‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Director Joe Russo on a Time-Traveling Connection to ‘Civil War’

     January 25, 2018


We’re less than 100 days away from Avengers: Infinity War, and while I’m sure we’ll be a hit with a deluge of marketing for the movie after Black Panther hits theaters (and I wouldn’t be surprised if Black Panther brings us a new Infinity War trailer), we’re still kind of in the dark on Marvel’s massive crossover.

Josh Horowitz sat down with directors Joe and Anthony Russo on the Happy Sad Confused podcast and asked a few broad questions about what fans can expect from the upcoming sequel. When it comes to Captain America, who we last saw was on the run following Civil War and is sporting a shaggy beard in the Infinity War trailer, Joe Russo explained that without his country, Steve Rogers has become a little lost and now channels the spirit of “Nomad”, the alias he had in the comics for four issues in the mid-70s:

“It’s no surprise, and I think you’ll see it in the trailer, he’s embracing the spirit of Nomad. It was always our intent from the moment we got involved with that character to deconstruct him. That’s what we like, it’s what we find interesting, it’s what Soderbergh responded to in our initial work. You look at Arrested Development or Community, we’re constantly either deconstructing genre or tone. We like to say it’s like being a mad scientist, you get to play in a laboratory and experiment with directions to take narrative in.


“With a character called Captain America you have to address the concept of who he is, because his identity is tied to his country. So we thought it’d be a really compelling narrative if he got into conflict with his identity, with the country.  So the notion, the path that he’s following, is the same path that we left him with at the end of Civil War, which is that he’s a character without a country.”


Image via Marvel Studios

I’m curious to see where they’ll take Cap in Infinity War because I wasn’t entirely pleased with his arc in Civil War. I think they figured out the character in Winter Soldier, but his values in Civil War of, “I know best and government oversight is bad,” feels far too extreme for someone we’ve seen as thoughtful and compassionate.

Speaking of Civil War, the Russos were asked if they might explore time travel, and they pointed out a scene from their last Marvel movie that they included as a hint for how they could incorporate such a narrative device in Infinity War:

“It’s interesting because yes photos always leak and then there’s lots of conjecture about what those photos mean. Certainly there is a five-minute sequence in Civil War around a piece of technology that was laid in for a very specific reason, so if you go back and look at that film you may get a hint as to a direction.”

If I had to guess, I assume they’re talking about shows off Binarily Augmented Retro-Framing, or B.A.R.F., which allows Tony Stark to display his memories to other people. In this way, the characters could “time travel” to see an important piece of information without actually traveling through time even though Doctor Strange has a freaking Time Stone draped around his neck.

We’ll see how it all comes together in just a few months. To listen to the full interview with the Russos, check out the interview below. Avengers: Infinity War opens May 4th.

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