Marvel: 10 moments where actors improvised scenes on the spot
Marvel movies have come up with iconic scenes and dialogues that have touched the hearts of fans and have been the source of various memes. While a well-written script, good storyline, CGI, and great action are the main draw of Marvel movies, sharp dialogues and surprise acts add to the charm.
Movie makers and directors accept that improvisation often brings a candid authenticity to the scene, making it immortal. This is where the actors’ spontaneity comes into play. Seasoned actors have their own understanding of the character and get into the character’s shoes, which helps them improvise.
Marvel Cinematic Universe has smartly used many behind-the-scenes in the final movie. In many cases, no definite screenplay is written for the characters, and they are left to interact on their own, such as the Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes joint therapy scene from The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
Disclaimer: The instances cited here are random picks by the author and not ranked in any particular order.
10 brilliant examples of improvisation by actors in Marvel movies and shows
1) Peter Parker’s words while turning to dust
In Avengers: Infinity Wars, Peter Parker was with Tony Stark when Thanos snapped many of the Avengers to dust. His dialogues, “I don’t feel so good, Mr. Stark,” and a repeated, “I don’t want to go,” were ad-libbed by actor Tom Holland. It had a great emotional impact on fans.
2) Tony Stark asking Peter to move his leg
In a spontaneous and funny instance in Captain America: Civil War, Peter forgets to move his leg and let Tony sit beside him in the scene. While talking to Peter Parker, Tony Stark, as a rejoinder to his monologue, said:
“You are supposed to move now so I can sit on the bed.”
3) Tony Stark announcing he is Iron Man
In the comics, Tony Stark pretends that Iron Man is his bodyguard. However, knowing Tony Stark’s slightly pompous character, he would be tempted to take credit for the work he has done. While not scripted for the MCU movie Iron Man, actor Robert Downey Jr. makes his Tony blurt out, “I am Iron Man,” which became iconic during Avengers: Endgame.
4) Drax saying, “Why is Gamora”
In a hilarious contrived moment in Avengers: Infinity War, Star-Lord demands Tony to tell him about Gamora when Tony has no idea about the character.
As scripted, actor Chris Pratt asked, “Where is Gamora?” In answer, Tony said, “I’ll do you even better. Who is Gamora?” However, Drax actor Dave Bautista improvised it with a comical,
“I’ll do you one better. Why is Gamora?”
5) Doctor Strange calling Wong “Beyoncé”
In the movie Doctor Strange, Wong showed dislike for single monikers like Eminem and Adele, as suggested by Stephen. In one scene, when Strange asked for a book, Wong said he was still not ready. In answer to that, Strange cheekily replied,
“Try me, Beyoncé!”
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch contrived this.
6) Conversation between Obadiah Stane and Tony Stark
While filming for Iron Man, the writers had hardly any script ready for Stane’s conversation with Stark. As such, Jon Favreau encouraged the actors to devise their own conversations, and that is what actors Jeff Bridges and Robert Downey did.
7) “Get help” between Thor and Loki
The first reference to this came when the brothers were trying to escape Sakaar. Thor joyfully suggests, “Get help,” and Loki adamantly refuses. Actor Tom Hiddleston claims that both the actors had thought up this maneuver on the day of filming. Again in Thor: Ragnarok, when brainstorming for ideas, Loki tells Thor he is going to “Get help.”
8) Tony Stark snubbing Peter “Adults are talking”
In Avengers: Infinity War, when Peter informs Doctor Strange he is a backup, Tony dismisses him by saying that he is a stowaway. Actor Robert follows this up with a quick snub – “The adults are talking,” referring to Strange and himself. This was ad-libbed.
9) Dinnertime chat and hot sauce between Kate Bishop and Yelena Belova
In Hawkeye, most of the dinner table conversation between Kate and Yelena was created by the two actors. The filming crew could just sit back and shoot. Again, in another scene, Kate throwing something at Yelena was improvised into Yelena pouring hot sauce on mac-and-cheese, ignoring Kate.
10) Peter Parker’s confusion in No Way Home
In Spider-Man: No Way Home, one scene was scripted for Jacob to call out Peter, and all three Peters reply, “Yeah?”. Actor Andrew Garfield improvised it by adding a sequence where all the Peter Parkers point fingers at themselves and others, asking who does Jacob mean. It depicts the confusion accurately.
Some other impulsively invented Marvel scenes have created waves of glee among fans, such as when Thor hangs his hammer on a coat rack, or Loki flips two knives and catches both. Again, Kang the Conqueror in Loki was not initially supposed to get on top of the table, but the scene became a hit.