The makers of the new Avengers: Infinity War blockbuster have told Edinburgh to “get ready” for a huge premiere in the city that will have a starring role in the film.
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo, who spent seven weeks filming in the capital last year, have responded to an online campaign calling for a gala screening of the film in the city by telling their army of Twitter followers: “We’re on it.”
The Edinburgh International Film Festival and patron Karen Gillan, who is in the new film, have already thrown their weight behind the campaign, launched by Stirling-based fan Mae Trumata.
Due to be released on April 27, Avengers: Infinity War has been made by movie giants Marvel and Disney.
The film, which will star Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, is expected to be one of the biggest world box office hits of the year.
The biggest ever production to shoot in Scotland involved a 400-strong crew and was worth an estimated £10 million to the economy, with extensive filming on the Royal Mile, Cockburn Street and in and around Waverley Station.
Ms Trumata’s petition stated: “We are petitioning to have an Infinity War Premier at Edinburgh, as the city has contributed a lot to filming it. We think that this is the perfect chance to showcase what the city has to offer in terms of future Hollywood film productions and premieres.
“More importantly, it would be an honour and a great thank you to the city and its people, and the fans within the city, in their contribution to creating this film.”
The Russo brothers responded to a tweet from one of the film’s stars, Dave Bautista, who plays Drax, urging fans to promote the campaign.
The Russo brothers told him: “Let’s do it, Dave. We’re on it. Get ready Edinburgh.”
Rosie Ellison, manager of the Film Edinburgh commission, which spent more than a year negotiating with the makers of the film before cameras started rolling, said: “We were very proud to host the T2 Trainspotting world premiere last year and were equally proud to be chosen as the only location in the world outside of the studio for Avengers: Infinity War.
"We’d be delighted to welcome the filmmakers back to Edinburgh to launch the film here, in the city of superheroes.”
Gavin Barrie, economy leader at Edinburgh City Council, said: “The movie will be a fantastic opportunity to promote Edinburgh to audiences all over the world, but you can imagine the buzz the Avengers and their allies would create if they reassembled for a special screening.
“People in the city are really excited to see their home town on the silver screen. The movie is the largest production Edinburgh has ever hosted, and it is a real credit to the city that the feedback from Disney’s producers, directors and actors was all extremely positive.
"They fell in love with Edinburgh, with its cobbled streets and sweeping skylines creating a backdrop for important action scenes.
“When I met with the Russo brothers during filming, we discussed how proud the city was to host the world premiere of T2 Trainspotting earlier that year.
“We even suggested a special screening of Avengers Infinity War in Edinburgh would be very well received. The crew said they felt supported every step of the way by the council, our residents and Film Edinburgh, who went out of their way to make the crew feel welcome and facilitate their requirements. We’re ready to roll out the red carpet if they are.”
Mark Adams, artistic director of the film festival, said: “It would, of course, be a wonderful thing if Avengers: Infinity War were to have its premiere in Edinburgh.
"It was shot here and everyone has been excited to have such a film in the city. The directors have given their support on Twitter, but there is a long way to go and such decisions are made for all sorts of reasons.”