Avengers: Endgame might be available on home video now, but fans are still learning new things about the blockbuster film. One of the secrets that have lingered about Endgame since before its release is the code name it was given. Mary Lou remained a mystery for many fans that wanted to learn any and everything about the film. But, today those fans can rest easy.
Vanity Fair spoke to Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus about their success with Endgame. The writers described their process in crafting the film's structure. The interview is a wealth of knowledge about the creative team and their reasons for making certain decisions over the course of the film. At the last second, Markus and McFeely tell the audience why Endgame was codenamed Mary Lou early on.
Markus thought it would be an interesting exercise to see what happens when things don't go well for the heroes, “Most of these movies have ended with a win. We wanted to see what happens to their personalities when they don’t. When they very very definitively lose.”
“When we have tested this, with various secret audiences, they always said, ‘The first part is the slowest.’ We went, ‘Well, we know that,’ but I guarantee that if we cut it in half even if we could, when Cap picks up the hammer, the [Falcon] says on your left, it wouldn’t resonate as much because you hadn’t gone so dark before,” McFeely continued.
As all fans can recite from memory by now, "Part of the journey is the end." The writers wanted both the heroes and their audiences to be put through the proverbial wringer. Many of Endgame's reviews pointed toward that gradual buildup as something strange for these movies. It was all by design as the creative team was gearing up for that massive payoff in the third act.
“We really want to make them feel that we value these characters as much as they do,” Markus would follow up with. Then, McFeely would spell it out, “The watchword was ‘Stick the landing.’ Right? That’s why the codename was Mary Lou.”0comments
Of course, Mary Lou Retton was christened America's sweetheart after her all-around gold medal gymnastics win at the 1984 Summer Olympics. She was the first American to achieve this feat and was a household name. That's quite the standard to be shooting for, but it looks like the creative team managed to pull it off.
Avengers: Endgame is now available on home video. Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in spring 2021,Loki in spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If? In summer 2021, Hawkeye in fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021. Moon Knight, She-Hulk, and Ms. Marvel series have also been announced.