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Wednesday, August 08 2018 14:00

Exploring Madame Tussauds Hollywood with Avengers: Infinity War Executive Producer Trinh Tran!

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This Avengers: Infinity War Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Marvel Studios. This article contains spoilers...

The release of Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War invoked a lot of reaction from fans and critics alike. While the film was met with near-universal acclaim and a box office take that would make Thanos smile (over $2B worldwide), the emotional response elicited by the events of the film's final act left many feeling... things. Anger, sadness - downright shock... the first ten years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe had all been leading to this, the uncertain fate of some of Earth's mightiest heroes. So how is that fan reaction taken in by those behind-the-scenes? In celebration of Avengers: Infinity War's in-home release, I had a chance to find out - catching up with Executive Producer Trinh Tran at the all-new Marvel Superheroes 4-D attraction at Madame Tussauds Hollywood.

"You know what?  I have been trying to avoid the public to be honest with you - only because I was really nervous about how everybody was going to respond to the ending," Tran explains.  "It actually feels really weird because I can’t believe I can actually talk about it now.  For the longest time, even during the press tour, we couldn’t say anything. For two years, we had to keep our mouths mum about all the spoilers, so this is actually one of my very first few times actually being able to talk about the events of Infinity War."

"Everybody has just been embracing the film,  which is really shocking and great because you know, a lot of people - and they're fan favorites - didn't make it. Whether it was Peter Parker or Quill or whomever, they didn't survive the ending and I think that the shock is that the bad guy won.  I think the big surprise for us was seeing that the audience was OK with it. That was really weird."

Real-Life Avengers?

Real-life Avengers? Inside S.H.I.E.L.D. (Madame Tussauds Hollywood) with Trinh Tran (right, next to wax Chris Hemsworth).

My first time meeting Tran was brief and in-passing at the World Premiere of Avengers: Infinity War back in April.  As the Executive Producer of both that film and the upcoming Avengers 4 (aka "Avengers Untitled"), she brings with her the experience of someone who's worked up the ranks at Marvel, starting as an assistant on Jon Favreau's Iron Man back in 2008.

"When I walked into Marvel, there were only about 20 people working there.  Now we've grown to hundreds, but I remember the first time my boss brought me into watch Iron Man and I absolutely fell in love with the movie.  I fell in love with the character and I just knew that this is the company I want to be in business with - the type of movie I want to work on," she recalls.

The Rock Father and Captain America

The Rock Father/James Zahn with Wax Chris Evans Captain America/Steve Rogers, about to tear up some bad guys!

With Infinity War, a unique set of challenges presented themselves both in terms of storytelling and real-life logistics, starting with connecting the dots of who was gonna make it through the first one.

Infinity War Blu-Ray"We were really trying to figure out how Infinity War was going to connect to Avengers 4 and we wanted to be able to tell a complete story, but I won't get into it much because I don't want to spoil anything... but there is a specific reason why some of these people survive," she says. As for the biggest challenges? They're not necessarily on-screen. "Being away [from home] for a year and a half.  I think was one of the biggest challenges. Shooting a back-to-back movie is really just balancing time to complete the movie but really getting the cast together. This is the biggest cast that we’ve ever had in any of the films - I believe even in Hollywood. The amount of talent that we have - to be able to actually bring them all together, even to shoot one scene, was pretty challenging, but we have the best people.  Some of these crew members we’ve been working with since Winter Soldier so we have this trust that everybody is going to be able to figure out a way to make that happen and we were able to pull it off and make a great movie out of it."

With Avengers 4 set for release next May, there's a lot of focus on what's next, and that just so happens to be the film about the Avenger that Tran herself would most like to be.

"I know Captain Marvel is not in Infinity War, but she’s the one. I’m looking forward to her movie and I think it’s about time.  She’s so strong and what’s so important is that she embodies leadership and we to have more of that, especially female, so I’m looking forward to March when this movie comes out!"

Avengers: Infinity War is available now on Digital. Blu-ray and DVD will be out on August 14. The Marvel Superheroes 4-D attraction at Madame Tussauds Hollywood. is open now and takes families on an immersive experience filled with life-sized versions of their favorite Marvel heroes. While we were there, each member of our crew created a wax cast of our hand - then transformed into an Infinity Gauntlet. Mine is so badass, it requires its own article. Stay tuned!

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and writes a regular Star Wars column - Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away for The Pop Insider. He also regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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