If you thought the ending of Avengers: Infinity War was a surprise, it appears you haven’t seen anything yet. The April sequel Avengers: Endgame will wrap up the story that began in Infinity War—and in truth will wrap up the story that began in 2008’s Iron Man, serving as a “culmination event”—and co-director Joe Russo says the final conclusion carries with it an intense amount of spoilers.
Infinity War shocked audiences by ending with (spoiler alert) the villain winning out. The heroes lost, half the universe’s population was turned to dust, and characters like Peter Parker, Scarlet Witch, and Doctor Strange vanished before our eyes. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo released a statement ahead of that film’s release asking audiences to keep the surprises to themselves, so everyone who saw the movie in the theater could have the same fresh, unspoiled experience. In a new interview, Joe Russo says a similar statement is probably coming for Endgame, which apparently includes even bigger reveals.
“At a certain point, I’m sure we’ll write another letter this year that asks everyone to stay off the internet. I think this one has even more spoilers than the last one. This is a culture that wants everything now, and it’s getting worse. The world is connected via social media, and information travels within seconds. If you’ve been following along with this narrative for 10 years, you’re going to want to protect yourself. It’s best to go in clean. I encourage people to go opening weekend because I’m sure everything is going to hit the internet the moment the movie hits the screen.”
The Russos previously admitted to creating footage specifically for the Infinity War trailers that would misdirect audiences, like that massive “hero shot” at the end with all the characters running together in Wakanda. It’s highly likely they did the same thing for Endgame, and in this new interview, Russo talked about the value of seeing something unspoiled in the theater for the first time:
“There’s a culture that monetizes secrets around these films—an online culture, a media culture. That’s fair, but it’s also fair for the filmmaker to protect the story. When I was 11 years old, I went to see The Empire Strikes Back, having seen Star Wars a bunch of times with my uncle. I was at the theater from 11 until 10 at night watching Empire over and over again because I knew nothing about what was going to happen in the film beyond what I’d seen in a trailer in front of a movie once or twice. Information was so much more limited. It was so shocking to me what happened that I was emotional watching it.”
This, Russo explains, is why they feel comfortable presenting doctored or misleading footage in trailers. It’s all in service of preserving the theatrical experience:
“That’s the feeling that my brother and I are trying to replicate for other kids who want to be surprised. It’s why we limit the amount of information in trailers. That’s why we obfuscate it. Audiences are so predictive. Everyone has a PhD in content now, and it’s constant. The smallest clue in a trailer can ruin a movie.”
I am 100% fine with this. Marketing is not a movie. Sometimes marketing is misleading against the filmmaker’s wishes, like when Fight Club was sold as some beat-‘em-up macho fest instead of a satire or Crimson Peak was sold as a horror movie instead of a Gothic romance. Trailers are meant to put butts in seats, but when it comes to Avengers movies, butts are already gonna be in seats. So why not reveal as little as possible in the necessary trailers? It’s not like people buy trailers on Blu-ray and watch them over and over again. A trailer is disposable. A movie is forever.
Honestly, I wish more filmmakers behind massive blockbusters would do this.
The wait is almost over. Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26th. For more on the film, peruse our coverage below.
- Over 20 New ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Images Tease Reunions and a Crying Captain America
- Watch: The Russo Brothers Explain Why You Should See ‘Avengers: Endgame’ in IMAX
- ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Featurette Sees the OG Avengers Coming to Terms with a Post-Snap World
- ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Cast Members Share Dusted and Undusted Character Posters