Nem is the biggest Infinity War fan, we challenge you to beat him (Picture: Marvel, @NemRaps)
The superfan is a brilliant specimen.
For eons we’ve worshipped at the altars of sports stars, pop stars, actors, fictional characters, collectibles, art, cars, and just about anything else we can relate to, share with others or simply connect with in some way.
Also known as a ‘fanatic’ (but, let’s face it, ‘fan’ is much more sexy), these superfans have travelled the globe to support their chosen love – and we’ve tracked down some of the most die-hard and dedicated.
Each week we’ll bring you the story of one keen punter who has dedicated their life and time (and money, so.much.money) to supporting someone or something – simply because it brings them immeasurable joy. And that’s what life’s about, right?
Welcome to Metro.co.uk’s super fun weekly series, I’m Your Biggest Fan.
Tony ‘Nem’ Mitchell is what you’d call an Avengers fan – one of the more loyal and dedicated on the planet.
And he has the proof, after he broke a Guinness World Record by seeing Infinity War, the precursor to Endgame, 103 times in cinemas when it was released a year ago.
He had to document each viewing in order to break the world record (Picture: Twitter)After Joe and Anthony Russo, directors of the film, caught onto the guy who was basically paying their profit, Nem was invited to the set of Endgame where he was able to see the latest film do its reshoots.
Pretty special, right?
What was it about Infinity War that encouraged you to watch it as many times as you have?
I am a huge fan Marvel, but specifically, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When I first saw the Avengers: Infinity War, I was captivated by its brilliant storytelling and stunning visuals. The movie was bold. As MCU fans, we have emotionally invested into these characters for the last 10 years, and Infinity War was the reckoning for some of those characters. All in all, I thought it was a masterpiece that had to be experienced in the movie theatre. By the time I had watched the film a fourth time, I wondered if there was a record for watching the same film in the theatre over and over again. There wasn’t. So after consulting with my wife, and long deliberation, I decided to embark on the journey.
I ended my run at 103 times.
How much money did you spend seeing it at the cinemas?
I haven’t done an official calculation, but I’d say close to $2,000 (£1,550) between tickets and concessions. I purchased movie snacks every time I watched the film because I wanted an authentic movie-going experience for each screening. It’s weird, because now when I watch the movie at home, my mind plays tricks on me and I can mentally ‘taste’ the buttered popcorn and soda.
Every ticket stub has been collected (Picture: Twitter)What’s the most amount of times a day you’ve watched it?
I really wanted to hit 100 viewings by the end of the run. That was the goal I had in mind. So in order to achieve that, some days I had to watch the film twice. Towards the end of the theatrical run, I was running out of time to get to the 100 mark. So on some days I would watch it three times. I think I did that on four or five different occasions.
Do you not get bored of it?
The first 30 or so viewings I was still amazed. After that, I wouldn’t say that I got bored. This movie is constantly punching you in the face with action. I would say that it’s more of a feeling of knowing EXACTLY what’s going to happen next. And I do mean EXACTLY. Every swell of music, every line of dialogue, every actor’s subtle facial reaction or vocal inflection. Watching a movie 100 times in a row will do that for you.
Are you still noticing any Easter eggs or scenes you missed before?
I’ve definitely noticed a bunch in the movie. One time, the film’s unit production manager, JoAnn Perritano, snuck her name on a construction sign during the NYC battle. Other Easter eggs are direct callbacks to the comics, like when Drax and Mantis are turned into cubes and ribbons. I’ve also found a bunch of goofs too.
He’s seen the movie 103 times in the cinema alone (Picture: Twitter)I think my contribution to pointing out those goofs on Twitter led to them getting fixed in the digital/blu-ray release.
One, for example, the disappearance and reappearance of Doctor Strange’s cape while battling on Ebony Maw’s ship. This glaring mistake was later fixed on the home release.
Tell us about the record breaking…
Guinness is very strict when it comes to record breaking. I needed to have a booklet which included every ticket stub purchased, two signed witness statements from theatre attendants for each showing, a log book indicating the times and duration of each screening, and a picture of myself in front of an Infinity War marquee or poster each and every time I watched the movie.
Although, at times gruelling, the experience was truly amazing. I’ve actually made some friends with the local movie theatres attendants because of it. Being thrust into the international spotlight and being recognised by the directors of the movie was a dream. IMAX heard about what I was doing and gave me 50 free tickets to keep watching it in the theatres. Unfortunately, at the time my local theatre didn’t have any more IMAX screenings of the film, so I decided to donate all of those tickets to my Twitter and YouTube followers. 50 of us ended up seeing Ant-man and the Wasp, it was so cool to connect with like-minded Marvel fans. During this entire experience, one moment that stuck out was when Joe Russo followed me on Twitter and sent me a DM inviting me to the different Marvel-themed events. It was like 2am and I was ‘yahooing’ in my man cave. I woke up the kids, but it was OK, they were excited too.
And you were invited to the Endgame set. What was that like?
Not sure anyone on this planet has watched Infinity War more than @NemRaps. Welcome to the A4 set. We make these movies for fans like you… pic.twitter.com/g8ivdDDLjp
— Russo Brothers (@Russo_Brothers) September 7, 2018
The Russos did indeed invite me and my family down to Atlanta as special guests, to the set of Avenger’s Endgame last fall. At the time, the movie had already been filmed, but they were doing reshoots.
We met Anthony Russo and some of the actors that play in the movie. We did a tour around the movie studio and saw a bunch of stuff that I’m not privy to share before Endgame releases. One of our favorite parts of the tour was seeing the different costumes and props. That was amazing.
Like the Infinity Gauntlet…
We met with Marvel’s head prop master Russell Bobbitt, and we did get the opportunity to hold the ACTUAL infinity gauntlet that was used in the movie, one of only two in the world. I’m not ashamed to say that when he showed us the Gauntlet, I got a little misty-eyed. You have to understand, this is a childhood dream. I grew up reading the comics and watching the cartoons dealing with the Infinity Saga. I am a true fan. That moment will resonate with me for a long time.
Do you think there is a greater Avengers fan than you?
I wouldn’t call myself the ultimate Avengers fan, but I will claim that I’m the biggest fan of Avengers: Infinity War. I can recite that movie word for word from beginning to end. One time, I was on a plane and there was no in-flight movie available. I just closed my eyes and ‘rewatched’ the movie in my head. It’s pretty insane.
How many times do you think you’ll see Endgame? Are you hoping to break the Infinity War record?
I plan on seeing Endgame a bunch of times. I already purchased four screenings. But I’m not sure that this is a record that I want to beat again. It’s intense. Although it was fun, it was more of just a one-time thing.
I’m Your Biggest Fan is a weekly series that deep dives into the world of fandoms, via the people who worship the hardest. Check back in next Thursday to check out the latest aficionado.
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