With the Los Angeles premiere of Avengers: Endgame and the ensuing incredibly positive reviews and reactions to the film, fans who have waited a full year for the follow-up to Infinity War are suitably hyped.
The only problem is, we can’t actually go out and watch Avengers: Endgame RIGHT… FREAKING… NOW.
Which is fine, we can totally wait, right? Plus, according to Avengers: Endgame co-director Anthony Russo, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to go back and re-watch a couple of MCU films that they say have the most to do with the 22nd and biggest film in the franchise.
Speaking to Fandango, Anthony Russo had this to say…
Fandango: One thing that fans are always asking us when a new Marvel movie comes out is what other Marvel movies they need to watch before seeing the latest title. Obviously, Infinity War is one that you want to watch before Endgame. Would there be any other titles that you would cherry pick and say, “Maybe watch this one. Maybe watch that one.” Because they maybe lean a little bit heavier into the events of Endgame?
Anthony Russo: It’s a great question, and I will say we do work hard to make sure that the story works in a way that even people who haven’t seen anything [can still enjoy the movie] because we feel like that’s very important. I think you see this movie after movie, the audience keeps growing for these films. So what that tells us is that people are seeing these movies who haven’t seen the previous ones. So it’s important that we are speaking to an audience that is perhaps seeing these stories for the first time. That being said, there’s certainly an interconnected story being told. I would say, certainly, Civil War and Infinity War are probably the two biggest lead-ins to this movie in the sense that Civil War created the situation where the Avengers were divided.
The relationship between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers was severed, and that was what put them in a vulnerable place when Thanos came in Infinity War, and I think is partially what led to their demise in that film, the fact that they were divided when the greatest threat they ever faced came to them. So there is definitely a throughline there. I mean, my brother and I, of course, are very focused on story starting from Winter Soldier, because that’s where we entered the MCU. So for us, in our brains, on a storytelling level, we were threading a narrative from there. Certainly, I would also say that the previous Avengers movies also very much factor into this film.
All this month, Anthony and his Endgame co-director brother Joe Russo have been counting down the days until the movie’s premiere by listing one movie from the MCU to watch each day on their Instagram account in chronological order by when in the timeline they took place.
“#ENDGAMECOUNTDOWN: T-22 days. Prepare yourself by watching one MCU movie a day in chronological order. Start your #MCUMarathon with Captain America: The First Avenger,” they wrote on the first post.
Quick, off the top of your head, which MCU movie is SECOND in chronological order based on the franchise’s timeline?
Did you say…?
If you did, give yourself a cookie.
Of course, because, internet, Erik Davis of Fandango also had to ask this question as well…
Fandango: This is a crazy question, because obviously we can’t talk about a lot of the plot of this movie, but the fans are out there coming up with their own theories of how the Avengers take down Thanos. And believe it or not, one of the most popular fan theories right now — so much so that it’s trending on Reddit — has Ant-Man shrinking down and flying up Thanos’ butt and then expanding.
Anthony Russo: [laughs] I haven’t seen that one yet. Sorry, keep going.
Fandango: I was gonna say, how close are the fans to actually solving the end of his film? And did you think about using the Thanos butt theory as an ending?
Anthony Russo: I wish we had. Yeah, no, look, we love the fact that fans are out there really thinking very deeply about these characters, very deeply about these stories, thinking about all the places they could go, even of certain places. My brother and I have a real certain youth ourselves, so we get a big kick out of it. Look, we were fans long before we were filmmakers in the MCU, so we understand that point of view of participating in the narrative as a viewer and loving these characters and thinking about all the possibilities about where these characters can go, and really understanding their experiences and their journey. So yeah, the fact that the fans are enthusiastic about participating at that level is amazing. That’s the best place to be.
Stay classy, internet.