Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame. If you haven't seen the latest Marvel blockbuster, look away!
It's been nearly a week since Avengers: Endgame arrived in theaters, and moviegoers haven't stopped discussing and dissected every frame of the record-breaking blockbuster. The Russo Brothers brought everything imaginable to Endgame, including plenty of wild plot twists and surprise cameos. And following the film's runtime, there was one more surprise that gobsmacked the hardcore fandom.
Avengers: Endgame included an epic curtain call, which recognized just about everyone who has had a major role in the massive shared universe. Following that fitting sendoff, moviegoers stayed glued to their seats to see what the end-credits scene would tease for Phase Four. But the scene never came, a first in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Russo Brothers recently explained this unexpected decision, with Anthony Russo recently saying:
As if the wild events of Avengers: Endgame weren't enough of a mic drop, the Russo Brothers delivered one more shocking twist. The new release was the cumulation of 22 Marvel movies, so the brothers decided the movie deserved a proper ending. No teases, no credits scene, just the end of the Infinity Saga and the MCU as we know it.
Anthony Russo's thoughts about Endgame's ending come from a Q&A that Joe and Anthony Russo did following an Endgame screening in Washington D.C. just last night-- with CinemaBlend in attendance. Now that the movie is finally in theaters, the Russos no longer have to worry about guarding its secrets, and giving cagey answers to fans and journalists. The cat is out of the bag, so the directors can finally be open about their creative process, and the myriad bold choices made throughout the course of the expansive film.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe introduced the post-credits scene to moviegoers back with Iron Man, which featured the debut of Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury. These bonus clips have become commonplace since, teasing that's next for each franchise, and offering deeper connections to the shared universe. And considering how almost nothing is known about the MCU in Phase Four, moviegoers expected to get some idea through Avengers: Endgame's credits.
But it turns out that The Russo Brothers don't know much about the MCU's future either. While they set up a new Captain America and a path for Thor, the studio is gong to have new architects planning the next slate of movies. The Russo Brothers did masterful work with Phase Three, but it appears that Avengers: Endgame is their last entry for a while.
During the same Q&A in Washington D.C., Anthony Russo maintained just that: they couldn't tease the future of the MCU in Avengers: Endgame because they simply don't know what's coming next. As he explained:
Well, that's definitely not how Marvel fans expected things to go down. After crafting narratives that includes all of the MCU's biggest characters, they bid goodbye to the Avengers and Guardians following their pair of Avengers movies. And without speaking with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige about the future, they had no advanced knowledge to craft a credits scene from.
The Russo Brothers made their debut with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which is widely considered one of the best installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Following that movie's massive success, the brothers helped to craft the story of Phase Three, directing three large ensemble projects in the process. They've spent years worrying about the events of the MCU, so it stands to reason that they might want to have a break following the release (and insane success) of Endgame.
Clearly Marvel Studios is happy with what the Russo Brothers were able to accomplish within the MCU. And as such, Kevin Feige and the powers that be gave them the freedom to craft their Avengers movies, without worrying what may or may not be coming next dow the pipeline. As Anthony Russo went on to explain:
The stakes were extremely high for Infinity War and Endgame, so it's surprising to see how hands off the larger studio was regarding The Russo Brothers' narrative choices. But that relationship also functioned as a two-way street, because Anthony and Joe didn't look to the future or ask for details regarding what's next. So it looks like they'll be able to enjoy future Marvel movies just like the rest of us.
The future of the MCU remains a total mystery, in part thanks to the lack of an Avengers: Endgame post-credits scene. Smart money says the studio may keep their cards close to the chest at least until Spider-Man: Far From Home arrives in a few months.
Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now, and the MCU will pick back up when Spider-Man: Far From Home arrives on July 2nd. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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