Putting more than a year of separation between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame would have “diffused some of the groundswell” between Infinity War’s dusting sequence and Endgame’s rousing return of Earth’s mightiest heroes.
“Certainly, it’s a lot of characters you’re bringing back, but we knew the main talking point coming out of Infinity War was going to be about the lost characters,” director Joe Russo told Backstory Magazine.
“And what’s great about shooting these back to back is we were able to release them a year apart, which was just the right amount of time to sustain a dialogue about the movies and about how Endgame was going to resolve. I think had it been two years apart, it might have diffused some of the groundswell.”
Joe and Anthony Russo, along with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, developed a slow build to the heroes’ return that culminated with the freshly undusted heroes stepping from portals conjured by Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), with Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) among the fan-favorites stepping forth to battle Thanos (Josh Brolin).
“We knew that in bringing the characters back, we wanted to tease the moment and then give each of them their moment to basically walk back onstage. We let the audience receive the return of the characters because a lot of fans were emotionally distraught over their loss,” Russo said.
“Panther always felt like the right first character to walk out. If you were going to face Thanos’ army, the guy you want having your back would be Panther and all of Wakanda. So that felt right and very rousing to us. The next reveal was Strange, because of course you have to motivate the portals, and the Guardians, then Peter Parker.”
Reception was always deafening.
“In a screening we were in, there was a huge amount of applause for each character coming back, even a massive amount just for T’Challa nodding his head at Cap, like, ‘I’ve got you,’ and thundering applause for the return of Peter Parker,” Russo continued.
“Then you finally get to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) landing and that mask coming up — again, in that screening, people were going crazy. It just had a clean build to it. The intent was, ‘Let’s slowly amass the heroes to stand in defiance against Thanos.’”
Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige has since said the heroes’ return through the portals is his favorite moment from the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe canon.
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