When the credits finally roll on Avengers: Endgame, they will be bringing to a close not only the end of a film but the end of a decade-long arc that began all the way back in 2008’s Iron Man. So, as you could imagine, Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo took great care in crafting that conclusion.
When Collider’s own Steve Weintraub spoke to the Russos at the Endgame press day, the duo broke down how they fleshed out that ending, which they’ve known since Infinity War went into production.
“When we were working on both Infinity War and Endgame, the first thing we did was break the ending of Endgame. Because we wanted to know where we were going. It’s very hard to tell a story if you don’t know where you’re going. So we have a very specific process with [writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely] where we spent months in a room just talking about a three-page outline. Literally, page one is act one, page two is act two, page three is act three. Because you have to know in a contained document like that, ‘Here’s where we start, here’s what happens in the middle, here’s where it ends.’ If you know that, it’s a lot easier to get to script. A more malleable format to work in a short outline like that, spend your time talking about it and thinking it through. We knew fairly early on how this was gonna’ end.”
As you might have realized during the part in Infinity War where half your beloved heroes died in front of your eyes, the Russos aren’t here to hold anyone’s hand. Part of that, they explained to Collider, is on the fact they try and hone in on their personal stakes in the story, not what the audience is feeling.
“For as much as we love the audience—and we do really love the audience, one of our favorite things about being filmmakers is experiencing a movie that we made with the audience—we don’t really think about the audience while we’re crafting a story. We generally only think about our own reaction to the story we’re telling. We use that as our meter for the choices we should make, in terms of how we structure the story, where we spend time, where we don’t spend time. I would say that, in general…it’s really our tastes and our emotional reaction that we’re having is what guides us through it.”
Check out exactly what the Russos had to say about the Avengers: Endgame ending in the player above, and be on the lookout for more of our steve’s interview with them soon.
For more on Avengers: Endgame, click here.