Avengers Endgame will ‘close the book’ on 6 original Avengers, confirms director Joe Russo
Avengers: Endgame director Joe Russo has said that the film will focus on ‘the six original Avengers’ - Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye - and that they’d be ‘closing the book on those characters’ with the upcoming Marvel film. Russo was in Mumbai for the first stop in Endgame’s global press tour.
Speaking about working with his brother and co-director Anthony, Russo said they don’t ‘divide up duties’ on set, but noted that of the two, he is the ‘action director’.
The Russos have directed four movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, beginning with the critical and commercial hit Captain America: The Winter Soldier, from which they graduated to Captain America: Civil War, and then the two Avengers films.
Unlike other famous director duos, such as the Coen Brothers or The Wachowskis, who are known to divide the technical aspects and the performances between them, Russo said, “We’re really yin and yang and that’s why I think our relationship works really well.” The brothers joined the MCU after having spent a very successful decade in the TV industry, which Russo said directly influenced some of the decision making that goes into the big-budget Marvel movies.
He said that they have ‘different thought processes’ and ‘can be very spirited when we argue about concepts’ but ‘it makes for a very good testing of ideas.’
Russo also stressed that at no point did the challenges and pressures of making successful films put them in a mind-space that made them want to quit. He said, “I feel like we’ve been doing this long enough and we’ve been fortunate to have a really great career - we were incredibly successful in television for a decade before we made these movies - we’ve learned that unless you’re getting out of bed excited everyday about the story that you’re about to tell, you can’t do it, and you certainly can’t do on movies of this scale. They’re just too hard.”
Watch new Avengers Endgame footage here
It has been reported that the combined budget of the third and fourth Avengers films - Infinity War and Endgame - came in at well over $500 million, making them both two of the most expensive films of all time. Infinity War became the first film in the series to gross more than $2 billion worldwide.
“These movies take a lot out of your life and time away from your family,” Russo said, “so you have to feel like you’re saying something of value or something that is meaningful to you.”
To achieve this, Russo said, “We worked very hard to ensure that these movies have global thematics that feel relevant to audiences.”
Aware of the immensity of what is at stake with these movies, Russo said, “I don’t know if we’re ever going to have a moment like this in movie history.”
The MCU was initiated in 2008, with the release of Iron Man. The Avengers first united on screen in 2012, under the direction of Joss Whedon. Fans of the series are excited to watch what has been pegged as the conclusion to the first ‘era’ of the MCU.
Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Raffalo, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner. The film is scheduled for an April 26 release in India in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.