Three weeks from Friday, Avengers: Infinity War will finally hit theaters, and with its release looming, directors Joe and Anthony Russo have a little request: Silence.
The bigger the blockbuster, the bigger the media machine that grows around it, as evidenced by the stories surrounding Star Wars: The Last Jedi that we're still reporting nearly five months after that film hit theaters. Any Marvel Cinematic Universe film, particularly megahits like Black Panther, is bound to leave a massive impact zone that stretches out both before and after the official release date, and given that Infinity War is the biggest MCU film to date in terms of scope and advance ticket sales, its impact is likely to echo for some time. The Russos, who've already been out on massive press tours for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War, know this, and they're taking steps to make sure the film's promotional juggernaut doesn't end up steamrolling fans along the way.
In a letter posted to their official Twitter page on Monday, held in place by the fingers of the Infinity Gauntlet, the Russos noted that the Infinity War press tour — which will see them hitting destinations around the world and speaking to thousands of reporters and fans about the movie — is about to kick off in earnest. That means the press presence of the film is about to be dialed up to 11, but even with the increasing coverage, the Russo Brothers will not be screening Infinity War for any press outlets prior to its Los Angeles premiere in the days leading up to the release.
That means everyone interviewing the stars will have to make do with a "limited amount" of footage selected for promotional purposes. Why? Well, secrecy surrounding Marvel films is nothing new, but the Russos want to make it clear that they mean business this time, to the point that even the people who helped make Infinity War might not even know the whole story.
"Everyone involved with the film has worked incredibly hard for the past two years maintaining the highest level of secrecy," the letter reads. "Only a handful of people know the film's true plot."
Even with that level of secrecy throughout the making of the film, though, the Russo Brothers know that once you pop the cork on something as big as Infinity War, you only have so much time until all the bubbles leave the champagne. So, only a few days will pass between the time the film's cast sees it, the time members of the reviewing press see it, and the time fans see it, but that inevitably means some loose-lipped people will see it before others.
So, if you happen to be one of those people who gets to hit up a promo/press screening, or you snagged early tickets, the Russo Brothers want you to keep the secrecy efforts going just a little while longer. In fact, they'd like you to keep it going until virtual everyone who wants to see the film gets the chance. Check out the full text of the letter.
Now, we all know this system will never be perfect. There's always someone ready to blab the biggest spoiler possible as soon as they leave the theater, and come the Monday after the film's release the internet will be jam-packed with articles discussing the film's plot in various levels of detail.
Plus, what's a spoiler? It varies for everyone. There are people who flat-out don't care if they know a major character's going to die before they watch a film, while others will put their hands over their ears if you tell them which Infinity Stones are already on the Gauntlet in the trailer. Hell, there's probably someone somewhere on this planet who's somehow managed to avoid watching even a second of footage even though they're super-excited to see the film when it comes out.
So, essentially what the Russos seem to be asking for here is not unambiguous silence, but respect. They worked hard, they've managed to dodge spoilers up to this point, and they'd like to keep it that way in the homestretch. Even if they're not mean enough to "demand" your silence, though, Thanos is, so watch your mouth.
Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters April 27.