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Former Marvel Artist's Wild Idea That Made It Into Avengers: Infinity War - Exclusive

For nearly nine years, concept artist Anthony Francisco designed the look for some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's most memorable characters — including Baby Groot for "Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2," the Dora Milaje for "Black Panther," and most recently, Namor for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever." On top of that, Francisco did concept art for three "Thor" films, "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," "Black Widow," "Doctor Strange," and  "Captain Marvel." He also did designs for the "Ant-Man" movies, including the famed Marvel villain M.O.D.O.K. for the upcoming threequel "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania."

While Francisco has earned high praise for his character designs, he also is responsible for creating key frames, which, if used, turn into scenes into any given MCU film. Sometimes, as Francisco found out, directors utilize his key frames without his knowledge, which makes for a pleasant surprise when he gets to screen a completed film like "Avengers: Infinity War."

Francisco was brought aboard the Avengers films because of his great reputation as 'the idea guy'

In an exclusive interview with Looper to discuss his MCU work and his new multimedia project "Creature Chronicles," Anthony Francisco recalled his lasting memories of working with MCU directors Anthony and Joe Russo on "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame."

"With 'Infinity War' and 'Endgame,' I was actually working on another [Marvel] project at the same time, Francisco said. "They brought me in when it came to coming up with some bigger ideas since I am known as 'the idea guy' — because I take things a little bit too far sometimes! That's why I'm there — so that I could go that far and then they could bring me back in if they need to. For 'Infinity War,' the notes and the task I got was to design the battle between Thanos and Dr. Strange, which was a big thing. They said, 'We want something epic that we've never seen before.'" However, one of the new and epic key frames that made it into "Infinity War" ended up taking Francisco by surprise.

Thanos moon-shattering sequence was conceived by Francisco

Anthony Francisco said he "came up with a bunch of ideas" for "Infinity War," and one of the big sequences he figured Anthony and Joe Russo would never use actually ended up materializing before his eyes the first time he screened the film.

"One that really stuck that I didn't know would — because I know the Russos and they like things a little more on the realistic side — was when I had Thanos break up the moon and had it rain down [on Iron Man and some of the other Avengers]. That was my idea and they actually put in," Francisco recalled for Looper. "I didn't know they put it in until I watched the movie, and I was like, 'Oh, my God, they liked it!' In terms of that movie, [those are] the big moments are the ones I got to work on, but not all the characters. I technically didn't get to really dive deep into how they maneuver their way through their art. However, I did also come up with the initial idea for time travel for 'Endgame.'"

Francisco left Marvel in 2021 to begin his work on Creature Chronicles." You can see his previous MCU designs on his studio's website, as well as his Twitter and Instagram accounts.