a ridiculous amount of money, it's a sum that Marvel will almost certainly earn back now that Infinity War is in theatres. To put things into perspective, The Daily Telegraph noted that Age of Ultron earned Marvel around $1.6 billion worldwide. According to Forbes, Infinity War has already crossed the $1 billion mark after just over a week in cinemas. Yeah... Marvel's finances will be just fine.
6 Ultron's Origin Story Was Almost Very Different
One of the greatest tragedies of Avengers: Age of Ultron is that Ultron himself is a villain of the Avengers' creation. Well, okay, only two of them: he was Tony Stark's brainchild, with help from Bruce Banner. Stark's attempts to create a new form of peace-keeping android massively backfired, and eventually harmed more people than it protected. Trying to destroy the human race was basically the opposite of Ultron's true purpose, but sadly, Stark simply couldn't control his creation.
While Ultron has featured in Marvel's comics for decades now, this was the first time we got to see this take on his origin story.In fact, Ultron's beginnings could have been very different if Joss Whedon had chosen to stick to the line of the comic books! In a way, though, he kind of couldn't.
As Vox notes, in the original comics Ultron was first created by Hank Pym. In the MCU, we know Pym as the guy who introduces shrinking technology to Scott Lang in Ant-Man.
However, Ant-Man hadn't been released when Age of Ultron hit cinemas. Thus, it would have made no sense to make Pym the creator of Ultron, when we hadn't even met him yet! It was way more emotionally powerful for Stark and Banner, two characters we know and love, to make this destructive mistake. And make it they did - with lasting consequences...
5 Marvel Deliberately Tried To Trick Fans With Infinity War's Trailers
While pretty much every new Marvel Cinematic Universe release over the past decade has generated huge levels of hype amongst fans, Infinity War took things to a whole new level. Pretty much every single major Marvel character was due to appear in this movie, a feat hitherto unmatched in the MCU. We all wanted to see how the Avengers would cope when pitted against Thanos, and what a meeting between Earth's heroes and the Guardians of the Galaxy would be like.
Of course, with movie hype comes the inevitable desperate search for plot clues, set photos, and spoilers. While some fans would rather go into the cinema totally unaware of what they're about to witness, others want to scrape together every detail they can before the movie's official release date! However, in the case of Infinity War, Marvel decided to make finding genuine clues about the movies as difficult as possible.
For one, they actually included fake scenes in the official trailer for the movie! As CinemaBlend notes, the shot in the trailer of Captain America, the Hulk, Black Widow, Black Panther, and Okoye all running towards the camera doesn't actually appear in the movie. Digital Spy also confirmed that fake scenes were shot, with Paul Bettany stating that each actor was given an untrue version of the script with an alternate ending to prevent spoilers from leaking. That's some seriously dedicated secret-keeping from Marvel!
4 Tom Hiddleston Was Originally In Line To Play Thor, Not Loki
Over the course of three Thor movies and two Avengers flicks, Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth have totally won fans' hearts thanks to their portrayal of brothers Loki and Thor. While the two siblings have had disagreements in the past - like that time Loki tried to take the throne of Asgard, and when he tried to invade Earth - they do love each other, very deep down. Hemsworth and Hiddleston both seem to fit their characters perfectly, bringing the right balance of seriousness and comedy to each role. It's hard to imagine anyone else playing either of these Norse Gods!
However, as is often the case in Hollywood, the casting process for these two characters almost had a very different ending. While Tom Hiddleston was always going to play one of these two brothers, he initially auditioned for Thor - not Loki!
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Hiddleston recounted the tale of his audition. He had worked with Thor director Kenneth Branagh before, so felt comfortable entering the world of Hollywood with these connections to help him.
Hiddleston specifically bulked up for the audition, gaining around 18 pounds of muscle in six weeks! That's pretty darn impressive. However, the movie's casting directors ultimately felt that the actor was more suited to the role of Loki, and a classic MCU villain was born. He didn't decide to maintain his new physique but still has "the pictures to prove it" happened. Fair enough!
3 At First, Marvel Execs Weren't Keen On Hiring Robert Downey Jr.
As we've already noted, Robert Downey Jr. is quite possibly the Marvel Cinematic Universe's biggest star of all. He earns the most from each movie. He totally rules the roost on-set. He sneaks food into filming and gets away with it. Plus, his character has been instrumental in quite a few plotlines throughout all three MCU Phases so far. Basically, RDJ is the top dog. Move aside Captain America, Iron Man is the (probably self-proclaimed, let's be real) boss.
However, Downey Jr. wasn't always in such a strong position when it came to his role in the MCU. In fact, he very nearly didn't become a part of the franchise at all! According to CinemaBlend, Iron Man director Jon Favreau had to spend a lot of time convincing Marvel executives that hiring Downey Jr. was a good idea.
Marvel was reluctant to attach the actor's name to their huge upcoming project because of the reputation he had gained during the 1990s and early 2000s.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, Downey Jr. admitted that he underwent serious struggles with substance issues during this time, even ending up in jail due to his actions. While he managed to rebuild his life and get totally clean and sober, Marvel was still concerned that the actor was too much of an "extreme risk" to be cast as Tony Stark. Of course, they were proved wrong when Favreau finally got his way! Ten years on, Downey Jr. is a total MCU megastar.
2 That Shawarma Scene In The Avengers Was Totally Last-Minute
Every MCU fan knows that we need to stick around until the very last second of each screening of a Marvel movie - there are mid- and post-credits scenes to be watched! Some give clues or teasers regarding the next MCU movie. Others are seemingly totally random, such as the Howard the Duck cameo at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy. Some, such as the clip of our favorite heroes getting shawarma at the end of The Avengers, are just hilarious.
The shawarma scene ties into a comment Tony Stark makes earlier in the film about wanting some of this delicious cuisine. Therefore, it's reasonable to think that the post-credits tie-in was planned all along. This wasn't the case, though! According to Entertainment Weekly, the addition of the shawarma clip was totally last-minute - it was filmed way after the official Avengers shoot concluded. In fact, it was so unexpected that Chris Evans had grown a beard for his next role, thinking that his time as Captain America had been put on hold for a while! He had to wear a prosthetic chin to cover his facial hair, hence why Captain America is the only Avenger not eating in the scene.
This clip may have been a late-in-the-day addition to The Avengers, but it was totally worth it - especially for the shawarma industry! Esquire reported that shawarma sales experienced a boom after the movie hit cinemas. Certain restaurants nicknamed this the "Downey Effect". Nice one, Iron Man!
1 Rocket's Stand-In On The Infinity War Set Was One Strange-Looking Puppet
Back in the spring of 2017, the city of Durham in England unexpectedly became one of the many shooting locations for Avengers: Infinity War. I was actually there, and man, were we all hyped. Crowds quickly gathered, keen on getting a glimpse of their favorite Avengers actors, but only one was there: Chris Hemsworth! As MCU Exchange reported, every other role was undertaken by a stand-in... Or, in the case of Rocket Raccoon, a really weird-looking life-size puppet! Unfortunately, Bradley Cooper didn't show up on set: he simply recorded all of his lines in a studio and then went on with his life. Sad times.
This puppet couldn't do much: it was just there as a placeholder until the real Rocket was added in using CGI. It's one of many methods used by the makers of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies to replicate Rocket's presence.
As Nerdist reported, in some GOTG: Volume 2 scenes a skinless model of the raccoon was used. Yes, that looks as terrifying as it sounds. It's literally a life-size model of the character that's been stripped down to its muscles. This apparently makes it easier to render Rocket's actual appearance onto the raw footage. A downside, however, is that it's basically traumatizing to look at. Oh, the behind-the-scenes joys of filmmaking...
References: Radio Times; Insider; Nerdist; Digital Spy; Uproxx; Metro; E! Online; Bathroom Reader; CelebHeights; Looper; The Huffington Post; Cleveland.com; Cleveland.com; Looper; Vanity Fair; Syfy; The Daily Telegraph; Forbes; The Daily Telegraph; CinemaBlend; Syfy; CinemaBlend; Nerdist; /Film; Time; Entertainment Weekly; i09; Vox; Digital Spy; CinemaBlend; The Huffington Post; Vanity Fair; CinemaBlend; Entertainment Weekly; Esquire; MCU Exchange; Nerdist.