Avengers: Infinity War press con at Marina Bay SandsStars Benendict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr exchange laughs


On the morning of 15 April, a sea of faces – some with eyes pressed against camera viewfinders – sat in rapt attention at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre. The press junket for Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War was underway, with media from as far as Australia and New Zealand – and Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man), Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr Strange) and Karen Gillan (Nebula) were fielding questions alongside Executive Producer Trinh Tran and Director Joe Russo.

Among the questions was the burning, Where is Hawkeye?

The twice-Oscar-nominated Jeremy Renner has been absent from film trailers and promotional posters for Part 1 of the third Avengers instalment, which sees all corners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe culminate in what could possibly be a drawn-out showdown, although Russo remained tight-lipped on this one. 


Cumberbatch discusses one of the best finger tutters he worked with for Marvel's Dr Strange

Russo and Tran contemplate a standalone feature film starring Iron Man and Dr Strange

“There’s only so many people you can put in one film,” Russo explained. “I have a really interesting story cooked up for Hawkeye. I’d say patience is a virtue.”

The film’s co-director, Anthony Russo, was not present.

When asked whether Dr Strange and Tony Stark’s personalities clash – Stark being the more volatile, self-obsessed one – Cumberbatch insisted otherwise.

“Noooo,” he intoned, while RDJ jokingly muttered, “Get your hand off me.”

The cast’s banter drew frequent laughter from the press, although RDJ did later address his alter ego’s relationship with Dr Strange.

“Dr Strange is the guy who can actually figure out what the most likely scenario is going to be [in a sticky situation], and I think once Tony recognises that…You can only stay at odds with someone who has that kind of ability and intuition for so long.”

“We do have a bit of a clash,” Cumberbatch admitted, “And that’s no bad thing. That’s something to enjoy in the new film – to see how the relationship [between Stark and Strange] unfolds.”

From left: Executive Producer Trinh Tran, Robery Downey Jr, Karen Gillan, Benedict Cumberbatch and Director Russo

Between jokes about who’s usually the tardiest (“Joe was the last to show up backstage before this conference was to begin,” said RDJ, to which Russo quipped, “After a year of waiting around on set, I said, ‘You tell me when they get there!’”), the Iron Man star acknowledged Tran and Russo’s hard work.

“They were locked in an editing bay for a year…like, in a cavernous abandoned ship together, while most of us had gone on to other projects.”

“It’s true,” Cumberbatch added. “They’re the ones with the superpowers. They organised our crazy schedules.”

With an ensemble of some 80 characters coming together for the first part of Avengers: Infinity War, it seems the stars will shine bright for everyone – Russo and Tran included.

Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War opens in Singapore cinemas on 25 April. 

Want more? The Marvel Studios: Ten Years of Heroes exhibition opens at ArtScience Museum on 9 June. More details here

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Avengers: Infinity War press con
Avengers: Infinity War fan event
Avengers: Infinity War fan event
Avengers: Infinity War fan event