The massive press conference for Avengers: Infinity War last Sunday gathered together 20-plus people from the MCU, including most of the cast, directors Anthony and Joe Russo – and of course, Marvel guru Kevin Feige, who has pretty much been at every single one of the press conferences since Marvel/Disney started making movies.
It was quite the undertaking, and while I’ve done many of these huge Disney press conferences, this was just a whole bunch of fun. Why? Because in a stroke of brilliance from Disney’s PR machine, they asked the Grandmaster himself, Jeff Goldblum, to moderate – and he kindly said he would. And now I’m spoiled forever and want Goldblum to moderate all of the Marvel press conferences moving forward. Seriously.
Both WLE’s Scott Menzel and I attended the event and laughed our asses off at Goldblum’s eccentric style. He came in and proceeded to give us the deal that he would pick from a large glass jar of ping pongs with either a cast member’s name or a theme on it, and a journalist could raise their hand and ask a question to said person on the stage. He was inquisitive, goofy, excited, thoughtful, and loved pointing out journalists clothes when he chose them for a question.
Then in a grand fashion, the black curtain was dropped and there they all sat. Okay, I’ll list them:
Dave Bautista (“Drax”); Paul Bettany (“Vision”); Chadwick Boseman (“T’Challa / Black Panther”); Josh Brolin (“Thanos”); Don Cheadle (“James Rhodes / War Machine”): Benedict Cumberbatch (“Dr Stephen Strange”); Robert Downey Jr. (“Tony Stark / Iron Man”); Winston Duke (“M’Baku”); Danai Gurira (“Okoye”); Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”); Tom Hiddleston “Loki”); Tom Holland (“Peter Parker / Spider-Man”); Scarlett Johansson (“Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow”); Pom Klementieff (“Mantis”); Anthony Mackie (“Sam Wilson / Falcon”); Elizabeth Olsen (“Wanda Maximoff / Scarlett Witch”); Chris Pratt (“Peter Quill / Star-Lord”); Mark Ruffalo (“Bruce Banner / The Hulk”); Zoe Saldana (“Gamora”); Sebastian Stan (“Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier”); Letitia Wright (“Shuri”)
Now none of us had seen the movie at this point. Marvel really wants to keep the details of it as under wraps as they can because of some massive spoilers, but IW premiered last night and is screening for critics today, so reactions are coming fast and furious (and mostly positive ones).
Therefore, many of the questions were met with “I can’t really say too much,” which made sense. At least some were very entertaining in their answers, like Chris Pratt talking about bass fishing rather than answer a question of what it was like for his character, Starlord, to meet humans after all this time. Benedict Cumberbatch said he read a script, but maybe not the script, while the Russos also skated around stuff. Feige is the king of non-direct answers; he makes it look so easy.
Poor Scarlett Johansson was asked the most cringe-worthy question, something about her fashion as Black Widow, but she handled it like a pro. “The fashion elements you see here…” she stood up to show off her all-black attire. “I honestly don’t know how to answer that question. I wear a leather unitard for most of this film, and I have been for the last 10 years. So if you think of any fashion elements that you would like to include, please let us know.”
That fashion question then carried on throughout the rest of the press conference, most notably with Dave Bautista who just wanted to talk about Drax’s fashion sense. Side note: I had a GREAT question for Johnasson about being the first badass female Marvel hero and what it was now like to have a few women to join her. Oh well, maybe someday.
Anthony Mackie was asked if he ever felt intimated by all these big names, and he said, “A wise man once said that some men need an hour to make their presence felt. Some men need 30 seconds.” Nice.
I asked Josh Brolin a question about whether master villain Thanos was impressed with any of the Avengers (because it seems like from the trailer he might have a little bit of respect for Captain America). I’ll admit it wasn’t really generic enough, and Brolin gently poked fun at me, turning it into a comedy bit. “Strangely enough it only took 25 seconds for me to be impressed by Anthony Mackie,” quipped Brolin. At least it livened up the room.
Others gave a some more worthy sound-bitey things like how great it is to be a part of this MCU and how they were all really good friends. Robert Downey Jr, who was asked the first question on whether he’ll be in Avengers 4, did his usual find RDJ thing. “If I die tomorrow, I’ll be really confused.” Black Panther‘s Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright probably gave the best answers about how exciting it is for women in film these days, as well as Zoe Saldana about the evolution of her character.
Bottom line, everyone on the panel got to answer a question, but though it all, Goldblum just stole the show. At one point, RDJ called him a “national treasure.” I literally couldn’t stop laughing, so if you hear someone cackling, it’s me. Disney, make sure to use Goldblum again, please.
Watch the whole press conference below, courtesy of Inside the Magic, and make sure to check back after 3:00PM PST for WLE’s full reviews.