Avengers: Endgame is a American superhero film produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. The film is the sequel to The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers: Infinity War and the film is the twenty-second film installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
- Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
- Patrick Gorman as Old Steve Rogers
- Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk
- Chris Hemsworth as Thor
- Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
- Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye
- Don Cheadle as James "Rhodey" Rhodes/War Machine
- Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man
- Bazlo and Loen LeClair as Baby Scott Lang
- Jackson Dunn as 12-year-old Scott Lang
- Lee Moore as 93-year-old Scott Lang
- Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange
- Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa/Black Panther
- Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel
- Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
- Karen Gillan as Nebula
- Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne/Wasp
- Tessa Thompson as Brunnhilde/Valkyrie
- Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch
- Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon
- Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier
- Danai Gurira as Okoye
- Benedict Wong as Wong
- Pom Klementieff as Mantis
- Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer
- Letitia Wright as Princess Shuri
- Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan
- Marisa Tomei as May Parker
- Taika Waititi as Korg
- Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda
- Michael Douglas as Doctor Hank Pym
- John Michael Morris as Young Hank Pym
- Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne
- William Hurt as Secretary Thaddeus Ross
- Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill
- Sean Gunn as Kraglin Obfonteri / Rocket Raccoon (motion-capture)
- Winston Duke as M'Baku
- Linda Cardellini as Laura Barton
- Hiroyuki Sanada as Akihiko
- Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds
- Vin Diesel as Groot (voice)
- Terry Notary as Cull Obsidian / Groot (motion-capture)
- Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon (voice)
- Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts
- Josh Brolin as Thanos
- Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord
- Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
- Emma Fuhrmann as Cassie Lang
- Ava Russo as Lila Barton
- Ben Sakamoto as Cooper Barton
- Cade Woodward as Nathaniel Barton
- Kerry Condon as F.R.I.D.A.Y.
- Ty Simpkins as Harley Keener
- Lexi Rabe as Morgan Stark
- Seth Green as Howard the Duck
- Zoe Saldana as Gamora
- Rene Russo as Frigga
- Tom Hiddleston as Loki
- John Slattery as Howard Stark
- Tilda Swinton as Ancient One
- Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter
- Natalie Portman as Jane Foster
- Maximiliano Hernández as Agent Jasper Sitwell
- Frank Grillo as Agent Brock Rumlow
- Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Ebony Maw
- James D'Arcy as Edwin Jarvis
- Robert Redford as Undersecretary Alexander Pierce
- Ross Marquand as Johann Schmidt/Red Skull
- Michael Shaw as Corvus Glaive
- Carrie Coon as Proxima Midnight
- Monique Ganderton as Proxima Midnight (motion-capture)
- Callan Mulvey as Agent Jack Rollins
- Gozie Agbo as Man at Counseling
- Jim Starlin as Man at Counseling
- Ken Jeong as Storage Facility Guard
- Yvette Nicole Brown as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent
- Stan Lee as '70s Car Man
Since their early films, Marvel Studios had been planting the seeds for an Avengers film that adapted Jim Starlin's 1991 Infinity Gauntlet comic arc, by introducing the powerful Infinity Stones as MacGuffins: the Space Stone as the Tesseract in Captain America: The First Avenger; the Mind Stone inside Loki's Scepter in Marvel's The Avengers; the Reality Stone as the Aether in Thor: The Dark World; the Power Stone within the Orb in Guardians of the Galaxy; and the Time Stone within the Eye of Agamotto in Doctor Strange. Additionally, the Infinity Gauntlet, a glove designed to house the stones, was introduced in Thor. A different Infinity Gauntlet is briefly seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron, in the possession of the villain Thanos, who covets the stones in the comics. The first gauntlet was subsequently revealed to be a fake in Thor: Ragnarok. Many fans expected Thanos to be the antagonist of the second Avengers film after making a brief appearance at the end of the first, but Joss Whedon, the writer and director of the first two Avengers films, explained that "Thanos is more powerful. He is so powerful, he is not someone you can just try to out punch. Like in the comics, you want him to be threading through the universe and to save the big finale for the big finale." While all non-Avengers films in the MCU were considered set-up for this storyline, laying "much of the groundwork", producer and president of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige said that Black Panther in particular would be "a very important" link to the Avengers sequels in Phase Three of the MCU, as was Thor: Ragnarok.
In July 2014, Feige stated that there were "some notions" to where Marvel would want to take a third Avengers film and that the studio was aiming for three years between Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015 and a sequel. In October 2014, Marvel announced a two-part sequel to Age of Ultron, titled Avengers: Infinity War. Part 1 was scheduled to be released on May 4, 2018, and Part 2 was scheduled for May 3, 2019, with the two films filming back-to-back. In January 2015, Whedon stated that it was "very doubtful" that he would be involved with the two Infinity War films. By April, Anthony and Joe Russo had reached a deal to direct both parts of Avengers: Infinity War, after directing Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. Whedon cited the series' increasing scale as to why he chose not to return, explaining, "Every movie I have ever made has been an ensemble piece of increasingly enormous proportions... That many balls in the air, it's only going to get bigger with Infinity War. I'm not going to be able to give it what I would need to." At the end of the month, Chris Evans, who portrays Captain America in the MCU, revealed that filming was now scheduled to begin in late 2016 over nine months, lasting until August or September 2017, after previously being scheduled to begin in late 2015. By May 2015, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely had signed on to also return from the Captain America films, writing the screenplays for both parts of the film. Anthony Russo described the two Avengers sequels as "the culmination of everything that has happened in the MCU" since Iron Man was released in 2008, bringing "an end to certain things, and in some ways... the beginning of certain things".
Markus and McFeely began work on the scripts during the filming of Civil War when they would "go to the office, read comic books, write down ideas, put everything on the wall and just go 'These are all the characters we could have.'" Markus added, "We sent in literally 60 pages of unrelated ideas. Just like 'Here's some stuff that could happen in this insane movie.' Then we came back from Atlanta and everyone had a copy of that [document] and they'd circle this, 'This is cool, this is insane, this is cool, we're not allowed to do that,' and from there [we] pieced it together very slowly." In January 2016, the duo had begun work on the screenplay for the first film, and by July, they were working on the third draft of Infinity War and the second for its sequel, with Markus stating, much like how they were planned to be filmed, "On any given day, you're only working on one but that doesn't mean that next week, you aren't working on the other one." By October, Thor: Ragnarok screenwriter Eric Pearson was flown from Ragnarok's set in Australia to Atlanta to assist Markus and McFeely, who were "just so crammed for time". Pearson felt the pair were comfortable allowing him to work on one film while they focused on the other given his previous Marvel work, including alongside them on the television series Agent Carter. The Russos and Markus and McFeely worked with all of the directors and writers of the other Phase Three films to keep continuity, talking "on an almost weekly basis". Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson was "kept in the loop" on how the Avengers films use Strange through his close relationships with Feige and Joe Russo. Derrickson discussed the plot of both Avengers films with Joe, and gave notes on them, saying, "this is why this is great, this is so the way to do this... [and] no, this is why that'll never work..." James Gunn, director and writer of the Guardians films and executive producer on these Avengers films, stated that he worked with the Russos, Marvel and Feige "to make sure that any of the characters I'm involved with that are in [Infinity War] are well taken care of and are as funny as they should be and as honest and truthful as they should be". Gunn "came up with at least one hysterical riff" for the Guardians, according to Markus, and also chose "The Rubberband Man" by The Spinners as their opening song. Gunn provided insight to a choice made by Markus and McFeely for Star-Lord that Gunn and Pratt felt the character would not make and did not alter the overall story. McFeely felt that "was a good example of how that kind of caretaking was a bonus to us". Some of the biggest rewrites to the script involved Thor, since Markus and McFeely originally intended him to be the "straight man" to the Guardians. His scenes had to be "revamped" after Hemsworth explained the funnier direction the character went in Thor: Ragnarok. That film's director Taika Waititi was brought in to consult with Markus and McFeely on the new tone of Thor's character, while Pearson's involvement aided in keeping this continuity.
After announcing the films, Feige said there was a possibility that characters from Marvel Television's MCU series could appear in the team up, and actors such as Krysten Ritter, who plays Jessica Jones in the Netflix series of the same name, expressed interest in this. Anthony Russo stated that this would be "complicated" due to the television series' serial nature of storytelling and the fact that Marvel Studios and Marvel Television have separate oversight. The brothers later said that "the briefest consideration" to including television characters was made, but it was "practically impossible". Joe added, "Our job is to focus on the Marvel film world and offer a satisfying climax." Joe felt the audience would not be disappointed in the number of characters in the films, saying that "like 67 characters" who were previously introduced in the MCU had been placed out on a board for consideration. Characters were ultimately chosen based on the personal preferences of the creative team, as long as the "choices feel organic to the storytelling, and really, you have to sort of structure them in the way that they need to be there", and included some characters Joe considered to be unexpected choices such as some who made smaller appearances previously in the MCU and "are really getting fleshed out" now. Because of the number of characters, McFeely called writing Civil War "a walk in the park". He noted that characters who had not yet been cast were also in the scripts. Joe Russo explained that they intended to focus on a "handful" of characters and build the story around their emotional arcs, with many of the other characters having ancillary roles. He also said that the number of characters in Civil War prepared the brothers to "deal with probably triple the amount of characters in Infinity War", and that that the characters given main focus would shift between the two films. Gunn said the Guardians of the Galaxy's roles in the films would not be the biggest part of the film, but would be integral due to their connection to Thanos. The Russos wanted "a strong through line" from The Winter Soldier to Civil War and into the two films, saying, "We look at [Civil War] as setting the stage for Infinity War, how it starts and what condition everybody's in." He described the concept of the films as "the Marvel universe [uniting] to battle the greatest threat to the world and universe that you've ever seen", with the brothers wanting to approach the cosmic elements of Infinity War with the same "fervor" that they gave to the more grounded films Winter Soldier and Civil War. Though they were unable to depict the films with naturalism given their science fiction content, they did want their films to have a psychological realism. Anthony added that Infinity War would deal with the "themes of fate and destiny and the essence of what it means to be a hero". Feige said the films would explore whether the visions the Avengers had in Age of Ultron were predictions of the future or just projections of their fears. Anthony described the tone of the films as unique, given how they were melding the tones of all the individual MCU franchises, and it was important for the brothers that both films were tonally different from each other as well, with different storylines and structures.
Infinity War is set approximately two years after the events of Civil War, as the Russos always set "everything based on when the last movie came out". In addition to Starlin's "Infinity Gauntlet", Markus and McFeely drew inspiration from Jonathan Hickman's "Infinity" comic (2013). Infinity War was crafted like a 1990s heist film, with the brothers looking at many films "that had that heist-style energy to them", as Infinity War "has that energy of the bad guy being one step ahead of the heroes", with Thanos "on a smash-and-grab" to acquire all of the Infinity Stones. The films 2 Days in the Valley and Out of Sight served as inspiration for the brothers. To handle the number of characters in the films, many are split into various smaller groups early on in Infinity War, which Anthony compared to "Nashville for super heroes. It's storytelling that is vignetted storytelling. It's to composite all of them under one story—everybody." The grouping included: Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Star-Lord, Spider-Man, and initially Bruce Banner and Wong; Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy, which ultimately split further to just Thor, Rocket, and Groot; Scarlet Witch and Vision; Thanos and Gamora; and Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon, Winter Soldier, Banner, and Black Panther. Markus said that many discussions on character pairings were about whether to pursue and further develop pre-existing relationships or to introduce new ones, with him feeling that new pairings had the emotional level of a first date while characters that have been together before and are now in a much more dire situation and they are together again, you can really get down into the meat of their relationship."
Actor Robert Downey Jr. said in Iron Man's grouping there was a desire "to keep a little bit of the Science Bros [Stark/Banner relationship] alive" despite Banner having his own journey, and to expand on the positive Stark/Parker relationship. McFeely explained that the pairing of Strange and Stark came together because of the similarities between the characters being "guys with a vision but also an ego". To differentiate between the two, Markus and McFeely contrasted Stark's established story arc and drive to confront Thanos with Strange's more reluctant stance. Eventually adding Star-Lord provided "color" since Star-Lord also "thinks he's the smartest guy in the room ... only he isn't". A Sherlock Holmes joke was avoided when Strange first meets Stark, as the Russos felt it was "a very obvious joke" to do and "a meta joke that requires you to be a fan of other movies"; Downey portrayed Holmes in the films Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), while Cumberbatch portrays the character in the television series Sherlock. Thor's teaming with Rocket and Groot made "a delightful group" according to McFeely. Markus added that Rocket was considered for many other pairs, but ultimately landed with Thor because he "is so powerful that it's fun to stick Rocket next to him. Rocket does not seem to have much he could help Thor with, but it brings out new things in Rocket that you wouldn't have expected." Captain America's group continues from the events of Civil War, showing he, Black Widow, and Falcon have been on the run, in part by their different appearances (Rogers with a beard and Romanoff with blond hair). The writers also did not dwell on the romance between Romanoff and Banner, as established in Age of Ultron, beyond including a "loaded look between the two", because "it didn't serve the Thanos plotline ... There were a lot of situations we wanted to follow up, but nobody in real life would be addressing those things with Thanos coming." The relationship between Scarlet Witch and Vision was implied to have "been building and flourishing" since the events of Civil War.
Markus also talked about how he and McFeely were handling Thanos, a character that the audience knows is the threat of the films, yet until these films, had little scenes and screen time to divulge his history and motivations. He said, "We don't get an element of surprise [with his introduction]... You can count on a lot of scenes where we illuminate a lot about him very early [in the first film]", with McFeely adding, "It is incumbent upon us to give him a real story, real stakes, real personality, and a real point of view." The writers avoided the comic book storyline where Thanos tries to woo the female manifestation of Death, and instead paired him at times with Gamora, since "they had a lot of history we wanted to explore" and would add layers to Thanos that would avoid him becoming "the big mustache-twisting bad guy who wants ultimate power just to take over the world and sit on a throne". Avoiding the Death storyline moved away from the tease Whedon used in The Avengers with the character, where Thanos felt that by challenging the Avengers, he was courting death. Though the tease was purposely ambiguous, Whedon felt when he featured Thanos he did not know what to do with him and "kind of hung [Thanos] out to dry". Whedon added that "I love Thanos. I love his apocalyptic vision, his love affair with death. I love his power. But, I don’t really understand it." Whedon enjoyed the approach the writers and Russos took in Infinity War, giving Thanos "an actual perspective and [making] him feel righteous to himself", since the Death storyline was "not a concept that will necessarily translate". Beyond the script used in the final film, two different drafts of Infinity War were also created. One of these drafts featured Thanos as the film's narrator, utilized a non-linear structure, and also had backstories for the Black Order members. Though this draft was not used, writing out Thanos' narration helped give Markus, McFeely, and the Russos more insight into the character. The other draft began the film after Thanos had already acquired the Power Stone, but this was rejected because "it felt like he had too many Infinity Stones to start". Going with the draft used in the final film, the plot had been "simplified, made more linear, and allowed more of the character moments come through" as the start of filming approached, giving the Russos "a very tight script" to work with.
Unlike Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame features mainly an original story that does not draw inspiration from any existing comics. Joe Russo explained, "I think we're in pretty fresh territory with Avengers 4. If anything, I think it's interesting after to go back and look at some of the Marvel films and view them through a different lens. But I can't think of any comics in particular that would have value" to give a basis for the film's story. Joe Russo also described the second film as "more of an epic adventure in the classic sense, with huge emotional stakes". Hope van Dyne / Wasp and Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel both only appear in the sequel, in order to preserve their debuts in Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel, respectively, which were released between Infinity War and Endgame. Other characters, such as Hawkeye and Ant-Man, were excluded in Infinity War for "a very specific story choice". Joe Russo said "we have a really interesting story cooked up for both of those characters, and part of that story required that they be under house arrest [in Infinity War]." The Russos also revealed that, despite not appearing in Infinity War, the events of the film killed Betty Ross and Sif, previously portrayed in the MCU by Liv Tyler and Jaimie Alexander, respectively.
In January 2016, the Russos stated that they were "breaking ground" on the films, and in the middle of the month, revealed that filming would take place in Atlanta, Georgia, beginning in November 2016 lasting until June 2017, and that Markus and McFeely had begun work on the screenplay for the first film. In March 2016, the Russos explained that they were exploring new ways to deliver additional material to audiences for the films, usually reserved for physical home media releases. Given the declining sales for Blu-ray and DVD, Anthony stated, "We’re just in the beginning phases of figuring [this] out. Yes, DVDs are gone but there is this wonderful internet platform out there called YouTube." One example he provided was creating "more elaborate versions of trailers ... that are shot specifically for online that will never appear in the movie but that may appear as a kind of short film." Joe added that the duo were "also talking to Facebook and Twitter and Instagram about ways to feed ancillary content to them and to viewers because it’ll go viral there and you can reach millions of people." The following month, Markus revealed that they were "in the middle" of piecing together the film, and Jon Favreau confirmed he would once again serve as executive producer on the films, having done so on the previous Avengers films after directing the first two Iron Man films.
In early May, the Russos revealed that they would be retitling the two films, to further remove the misconception that the films were one large film split in two, with Joe stating, "The intention is we will change [the titles], we just haven’t come up with [them] yet." The next month, Alan Silvestri, who composed the score for The Avengers, was revealed to be returning to score both Infinity War films. By late July, Marvel announced that Part 1 would simply be known as Avengers: Infinity War, while Part 2 was referred to as Untitled Avengers film until a title was chosen. Anthony Russo stated that the title of the second film would not be revealed "for quite some time." Markus and McFeely also provided an update on the writing of the films that month, saying they were working on the third draft of Infinity War and the second for its sequel, with Markus stating, much like how they were planned to be filmed, "On any given day, you’re only working on one but that doesn’t mean that next week, you aren’t working on the other one." In October 2016, Feige announced that filming would begin in January 2017. By that time, Eric Pearson, one of the screenwriters of Thor: Ragnarok, was flown from Ragnarok's set in Australia to Atlanta to assist Markus and McFeely. Pearson felt he was brought on board because Markus and McFeely "were just so crammed for time", and given Pearson had previously worked with them on the MCU television series Agent Carter and his other Marvel work, he thought "they were comfortable with me coming in and whenever they are working on one [of the films], I was kind of keeping the other one moving forward." Additionally, because Ragnarok "was so different than" the previous Thor films, Pearson helped keep the continuity going for Thor, Hulk, and their arcs.
From April 2016 to January 2017, the following actors were confirmed to be reprising their roles in the films: Chris Pratt as Peter Quill / Star-Lord in both films; Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch in both films; Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange / Doctor Strange in both films; Paul Bettany as Vision in Infinity War; Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier in Infinity War; Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot in Infinity War; Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne / Wasp only in the sequel, in order to preserve her debut as the Wasp in Ant-Man and the Wasp; Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill in Infinity War; Benedict Wong as Wong in Infinity War, Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye in both films; Zoe Saldana as Gamora in Infinity War; Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer in Infinity War, and Karen Gillan as Nebula in both films. Diesel also stated the remaining Guardians of the Galaxy would also appear.
The Russos also hoped to have another actor from their TV series Community make a cameo appearance, after Danny Pudi and Jim Rash appeared in The Winter Soldier and Civil War, respectively. Stellan Skarsgård, who portrays Erik Selvig in the MCU, said he believed he would appear in Infinity War as he had one more film left on his contract, and would not be appearing in Thor: Ragnarok, while Krysten Ritter, who plays Jessica Jones in the Netflix series of the same name, also expressed interest in appearing, saying "it'd be really exciting to be a part of those giant, huge movies with those great characters who are already established, so it'd be awesome ... There's always the chance that could happen." The Russos had teased the inclusion of Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel in the films in April 2016, though Feige indicated that Danvers was slated to be introduced in her own film first, which is scheduled to be released in between Infinity War and its sequel. Tom Holland, who portrays Peter Parker / Spider-Man in the MCU, said the possibility of him appearing in the films was "all up in the air", but that "some sort of deal is in the mix," since Sony Pictures Entertainment still holds the film rights to the character.
In early January 2017, Peter Dinklage was in negotiations to appear in the films. Renner, Olsen, and Bautista noted that the actors appearing in the films had not received scripts before the start of shooting, with Bautista specifically stating on January 22, 2017, that he had not received a script, despite beginning his filming on January 23.
Joe Russo highlighted the film's large scope, saying that the audience would "not be disappointed in the amount of characters" featured in the films, adding that they had a character board showing all previously introduced and available MCU characters "with like 67 characters on it." Markus and McFeely clarified that having that many characters available to them did not mean that all would appear in the films or be lead roles, and also noted the board did not include any potential new characters. On whether choosing the characters to appear in the films were personal preferences or dictated by the story, Anthony Russo said, "It's a little bit of both, because you always have to make sure that your choices feel organic to the storytelling, and really, you have to sort of structure them in the way that they need to be there... It's a little bit of a dance between the two, where you have big eyes, and you want everybody included in the movie, but you have to go through the process of... what's the best story that you can tell." Joe added that there would be "a lot of unexpected characters" featured in the films, including "characters that have made small appearances [previously] that are really getting fleshed out".
Joe Russo described the concept as "the Marvel universe [uniting] to battle the greatest threat to the world and universe that you’ve ever seen". He noted their approach to the cosmic elements of Infinity War would be "with the same fervor that we did the earthbound work we've been doing" and "applying the same rules that we like to apply to the last two films that we've done" (Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War). "We also are going to work really hard to bring a psychological realism. We obviously can't bring a naturalism to it because it doesn't really exist outside of science fiction, but we can bring that psychological realism to it, to the characters, and that's going to be our focus." Anthony added that Infinity War would deal with the "themes of fate and destiny and the essence of what it means to be a hero." The Russos felt it was important that both films were "distinctly different. It's important for them to have different tones, different narratives, and to have different surprises for the audience," working "really hard with Markus and McFeely in ensuring that the films are tonally different and structurally different." Anthony noted that Infinity War was being crafted as a heist film with the brothers looking at many films "that had that heist-style energy to them" as Infinity War "has that energy of the bad guy being one step ahead of the heroes."
McFeely called writing Civil War "a walk in the park compared to these" films, noting the fact that they were writing scenes for characters who had not been cast yet. Additionally, Joe Russo said that he and Anthony wanted "a strong through line" from The Winter Soldier to Civil War and into the two Infinity War films, saying, "We look at [Civil War] as setting the stage for Infinity War, how it starts and what condition everybody's in." Joe Russo also expanded about crafting the story of the films with so many characters, saying that they hoped to "focus on a handful of characters" with many of the other characters appearing having "ancillary roles" in order for the story "to be built around the characters' emotional arcs." He also added that the number of characters in Civil War was preparing the brothers to "deal with probably triple the amount of characters in Infinity War". The Russos and Markus and McFeely noted that they were "talking to the directors and writers of the other Phase Three movies on an almost weekly basis" in order to ensure "everything lines up right." Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson spoke on this, explaining that he is "kept in the loop" on how the Avengers films would use Strange because of his close relationships with Feige and Joe Russo, and stated that he had discussed the plot of both Avengers films with Joe "outside the men’s room at Marvel", and had given notes on them, saying, "this is why this is great, this is so the way to do this... [and] no, this is why that’ll never work..." James Gunn, director and writer of the Guardians films, who is involved with the films in an executive producer role, stated that he worked with the Russos, Marvel and Feige "to make sure that any of the characters I'm involved with that are in [Infinity War] are well taken care of and are as funny as they should be and is [sic] honest and truthful as they should be."
Anthony talked about the films being told from multiple perspectives, saying, "You’re going to be moving around through different perspectives of the characters. It’s like Nashville for super heroes. It’s storytelling that is vignetted storytelling. It’s to composite all of them under one story—everybody." Markus also talked about how he and McFeely were handling Thanos, a character that the audiences knows is the threat of the films, yet until these films, had little scenes and screen time to divulge his history and motivations. He said, "We don’t get an element of surprise [with his introduction]... You can count on a lot of scenes where we illuminate a lot about him very early [in the first film]," with McFeely adding, "It is incumbent upon us to give him a real story, real stakes, real personality, and a real point of view." Theoretical physicist Clifford Johnson consulted on the films, having previously done so on the second season of Agent Carter and Thor: Ragnarok. Production designer Charles Wood also noted the films would be introducing "many, many, many new worlds" outside of Earth and others previously established in prior films.
Actors who returned for Endgame include: Downey, Hemsworth, Ruffalo, Evans, Johansson, Cumberbatch, Cheadle, Holland, Boseman, Olsen, Mackie, Stan, Hiddleston, Wong, Klementieff, Gillan, Bautista, Saldana, Cooper, Paltrow, Brolin, Pratt, and Wright. They were joined by Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton, Evangeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne / Wasp, Favreau as "Happy" Hogan, Paul Rudd as Scott Lang / Ant-Man, Brie Larson as Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel, Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, and Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow / Crossbones. Stellan Skarsgård, who portrays Erik Selvig in the MCU, said he believed he would appear in one of the films as he had one more film left on his contract, and would not be appearing in Thor: Ragnarok. By October 2017, Hiroyuki Sanada had been cast as Akihiko for Endgame, and a year later, Katherine Langford was revealed to have been cast in Endgame, also in an undisclosed role. Langford was to play the older version of Tony's daughter Morgan Stark, who he sees in a vision after Tony's snap, but the Russos cut her scene as they felt that the scene would be too confusing. The Russos hoped to have another actor from their TV series Community make a cameo appearance, after Danny Pudi and Jim Rash appeared in The Winter Soldier and Civil War, respectively. David Cross was invited to make a cameo appearance as Tobias Fünke in Infinity War, his character from the sitcom Arrested Development, which the Russo brothers had previously worked on; this was prevented by a scheduling conflict, but Fünke still appears in the film as a specimen in the Collector's collection, played by an uncredited extra. Avengers co-creator Stan Lee makes cameo appearances in both films. Starlin indicated he was interested in making a cameo appearance in the films.
Principal photography for Avengers: Infinity War began on January 23, 2017, at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia, under the working title Mary Lou, with Trent Opaloch serving as director of photography. Additional filming occurred in Scotland, with filming taking place in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the Scottish Highlands, with studio work taking place at Wardpark Studios in Cumbernauld. Filming in Scotland began on February 28, 2017. From March 18 through April 21, 2017, filming occurred in Old Town, Edinburgh on and around the Royal Mile, including High Street, Parliament Square, Cockburn Street, and Roxburgh Close and Old Fishmarket Close, as well as Waverley Station. Filming also took place at Durham Cathedral in Durham, England in early May 2017, and in St Abbs. Additional filming also occurred at St Giles' Cathedral and Inverness Castle. In late June 2017, filming occurred in Downtown Atlanta, as well as Atlanta's Central Park in early July, before moving to Queens, New York in the middle of the month. Since Infinity War and Black Panther were filming simultaneously in Atlanta, both production teams worked together closely to ensure a unified presention of Black Panther's home nation of Wakanda in both films.
At the end of February 2017, Dan T. Cathy, co-owner of Pinewood Atlanta, noted the films were "the largest film production ever with a $1 billion budget," which Feige later stated was false. The following month, in terms of the Guardians of the Galaxy's roles in the films, Gunn stated despite them being mainly Avengers films, the Guardians are "a part of Thanos's stories, so, they are in there, and they have, not the biggest, but, an integral part to that." That April, Feige stated that the films would not be filmed simultaneously as originally planned but rather back-to-back and indicated that filming for the Infinity War sequel would commence in August 2017. He explained, "We're doing them one right after another. It became too complicated to cross-board them like that, and we found ourselves—again, something would always pay the price. We wanted to be able to focus and shoot one movie and then focus and shoot another movie." The films were originally scheduled to be shot concurrently, with the Russos suggesting that "some days we'll be shooting the first movie and some days we'll be shooting the second movie. Just jumping back and forth." Anthony Russo originally felt it made more sense to shoot the films simultaneously due to financial and logistical reasons considering the large number of cast members, even though each part is its own distinct film. In June 2017, Johansson commented on the amount of characters featured in the films, and felt the films would feature over 60 characters, with at least 30 appearing together in one scene.
During the filming of Infinity War, additional actors were confirmed to be reprising their roles. For Infinity War, these included: Pom Klementieff as Mantis; Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow; Benicio del Toro as Taneleer Tivan / The Collector; Isabella Amara as Sally from Spider-Man: Homecoming; Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa / Black Panther; Paul Rudd as Scott Lang / Ant-Man; and Danai Gurira as Okoye. Terry Notary also revealed he would appear in Infinity War as Thanos' right-hand man. For both films, these included: Sean Gunn as the on-set stand-in actor and motion reference for digital character Rocket; Holland as Peter Parker / Spider-Man; and Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson / Falcon. Saldana also confirmed she would return for the sequel film along with the other Guardians. Jim Starlin, creator of Thanos, Gamora, and co-creator of Drax, indicated he was interested in having a cameo appearance in the films.
Filming of Infinity War concluded on July 14, 2017. In mid-July 2017, Bautista confirmed his return for the sequel, and Favreau hinted that he would be reprising his role as Harold "Happy" Hogan in the films. Samuel L. Jackson also stated he had not been asked yet to appear in either film as Nick Fury, despite stating throughout 2016 that he would.
Filming on Avengers: Endgame began on August 10, 2017, also at Pinewood Atlanta Studios, under the working title Mary Lou 2. Soon after, Bettany confirmed he would return in the sequel, with confirmation also coming for Johansson, Favreau, and Gwyneth Paltrow, who reprises her role as Pepper Potts. Also in August, additional filming occurred in The Gulch area of Downtown Atlanta, near the Five Points MARTA station, and Piedmont Park. The following month, Stan, Don Cheadle, and Klementieff were confirmed to return in the sequel, and it was revealed that Hiroyuki Sanada had been cast in an undisclosed role. Rudd was confirmed to return in October 2017, while Brie Larson was confirmed to appear as Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel by November, and Stan confirmed the involvement of Jackson, Hurt, Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dyne, and Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster in the films. Production on Avengers: Endgame wrapped on January 11, 2018, although additional filming is scheduled to occur in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland in July 2018.
The Russo brothers announced that both films would be shot using IMAX/Arri 2D digital cameras, thus marking the first time that a feature film was shot entirely using IMAX cameras and its exclusive aspect ratio. The films were captured on the Arri Alexa 65 with IMAX then digitally processing the footage. Opaloch noted that the production would use 12 of the Alexa 65 cameras, and that Arri was working on lenses with additional focal lengths for the camera, with the hope they would be available by the start of filming since the production would "need all the accessories and lenses" since it was "such a behemoth of a project."
At D23 Expo 2017, Marvel revealed that Cheadle would reprise his role as James Rhodes / War Machine in Infinity War, while confirming the involvement of Brolin, Bettany, Olsen, Klementieff, Gillan, Bautista, Mackie, Cumberbatch, Stan, Boseman, Ruffalo, Hemsworth, while footage screened confirmed Hiddleston, Johansson, and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket. They also announced the inclusion of the Black Order, Thanos' children in the film, Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight, Ebony Maw, and Cull Obsidian. On including the Black Order, Joe Russo said, "we have so many characters and Thanos needs to be teased out. You can’t have the characters challenging him every step of the way. There has to be characters that they have to go through to get to him. The Black Order is the perfect cast of characters to do that with." He also spoke on why Supergiant, a member of the comics version of the Black Order, was not included, noting "consolidation seemed like a smart thing to my brother and I because they were starting to overlap each other", with the exclusion in service of the storytelling. The Black Order in the film have altered powers than their comic versions, with the Russos "altering their powers to things that [they] felt were in better service of our storytelling. But also things that [we] think are cooler and things that [we] want to see." Later in July 2017, Joe Russo stated there were a couple of unfinished scenes for Infinity War that would be shot "in the next few months".
In August 2017, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor confirmed he would appear in Infinity War, in an unidentified villainous role, as did Letitia Wright, reprising her role as Shuri. In October 2017, Jacob Batalon revealed he would be reprising his role as Ned in Infinity War from Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the next month, the film's first trailer confirmed the inclusion of Winston Duke as M'Baku and Florence Kasumba as Ayo, both reprising their roles. The trailer also revealed the inclusion of the alien species Outriders, from the storyline Infinity. By February 2018, Tessa Thompson was confirmed to be reprising her role as Valkyrie in Infinity War, and Feige stated that some "interesting people" had been cast to voice the members of the Black Order, but noted they would not be revealed until they were heard in the film. In early March, Disney moved the release of Infinity War in the United States to April 27, 2018, to have it release the same weekend as some of its international markets. Visual effects for Infinity War were created by Framestore, Industrial Light & Magic, and Method Studios. Framestore created the models and textures for Spider-Man's Avengers costume, which was first seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming and implemented in that film by Trixter.