‘I’ve Got No Frame Of Reference!’: Paul Bettany Recalls Having To Improvise Vision’s Death Scene While Filming Avengers: Infinity War

 Paul Bettany's final moments in Avengers: Infinity War.
Paul Bettany's final moments in Avengers: Infinity War.

Avengers: Infinity War delivered some of the more heartbreaking moments at the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3. Among them was the relationship between Vision and Wanda, which fans were invested in, and the moment when Vision died in front of Wanda was especially emotional on screen. It turns out that was entirely due to the two actors giving it their all because they had to improvise the entire scene.

Speaking at MegaCon Orlando (via Collider) Paul Bettany talked about Vision’s death scene and the fact that it needed to be reworked on set, leading the actors to be the ones to figure it out. Bettany says that he was only made aware of his character’s death the day before due to the film’s extreme secrecy, which led to there being no time to do a proper rework once it was decided the scene as envisioned wouldn’t work. As such, Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen had to wing it. The actor explained…

The Russo Brothers came up to us [Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen] and said, ‘Hey, listen, can you just improvise this scene?’ And I go, ‘What? Improvise being a robot getting killed?’ I've got no frame of reference! And Lizzie was just laughing at it, and we’re so relaxed with each other that… I don’t know how it would’ve worked other than that, because we both really trust each other and, somehow, we got to something that worked.

To say it “worked” is probably an understatement. Vision’s death scene was very well done, with Wanda being forced to kill the man she loves, and then being forced to watch it all be for nothing, as Thanos uses the power of Infinity Stones to get what he wants anyway. It’s a scene that leads perfectly into WandaVision, a show entirely about Wanda’s grief.

It will certainly be interesting to see what Marvel Studios tries to do to match the levels it reached during the Infinity Saga. Some great characters have been introduced in the last couple of years, and plenty of upcoming Marvel movies and upcoming Marvel TV shows to introduce more, but it’s hard to argue that from a box office perspective that the studio has been struggling of late. It’s unclear if this is an issue with theaters or that fans are just not as interested as they once were in the MCU.

The future of Vision is one of the open-ended questions of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point. The original Vision as we know him is dead. But the WandaVision ending left us with a version of the character, currently known as "White Vision" who did end up with Vision’s memories, so he technically does exist, though where he is and what he is up to we just don’t know. There is a Vision series in development that may answer some of those questions, but considering the levels of MCU secrecy, Paul Bettany may not even know what the future holds. If he does, he won’t be telling.