When the cast and crew started the monumental project that was Avengers: Infinity War, the number of moving parts was probably as high as the number of people who died after Thanos snapped his fingers. Even for veterans of the MCU like Robert Downey Jr. or Paul Bettany, it can be tough to handle all of it at once.
Since the Iron Man series started, things have definitely gotten more complicated and intricate in all aspects. With the additions of new characters and a grander universe, each film has upped the stakes, leading up to the final team-up of all the heroes around the universe.
With all the confidential material, the writers and directors made efforts to keep the material from the public, and that even meant keeping the cast and crew in the dark about the series of events in the film. Paul Bettany had previously said that the Russo Brothers had given the cast fake scripts and fake scenes to film to keep them all off the scent of the plot to prevent spoilers.
Unsurprisingly, this song-and-dance can make filming very complicated. Now that the film is out, everyone can express their frustrations at the filming process. This past week, Bettany spoke at Ace Comic Con in Seattle, WA and shed some light on the maddening but necessary process that started with the script itself:
“In England, in the seventies, comic books didn’t seem to be such a big thing for us and so, when I was first doing these films and I was reading them, I was like, ‘When’s Iron Man going to come in? Where’s Captain America?’ They’ve got like ‘Tony’ and this guy called ‘Steve’ — who are these people? It was the most confusing [script].”
It’s okay that not everyone knew the first names of all the characters right away, especially if you haven’t been comicbook buff for the last 40+ years. Although Bettany has been a part of the MCU since the beginning, his role wasn’t as hands-on as the other Avengers until later on in the story.
On top of that, Bettany, even as one of the original characters, was given more than one fake script to read, much to his dismay. When asked by a fan if he remembered any of the fake plot points that the writers planted for the actors, he had this to say:
“You know what? I’m dyslexic and I read the fake script. They kept trying to get me to read the real one and I read the fake script three times, which altogether, is about eighteen hours of my time. After eighteen hours of sitting in those trailers reading something I was never going to be making, I thankfully gave up and I can’t actually remember.”
Lucky for Bettany, he was still able to act all of his scenes to perfection, making the Vision/Scarlet Witch storyline that much more emotional to watch. For Avengers 4, it is unclear whether or not Vision will return, so we will probably be hearing plenty more about fake scripts and decoys given to Bettany in order to keep his fate a secret. If he has one, that is.
The speculation is that all characters that were killed after Thanos’ finger snap will somehow be resurrected, but as we know with the MCU, anything can happen, and anyone can come back!