The Avengers never really had much of a chance at stopping Thanos in Infinity War, but there was one moment where they almost did it. If Peter Quill hadn’t freaked out on Titan over the death of Gamora, the good guys probably would have been able to pry off the Infinity Gauntlet and save the universe.

Some fans have argued that Quill’s catastrophic mistake was actually necessary, either because stealing the Gauntlet only would have angered Thanos or because it helped put Doctor Strange’s mysterious plan into action. However, in a recent Collider-hosted Q&A (watch the full thing here), the directors of Infinity War and Avengers 4 seemed to confirm that Quill really did mess up big time.

When one fan asked if that frustrating scene might actually be key to stopping Thanos in Avengers 4, co-director Joe Russo responded bluntly.

“No,” he said. “That was the turning point of that scene. Again, these are flawed characters that make emotional choices, human choices. Had Quill not done that, the movie might have ended right there.”

This isn’t the first time the Russo Brothers have spoken on the subject. But in previous interviews they’ve mostly focused on Quill’s humanity, arguing that the many losses he’s experienced in his life help explain his irrational behavior on Titan during Infinity War’s pivotal moment.

As for those Avengers 4 theories, the Russo Brothers don’t seem to be suggesting they’re totally wrong. There’s no doubt that Doctor Strange looking into the future and seeing the one good outcome will play a big role in the upcoming movie, but it’s still unclear just how important any of Quill’s actions may be.

And as we saw at the end of Infinity War, it seems like Tony Stark may be the actual key to stopping Thanos. That’s why Strange hands over the Time Stone to save Tony’s life, right?

Why Did Doctor Strange Just Give Thanos the Time Stone in 'Avengers: Infinity War'?

Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 3, 2019.*

Photos via Marvel Studios