Almost a year has passed since Avengers: Infinity War hit cinema screens worldwide, and its cultural impact has been frankly colossal. The movie has generated over a billion dollars at the box office, a thousand fawning reviews and triggered an almost infinite number of discussions, debates, posts, tweets and even memes on such topics as whether Thanos had a justifiable plan to endless debate about the film’s cataclysmic ending. Yes, this biggest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films has certainly left its mark.
Understandably then, the hype around the follow up, Avengers: Endgame is massive, and this hype will only grow further as the movie approaches.
However, while Marvel have released some snippets of Information about the film – for example, we know that Endgame will be released on the 26th of April 2019 –many details about the movie remains unclear.
Marvel have released three official trailers for the movie so far and mercifully these have offered fans a few more clues about the production. We now know, for instance, that all five of the original Avengers return in the film and we also know that the movie will have a much more sombre tone. How could it not have given the elimination of half the living beings in the universe during the previous movie? Nevertheless, I doubt that even this news could dampen the excitement of the movie’s many fans for the return of so many key characters.
Captain America, Black Widow, Iron Man, Bruce Banner, and Thor all appear in the trailer for the movie, where they are joined by Ant-Man and Hawkeye.
The second trailer, which debuted during the Super Bowl, adds another pair of survivors, Rocket Racoon and War Machine to the mix. Somehow, it manages to make the mood even darker too, with a sombre palette of blue and black, the shot of empty chairs reminiscent of group therapy for the trauma the survivors have suffered, and a striking poster that simply reads ‘Where do we go, now that they’re gone?’, which has drawn comparisons to solemn TV hit The Leftovers.
However, perhaps the overwhelming sense of the heroes’ failure that looms over this film is best summarised by the first image of the initial trailer: a weakened Tony Stark bent over his shattered Iron Man helmet, stranded far from home without a superhero façade to shield his pain.
The third and thus far final trailer that has been released is far longer than the previous two, but mostly focuses on the past of the Avengers rather than their imminent future. Black and white footage of the MCU films that came before is spliced in amongst clips of the living characters banding together, reminding the audience of the hours upon hours of investment they have in this universe. So far, the film has essentially been marketed perfectly.
The recent release of Captain Marvel has certainly helped to increase hype for the latest crossover adventure too.
While the film primarily focuses on the events that led to Carol Danvers’ metamorphosis into Captain Marvel, the first post credits scene does feature the new hero appearing to the original Avengers, her full abilities clearly available to her, to enquire on the whereabouts of her friend Nick Fury. Her connections to Ronan, Supreme Accuser of the Kree and servant of Thanos, from whom Carol Danvers defects late on in the runtime of Captain Marvel, could suggest a knowledge of the titan that may assist the other Avengers in their defeat of him. But despite some teasing of Endgame in her debut film, the method of how Captain Marvel will inevitably help out Earth remains to be seen. We know one thing now from the third trailer though – her and Thor get along remarkably well, and a team-up of the two would make many fans very happy.
Inevitably, a surge of theories emerged after the release of Infinity War trying to figure out how Thanos’ genocide could be reversed or otherwise solved, and these theories have only become more and more obsessive after each new droplet of information has been revealed. While some are fairly believable, such as the idea that Captain Marvel will use her now well-demonstrated powers to stop Thanos, others are a little shakier, like the hypothesis that suggests the apparently-deceased Loki has actually been masquerading as Bruce Banner for the entirety of Infinity War. One plot point remains certain in the eyes of most Marvel fans though – Captain America won’t survive this fourth Avengers movie. With Chris Evans having thanked everyone ‘for the memories’ after they wrapped shooting on Endgame, it stands to reason that his last appearance as The First Avenger will involve some kind of sacrifice, already suggested by the Russo Brothers in an interview.
Marvel may have done a solid job of building hype for perhaps their biggest film yet, but I have a suspicion that this excitement could mark the beginning of the end for the current spate of superhero movies. The trend has been steadily grown over the past decade but frankly, where does it go from here? Once Endgame provides some kind of conclusion for the current Avengers, what is there left to say? The fact that this closure is so inevitable, confirmed by films like the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home starring a supposedly deceased character, drains some significance from Thanos’ victory for many.
The likes of Black Panther and Spider-Man will undoubtedly find a way to return to the big screen, but I highly doubt that any of these films will top the scale of Endgame. Certainly not without drawing scrutinising comparisons or seeming desperate. However, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be a mad dash to cinema’s up and down the land to see Endgame. The movie marks the end of an era and regardless of the film’s quality, it will certainly be one of the biggest events in recent film history.
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