The Russo brothers explain cutting Jon Favreau out of Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War crammed approximately 3 billion characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe into a single film, but there originally was supposed to be 3 billion and one. Jon Favreau — who helped kick off the entire MCU by directing the first two Iron Man films while appearing as Tony Stark’s bodyguard and BFF Happy Hogan — also filmed a scene for the action spectacular in which he informs Tony and Pepper Potts of his troubles (literally) fighting off TMZ. He then chases down a photographer named Bert played by none other than… co-director Joe Russo!
You can see the deleted scene for yourself on the Avengers: Infinity War digital download, which is available now, or on the Blu-ray & DVD set, which is being released Aug. 14. We spoke to the film’s directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, about that and other cut scenes, as well as Easter eggs, filming the epic battle sequences, those turning-into-dust memes, and what the hell is going on with the Hulk.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I’d love to start off with each of you telling me about your favorite day on set while filming Infinity War.
ANTHONY RUSSO: I think we both agree that it was pretty much the first day of shooting. The first day of shooting was pretty remarkable in a sense where we were combining film talent. We shot the scene where the Guardians are meeting and talking to Tony Stark and Peter Parker while Dr. Strange is off meditating and envisioning futures.
JOE RUSSO: We are combining four franchises into one day on day one.
ANTHONY RUSSO: And I remember going through the process of that day and feeling out all the actors and their rhythm together and Joe and I did a lot of experimenting with them shooting those scenes to really get everyone comfortable with one another and really sort of establish the dynamics that we wanted to establish throughout the film. And it was pretty wonderful how that all netted out.
JOE RUSSO: Our other favorite day on set was “Pizza Day”, which was every Friday. Our caterer really made the most incredible pizza.
What about your hardest day, because of complicated logistics or difficult emotional material or something else?
JOE RUSSO: The hardest had to be the battle of Wakanda, because we were outside in a field, battling so many elements and it was incredibly hot. It’s difficult shooting these movies, especially when actors and stunt players have to wear these costumes in extreme heat. We have to be extremely careful and take care of everyone, keep everyone hydrated, and I’d say the hardest days are the physical exterior days. And this scene in particular because we were in the woods of Georgia and at times it would be extremely hot and then pouring rain the next.
What’s going on with Bruce Banner and the Hulk in this film? Why is the Hulk refusing to come out and play?
ANTHONY RUSSO: Great question.
JOE RUSSO: A lot of people had interpreted that the Hulk was scared of Thanos. The Hulk has had his ass kicked before, and so it wasn’t like the minute he gets his ass kicked he’s going to run and hide. It’s really the notion that the Hulk and Banner have a very dysfunctional relationship, which was explored even further in Thor: Ragnarok. And I think that relationship is starting to strain between the two of them and the Hulk is not interested in playing the hero to Banner anymore. I don’t know if the Hulk sees the value in the relationship. They both want to control Hulk’s body. The Hulk brings fighting and strength to the table and he’s not quite sure what Banner is bringing yet. So, I think this is becoming a stubborn push and pull between two very despaired personalities stuck in one body.
What’s the first thing from all the bonus materials on the digital and Blu-ray releases I should watch, and why?
JOE RUSSO: I think the directors’ roundtable, which is a digital exclusive, is really special, it was great to be in the room with many of those that brought the Marvel Universe to life over the last decade. And it was great to hear the challenges they faced, what it is they loved about working with Marvel, and looking at the characters, etc. And because it’s been such a unique experiment in filmmaking that you have a lot of different voices handing off storytelling to each other and it was great for all of us to be in a room all at one time talking about that.
It’s the collective brain trust that has really brought this to life and everyone brings such different tones, styles, and ideas to each movie that they make. And it was also really special to us as we love all those people and we’ve had great collaboration with all of them over the last seven or eight years. We think this roundtable will be very informative for the fans to see this piece in particular.
ANTHONY RUSSO: In addition to that, I would say, there is a favorite scene that we had to cut from the movie. It’s a scene between Peter Quill, Drax, and Mantis when they are stuck on the ship sort of trying to figure out where Thanos has taken Gamora. It’s a really fun scene and the movie just didn’t necessarily need it and it was a heartbreaker to cut, but we are glad that fans are now going to be able to see it.
Are there any Easter eggs in this film that people have yet to discover, and, if so, what are they?
JOE RUSSO: No, I don’t think so. The fans have great eagle eyes and I think they have spotted everything.
ANTHONY RUSSO I think we may have revealed some of them in the directors’ commentary, but most people had already gotten them all. But I think one in particular that perhaps people were unaware of until the commentary was picking up on the fact that Kenneth Branagh’s voice is featured in the beginning of the movie.
JOE RUSSO: I think it had maybe been speculated, but we confirmed it in the commentary.
ANTHONY RUSSO: I think there’s another sort of Easter egg/cameo in the bonus/deleted scene.
JOE RUSSO: Oh yes! There is a deleted scene where Jon Favreau/Happy and I make an appearance in the park. The movie was really long and we were looking for places to pace it up in the opening and unfortunately that was one of the things we had to cut. But I was willing to cut my own cameo in the movie so it shows how much we really needed to get that park scene moving.
ANTHONY RUSSO: Yeah. It was also really hard to cut Jon as he is such a funny performer and we loved working with him
What have you made of all the transforming into dust memes that have popped up and do you have a favorite?
JOE RUSSO: We think they are all hilarious. But our favorite, because its super clever, is the Microsoft meme “I don’t feel so good Mr. Gates.” It’s actually using the Microsoft logo and repurposing it as a blip out meme was pretty funny.
Avengers: Infinity War