Audio commentaries can be a treasure trove. With the right panel assembled, a commentary can offer you a greater understanding of the film, insight into the filmmaking process, and an entertaining conversation to boot. Now that ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ has been released digitally on home video, we can start sorting through the most interesting revelations from the commentary track.
One of the complaints most often leveled at ‘Infinity War’ has to do with the Hulk. After being handily beaten by Thanos early on, the Jade Giant is not seen for the remainder of the film and at one point is seen refusing to take the wheel (so to speak). Some fans interpreted this as Hulk being frightened of Thanos, which would certainly be at odds with “The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets.” It turns out, though, that not only was there more to it than that, but that wasn’t even the filmmakers’ intent!
Co-director Joe Russo addressed the issue directly, acknowledging the criticism before explaining that in fact, the Hulk is “tired of playing hero” to Bruce Banner. Russo continues:
“This was an interesting journey that we went on with Banner, trying to decide how to move him forward in the Marvel Universe. What makes him unique as a character is that there’s this host body that is being fought over by two distinct personalities who hate each other. Both want control of the host body. We thought an interesting direction to take him in is “Well, what if Banner, who typically uses the Hulk to solve crisis situations, what if the Hulk were no longer interested in solving those problems for Banner?” So the relationship is becoming increasingly dysfunctional and that’s what’s going on here.”
There were also practical concerns that went into the development of the Banner/Hulk story in ‘Infinity War’. What sort? Well, in the simplest terms you might call it “economy of storytelling.” As co-writer Stephen McFeely explains:
“With a movie with twenty-three named heroes that you know from other movies, one of the challenges is to give people the briefest complete arc. “Banner has to rely on himself” is essentially the briefest one line arc in this movie.”
Directed by the Russo brothers from a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ counts Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Holland, Karen Gillan, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olson, Sebastian Stan, and three gentlemen named “Chris” among its gargantuan cast. The film, which represents the culmination of a decade-long effort by Marvel Studios, is currently available in a variety of digital formats and will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 14, 2018. ‘Avengers 4’, the sequel and concluding chapter, is set to land in theaters on May 3, 2019.