Avengers: Infinity War gave us the biggest twist ending we could ever imagine. Not only was it so thrilling and emotional at the same time, but the reason it made the biggest impact was that no one was expecting it. We wanted Thanos to win so he could be established as the biggest and the baddest villain we have ever seen but no one really thought that Marvel would actually make that happen in the most sentimental way possible. Thanos Snapped his fingers and half the population ceased to exist.
We saw our favorite heroes dusting right in front of our eyes. The sting of this scene was taken away just a teeny bit because we knew that some of these disintegrating heroes have future projects beyond Avengers 4, but the scene was still able to make us shed tears.
We all did not feel so good at the end. What’s worse is that the Russos are still making us sulk with that emotion as the two sets of marketing footage for Endgame have focused upon how desolate and helpless the world has become after the Decimation took place.
We didn’t realize how heavy this scene would be until we saw a couple of heroes turning into dust. The Russos revealed that they chose the snap victims in a way that would impact the survivors the most. Bucky & Falcon affect Cap, T’Challa affects Okoye, Groot calls Rocket his Dad as he disappears, Spidey dies in Tony’s arms. All this was meant to set the saddest emotion one could ever imagine.
The way the dusting of the characters was portrayed really worked. The characters slowly turning into ashes and disappearing into nothingness hit us right where it hurts the most. But originally, this visual effects upon the scene were supposed to be very different. The plan to erase these characters from existence was different originally.
The Russos, Visual Effects Supervisor Dan Deleeuw, VFX Supervisor Russell Earl, and VFX Supervisor Kelly Port all sat down in an interview with Collider and discussed the original plans for the final scenes. Here’s what Deleeuw explained:
“If you watch the film, it’s kind of like there’s a signature kind of look for all the powers of the stones, right? As they’re kind of used individually and then mixed together, they’re always color-coded to the stone and kind of combined in interesting ways. And so when we started with the initial passes of it, since he was using all six stones, it was something that initially we tried to kind of keep that same language happening when everybody turned to dust. And all that happened was it just got be too many light effects, and then the idea of it was that there was the dust, and there was kind of an interior light like the soul was there, and it became something that ultimately just stepped on every performance we had. We started with Tom’s performance, with when Pete disappears, and it was just something that just kind of shattered what was happening in the scene.”
If you don’t know or remember, Tom Holland improvised the scene on cue as till the day he shot it, he didn’t know that his character was going to die in the film. The same was reported for Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes. So we can assume that all the dusting scenes were improvised by actors.
Deleeuw continued to talk about the scenes:
“So basically the design language then became, ‘Well what are the actors feeling in that moment?’ Pete’s hanging on as long as he can, right? And so you’re kind of animating the particles in a way that try to preserve that. And you look at Scarlet Witch: with Wanda, she just lets herself go. So each kind of design, once we lost those extra light effects, we just kind of went with something that was sympathetic with the dust of the performances. That’s ultimately what is the shattering moment… It’s really trying to understand what the actors were doing and kind of playing off [that] in the dust itself.”
The Disintegration scenes really worked and this moment was a true stroke of genius by the Russos. What’s good is that these dusted characters are coming back on April 26.