Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo reveal they first broke the ending of their two-movie epic, saying they knew “fairly early on” how the story would end.
“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,” Joe Russo told Collider.
“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.”
In turn, the story wasn’t shaped by audience expectations, but instead the Russo brothers’ own compass.
“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,” added Anthony Russo.
“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.”
That makes the Endgame finale unpredictable, the brothers told Jakes Takes:
“Here’s the thing, the fans are so passionate and they spend such a long time living with these characters, thinking about these characters, and they’re using their imaginations to follow where these stories could possibly go,” Anthony said. “Sometimes they’re wildly off, sometimes they’re kinda next door to what might happen. ... Here’s the thing, nothing’s ever that close. You can get kinda close, but it’s never exactly.”
Added Joe, “Our mission’s always to surprise people. So we try to make really surprising choices.”
Avengers: Endgame releases April 26.
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