If the cliffhanger being teased for Avengers: Infinity War is any indication, the year-long wait for Avengers 4 will be brutal.
Speaking to ComicBook.com in exclusive interviews, the sibling directors of Avengers: Infinity War Anthony and Joe Russo, as well as the film's screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, admitted the ensemble film might have people talking the same way The Walking Dead did after its sixth season.
"I liked that cliffhanger," Markus said, referring to The Walking Dead's Season Six finale, which saw the villainous Negan introduced only to murder a key character from the AMC show, with their identity remaining a mystery for an entire off-season.
For the next six months, the craze enabled fans of the series to begin conversations with strangers and share theories on what's next as the show was at its peak. Marvel fans are about to know what that feels like as the universe culminates. "That's a water cooler..." McFeely said. "Well, yes, you will have a water cooler year. You'll have a water cooler, year.
The directors, however, are expecting reactions to be a bit more tame.
"I think the reaction is that in Winter Soldier and Civil War, we like complicated stories," Joe Russo said. "We like stories that are in bounds. And Thanos is the toughest villain they've ever faced, and it's going to cost these heroes a lot if they're going to beat him. We like robust concepts, and so I think that when people are done with the movie, that hopefully it's a cathartic experience for them and they feel it was a worthy finale to 10 years of film-making."
Regardless of any potential cliffhanger, Avengers: Infinity War will tell a story in itself which will offer a conclusion if Anthony Russo had his way. "It was important for us, because we wanted, the experience we wanted to have at the end of this story was the sense of emotional completion. In terms of what the narrative was in the film," Anthony Russo said. "And hopefully they'll have that similar feeling."
"We describe it like this, in the same way that Winter Soldier has a connection to, throws to Civil War, and the same way that Civil War throws to Infinity War, Infinity War will throw to the next film. It's hard to define it," Joe Russo said.
"It's serialized story-telling," Anthony Russo added. "The mission was to not make one long movie and get out the scissors and cut it in half. Because that's never been the most fulfilling cinematic expression. So for us, the commitment was to try and put a beginning, middle, and end to this, and a beginning, middle, and end to that."
Of Course, Joe Russo had to have ominous last words: "But I think Winter Soldier ended with a game changer in the MCU, Civil War ends with a game changer in the MCU," Joe Russo said.
Should this film end with Thanos snapping his fingers, Marvel will have bashed The Walking Dead's cliffhanger with a bat.
Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April 27, 2018. Have questions about ComicBook.com's time on set or at the press events? Leave them in the comment section or send them to @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter!