Thanos was supposed to walk on a river of blood from his snap victims during the Soul World scene towards the end of Avengers: Infinity War. After years of plotting and trying to collect all six Infinity Stones, the Mad Titan finally achieved what he believed was his life’s purpose by wiping out half of life in the universe in the hopes of balancing it. This is despite a gallant effort from Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and their allies to stop him.
Considering where Avengers 3 left things for both the heroes and Thanos, there is a myriad of ways things can pan out for both parties in next year’s Avengers 4. While Tony Stark and other remaining heroes are expected to do everything in their power to restore the universe and take down the intergalactic villain, it’s more curious to know what the Mad Titan will be up to by the time the Phase 3 capper picks up. This is especially interesting considering that by the end of Infinity War, he didn’t look exactly thrilled about what he just did.
During a visit to Digital Domain, the studio that was responsible for working on Thanos, /Film discovered that the Mad Titan was previously planned to walk through a river blood during his mysterious reunion with a young Gamora in the Soul World after he enacted the snap. The blood would’ve served as a metaphor to all the lives he ended in the hopes of balancing the universe. VFX Supervisor Dan DeLeeuw explained that “it got a bit dark,”which is why they ultimately opted to scrap the idea. Instead, Thanos was seen walking on what looks like a shallow lake but without the red tinge of color in the water.
The decision to veer away from Thanos walking through a river of blood was the better choice especially after seeing how it would’ve played out thanks to the sample video prepared by Digital Domain. Not only would it have made it too gory as DeeLeuw pointed out, it would’ve also diminished the emotion of the sequence given that the scene had to be visually brighter for the pool of red water to stand out. While it would’ve emphasized the gravitas of what the Mad Titan did visually, it just didn’t have the same feeling of seeing Thanos’ somber reunion with Gamora, which had a dimmer background with a subtle orange glow referencing the Soul Stone’s color, knowing that he had to sacrifice the only thing he truly loved in his life to achieve his goal.
DeLeeuw has previously talked about the complicated process of working on a VFX-heavy film like Avengers: Infinity War. Recently, he spoke extensively about how they settled on the dusting effect of Thanos’ snap victims, explaining that in the CGI team’s logic, it was only the Power Stone that caused them to be blipped out from reality. They did try using several more complicated ways to do it, including having the soul of the victims separate from their physical bodies, which would’ve implied that the power of the Soul Stone was being used. Ultimately, they chose to keep it simple but very effective in terms of evoking emotion from viewers.