Avengers: Infinity War is, as we all know by now, set to be the biggest Marvel Studios film to date by a significant margin. It's the culmination of a decade of filmmaking, featuring everything from a land battle in Wakanda to the Guardians of the Galaxy meeting up with Thor to Thanos of Titan attempting to unmake half the universe by gathering together a group of impossibly powerful stones. The stakes have never been higher.
For Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen, though, it's all rooted in a love story.
What began with a mid-battle encounter during Avengers: Age of Ultron back in 2015 has since evolved into a full-blown superhero romance for the two actors, who play the android Vision and the reality-altering Scarlet Witch, respectively. By the time Infinity War rolls around, their characters will have evolved their relationship to the point of actually maintaining a relationship, or at least trying to, fulfilling the long-held wishes of comic book fans hoping that love story would eventually translate to the big screen. But how does this love story blossom amid the post-Civil War fallout, what happens when Thanos gets in the way, and how do the high stakes of Infinity War impact it?
Speaking to journalists on the Infinity War set, Olsen explained that the divisions in Civil War (which saw the pair on opposite sides of the fight) have made things difficult, but that Vision and the superpowered Sokovian known as Wanda Maximoff are finding ways to spend time together.
"We have stayed separate teams and the people on Cap’s side have been fighting more rogue missions," Olsen said. "Hence, we all look a bit different to suggest being in hiding and we’ve been trying to within that time find points of meeting in different places in order to try and forward our relationship."
These meetings have been helped along by the fact that Vision has learned to use the nanotechnology in his body to significantly alter his appearance, making him appear more human. As we saw in Civil War, he retains his commitment to understanding humanity despite existing outside of it, and one of the ways he's doing that is by developing a deeper connection with Wanda. That's all thrown into turmoil, though, by the arrival of Thanos and his connection to the Mind Stone that, last we saw it, was embedded in Vision's forehead.
Obviously the Mad Titan will be coming for the stone, and if he gets what he wants it could very well destroy Vision entirely, just as he's finding a real connection with another human that could turn out to be true love. Bettany and Olsen are obviously tight-lipped about the actual plot of Infinity War and where their characters are headed, but when asked about how the emotional stakes change between Civil War and this film, Olsen mentions the more "grounded" direction these two characters in particular are taking. They may be a reality-altering orphan and a flying android created by an evil robot, but they're also just two people trying to navigate life together in a world gone mad.
That sense of an emotional core, according to Bettany, resonates with the other characters from Civil War as well, and creates a need to put differences aside.
"Yeah, I think it is the most emotional [arc for Vision and Scarlet Witch so far]. Also, the cost and the danger that we’re all facing becomes more important than certain beef that people had in the past because it’s so desperate," Bettany said. "The point of the Avengers, and by extension mankind, it’s fraught with danger. So I think old grudges are buried and put off until next time."
How far will the romance go, and will Vision and Scarlet Witch even be left to enjoy it? We'll find out more when Avengers: Infinity War arrives April 27. For the full interview, head over to Slashfilm and read the transcript.