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Has a movie title ever been as anticipated as Avengers 4? It was first announced in November 2014 as Avengers: Infinity War — Part 2, but in 2016 co-director Joe Russo said it would be retitled, sparking more than two years of speculation, hand-wringing and outright hysteria among fans.
Now, more than four years after Avengers 4 was announced, we finally have the title, Avengers: Endgame, and first trailer. To process it all, the team at Heat Vision has assembled to answer a few questions, starting with the first reactions to the new title …
Richard Newby: I’m not surprised by the title, and while I think there were some pretty clever alternatives tossed around social media, Avengers: Endgame just fits. It’s not going to make anyone go “wow” or run to pick up trades and back issues like Infinity War did, but it fits with what’s previously been alluded to by both Tony Stark and Doctor Strange.
Aaron Couch: Endgame was one of the rumored titles, so it felt like, “OK, cool. This is the endgame!” I get it. It works for me. And this is better than Avengers: Annihilation, which was floating around the Internet as a possibility.
Ryan Parker: I … don’t love it. I guess I was expecting something more poetic. Perhaps the hype got to me. I guess it is OK. Just sounds like the title of a big MMA fight.
Meg Downey: Honestly I’m kind of into Endgame, even though I wasn’t exactly expecting it. My horse in the race was always Disassembled just because it seemed the most thematically interesting, but I think Endgame evokes just the right amount of melodrama considering the stakes. Also, I’m kind of glad now, in retrospect, that avoiding Disassembled means we won’t have to deal with trying to differentiate between the movie and the comic event in conversation — better for SEO, too. The same can’t really be said for Infinity War and Marvel’s Infinity Wars comic book crossover, which is just a perpetual nightmare.
TRAILER’S MOST IMPACTFUL MOMENT?
McMillan: On first viewing, my favorite bit was definitely the Scott Lang post-credit sequence, for the combination of Scott being so amazingly out of sync with the emotional mood of the rest of the trailer, but also the audible surprise and disbelief in Steve’s voice when he realizes he’s watching a live feed. But after a few rewatches, I might have shifted allegiances to the Clint reveal, purely because I’m very curious to see what happens with that storyline.
Couch: Tony Stark — defeated beyond anything in his worst nightmares — and facing his impending death. The Tony we met in 2008 is not this Tony. Robert Downey Jr. has developed this character over the past decade in a way that even Hugh Jackman wasn’t allowed to as Wolverine (Downey’s movies are all in one continuity and don’t have the dramatic ups and downs that Jackman had to suffer through). This feels like the last — and biggest — turn he will take after tackling a superhero with PTSD (Iron Man 3) or going through a reactionary phase (Civil War).
Newby: It has to be Clint Barton’s reveal as Ronin for me. The pain in Jeremy Renner’s eyes sells the tone of the movie. I know that Hawkeye has become kind of a joke among fans and has too often been given the shaft, but I think he is the heart of the team. Avengers: Age of Ultron made such major strides in fleshing out his character and giving him a family, making him seem like a guy who could happily walk away from this life of superheroics and be just fine. So now that his family is gone and he has nowhere else to go, Ronin has become the broken heart that represents the sum losses of all of the Avengers. Plus, I never root against a guy who carries a sword.
McMillan: Richard wins for the Hawkeye getting the shaft pun.
Downey: This speaks to who I am just as a person, but the second I realized Steve’s first shot was him crying, it was over for me. That was all I could think about. I was a Chris Evans loyalist and a Steve Rogers megafan before those two forces combined back in 2011, so I’ve admittedly got a whole lot wrapped up in this particular incarnation of the character and the idea that we’re seeing him at, pardon the pun, the end of the line is a really emotional thing for me. I’m going to be ruined by this movie and honestly, I can’t wait for it.
Lauren Huff: I am 100 percent with Meg on being a Chris Evans/Cap loyalist. I’m not ready for the end of that character. That being said, I think the most impactful moment for me was twofold: the bleakness of the way it began, with Tony all alone floating through space, contrasted by the hilarious arrival of Ant-Man at the end.
Parker: Tony’s message to Pepper totally got to me. I remembered they never got to say goodbye. And while it is safe to say they will see each other again, it still made me think and feel.
Couch: How restrained it was. It wasn’t quite as understated as the first teaser for The Dark Knight, but it’s about as close as one of these movies can get to that. There’s no action (just the aftermath of Clint’s battle). It’s a character study examining what years of loss (and this latest, unimaginable loss) has done to these heroes. It’s possible we’ll only get two trailers for this (a la Infinity War). How cool is it to think we won’t see much more than this? Like Infinity War, we could really go in spoiler-free.
McMillan: I’m not sure there’s anything that surprising in the trailer; my biggest surprises are what wasn’t there. Where’s Rocket Raccoon? He wasn’t snapped away. Is a talking raccoon too ridiculous for the downbeat nature of the whole thing, pre-Scott showing up? And seeing no Carol Danvers was genuinely a shock, especially considering the Captain Marvel promo is up and running. But I guess she’ll be saved for the second trailer …
Newby: I was really expecting Captain Marvel to show up somewhere, especially after her big trailer debut earlier this week. Kevin Feige has really been selling the idea of Carol Danvers as the strongest and most important character in the MCU going forward, despite the fact that she’s an unknown for a lot of non-comic reading audiences. It’s clear that Marvel Studios wants Captain Marvel to be their next big franchise starter, so not using the Endgame teaser to further sell audiences on her importance, and the importance of her film, was surprising.
Huff: Yeah, how is Carol Danvers ultimately involved? She wasn’t in the trailer at all, so looks like they’re aiming to keep that particular mystery under lock and key, but I’m surprised after the Captain Marvel trailer and the after-credits scene in Infinity War that they didn’t include her here.
McMillan: Carol is 100 percent going to save Tony in space. Calling it now.
Parker: Biggest surprise for me: Captain America clean-shaven. Kidding. I was surprised to see Ant-Man in the end. Really curious how he got back.
Downey: No, really, clean-shaven Cap is a travesty — though I guess not really a surprise. Why would we ever be allowed to keep something nice? Nothing gold can stay, or whatever. But anyway — I wasn’t really surprised by a ton, honestly. Not highlighting Okoye or Wakanda at all came a little out of left field, I think, considering that’s where we ended things in Infinity War, and we know for sure Okoye is still around, but other than that, I’m kind of glad at the ambiguity of it all. I don’t want to know how Carol fits in yet, I don’t want to know how the pieces are going to come together. I’m good with it like this.
Couch: The marketing of Infinity War was about bringing together an entire universe. This trailer doesn’t need to do that. Instead, it shows us that Endgame can be a more intimate tale, one giving the original Avengers the focus and sendoff they deserve. There’s no need for us to see too much of the others in this trailer.
BIGGEST QUESTION LINGERING FROM THE TRAILER?
Couch: How does time travel play into this? Like most people, I’ve been fan-fictioning this in my head for the past few months, and I’ve convinced myself Scott Lang gets sucked into a time vortex and somehow ends up going back to warn the team … or plant some sort of seed. But perhaps Scott’s return from the Quantum Realm isn’t anything like that.
Newby: I’m also very curious about the rumored time travel aspect. But along with that, I want to know what Thanos is doing in the meantime. If the Avengers go back in time and try to prevent him from getting the stones then what is the Thanos in the present doing? Presumably he’s doing more than enjoying sunsets. Infinity War‘s teaser really amped up the villain, while Endgame‘s teaser puts him in the background, though he will presumably be just as important. Given the mechanics of time travel, is it possible that there might be two Thanoses running amok?
Couch: If Thanos was the protagonist of Infinity War, I suspect Natasha, Steve and Tony will be the driving forces of this story.
Huff: I’m curious to see how they broach the time travel thing too, seeing as how it’s so easy for that to venture deep into the land of plot holes. Still, I don’t know how they would undo everything without some time travel being involved.
Downey: I really want to know how much time has passed between this movie and the end of Infinity War. What sort of postapocalyptic landscape are we looking at here? Also, there’s that one shot early on where we see someone’s hand touch someone else’s shoulder in what looks like a spaceship, but it’s so dark and the shot is so close it’s pretty much impossible to tell who it is or where they are. I’d like a little more detail on that scene — is it Nebula saying goodbye to Tony before she bails and leaves him alone to die? Is Tony actually alone up there or is she still around? What happened there? Are they working together or not?
Parker: It will be interesting to see how the world rights itself. I guess I am curious if any character actually dies. It is presumably Evans’ final movie. Does Cap make the ultimate sacrifice? That would help make the stakes feel more real.
Huff: I want to know how Tony has survived four days without food AND water.
Avengers: Endgame opens April 26, 2019.
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