‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Used Steven Soderbergh for Inspiration and Shot With A New Kind of IMAX Camera

The Russo Brothers used the same mobile IMAX camera Christopher Nolan used on "Dunkirk" to film their latest Marvel tentpole.
"Avengers: Infinity War"
"Avengers: Infinity War"

The Russo Brothers are known for their surprising sources of inspiration when it comes to their Marvel movies. The filmmaking duo cited Alan J. Pakula’s classic conspiracy thriller “The Parallax View” when talking about “Captain America: The Winter Solider,” while David Fincher’s “Se7en” was listed as a reference point for “Captain America: Civil War.” So what movies did the brothers look at before “Infinity War”? It turns out a Steven Soderbergh crime classic.

“The movies that we looked at [were’Two Days in the Valley’ and ‘Out of Sight,'” Anthony Russo told Collider. “We always look to movies for an inspiration for the energy that we’re looking for, or a narrative construct that we want to be inspired by, and those two films in particular.”

Joe Russo admits that people have misinterpreted their inspiration choices in the past. For “Infinity War,” for instance, films like “Out of Sight” weren’t used for plot or character inspiration but as an “organizing principle for tone.” Joe elaborates on the term by saying the inspiration can be seen “in terms of what the world is that we’re creating, and what rules we’re playing by.”

“It’s really as inspiration for narrative imagery,” Joe added. “These movies are so complex you need a unifying peace, or a sense of cohesion, and that cohesion can come from a narrative construct that you can apply all the characters to. It’s hard to find movies with this many characters; you can look at Altman films, which have a tendency to be more veritè. Where we found “Two Days In The Valley”, which really had a narrative thrust to it, and had an energy that we were looking for.”

The Russo Brothers also told Collider a little bit about shooting the entire feature with IMAX cameras, which Anthony Russo called “amazing.”

“We have a lot of characters who are tall, unnaturally tall. So it really helps with the frame, because that IMAX aspect ratio works for those types of characters, and the landscapes are stunning,” Joe added. “There are some really exotic landscapes in the film, and to be able to put those on an IMAX screen, it’s an incredible tool to have as a filmmaker to be able to exploit that scale of aspect ratio.”

Joe explained that a new iteration of IMAX cameras were used on “Infinity War” so that even the more intimate, dialogue-driven scenes could be shot using the equipment. IMAX cameras used on “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Interstellar” were so loud that Nolan could only shoot action scenes with them. The Russo Brothers used a new IMAX Arri 65 camera to be able to not only use IMAX technology in talking scenes but to also allow the IMAX camera to fit their more “active, aggressive” style. The IMAX Arri 65 is more mobile and handheld.

Avengers: Infinity War” opens in theaters nationwide April 27.

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