Over the course of three Marvel Studios movies, co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo have shaped the team of Secret Avengers, consisting of Captain America, Black Widow, and the Falcon.
Given that Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff have survived Thanos' snap in Avengers: Infinity War, fans can expect them to be even scrappier in Avengers 4. The directors spoke with Wired about the characters, teasing how their journey has shaped them for this film.
"In Winter Soldier, what we found so compelling about pairing [Black Widow] up with Captain America was that he is a service paragon of morality and she is a paragon of gray," said Joe Russo. "But they've grown together and I think when you find them in this movie and they've been the Secret Avengers for two years because they're being hunted by Ross and the government, they're like a tight-knit family now — her, Sam Wilson, and Steve Rogers.
"It's hardened all of them in a way. You can't go on the run without it affecting you emotionally, so I think all of those characters — specifically the ones who survived Infinity War, Cap and Natasha — you will see them with a much much harder edge."
It's hard to believe that every hero won't be hardened after failing in the battle against Thanos, considering the destruction caused in the event fans refer to as "The Snappening." All of survivors have experienced tremendous loss in that defeat, so seeing these heroes become grittier will likely come with massive changes for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The directors have been opening up about Avengers: Infinity War now that the film has hit home video, revealing their intentions and ideas for characters like Iron Man.
"I think, in a lot of ways, he is the heart and soul of the Marvel universe," Joe Russo said. "He's a fascinating character, a character that we love because he is imminently flawed and we like characters that are challenging and express their humanity and I think Tony Stark does that as well as any of the characters. He started off as a narcissistic alcoholic and grew into a hero which, I think, makes him imminently relatable and signifies what the Marvel universe stands for, which is character first and the heroes are defined through the choices that they make."
We'll find out if Iron Man has lost hope next year when Avengers 4 premieres in theaters.
Avengers: Infinity War is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital HD.