Marvel Studios has established itself as the premiere superhero film studio for years, with arguably its most beloved franchise being "The Avengers" series. The first "Avengers" in 2012 introduced the merging of separate films to general audiences and brought the dreams of longtime comic fans to life for the first time.
The film was a major success financially, raking in about one billion dollars worldwide and cementing Marvel Studios as a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. The sequel, "Age of Ultron",was not as beloved by fans and critics as the first, but brought in double the amount of cash as the first film and furthered the franchise to the endgame that was introduced in the post-credits scene of "Avengers".
The first part of the conclusion that Marvel Studios had planned was released last year with "Avengers: Infinity War", the supposed beginning of the end for Marvel's major on-screen heroes. Perhaps the most iconic scene of the film was the finale, which saw villain Mad Titan Thanos accomplish his goal of wiping out half of humanity, which saw beloved characters such as Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Nick Fury, Groot, Scarlet Witch, Drax, and Falcon all turned to dust from the effects of Thanos's deadly snap.
Any remaining heroes on Earth were left in a state of despair, and audiences all over the world were left to wonder... what happens next?
The anticipation and eagerness for the "Infinity War" follow-up titled "Endgame" have almost never been matched, with a few exceptions being "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"and "The Dark Knight Rises". The teaser for the film broke records for most viewed trailer ever in 24 hours; hype is in the air on all fronts. Storylines and characters that have been set up for years need to come to a close, as well as set up the future of the Marvel Universe.
This film is being promoted as an epic swan song of sorts for the original six "Avengers": Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, and Hawkeye, who have been leading the charge for almost ten years. Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and other recently introduced characters will most definitely return by the ending of "Endgame", as they are not only extremely financially viable for the studio but some already have sequels in development.
We know most, if not all of the characters that literally bit the dust at the end of "Infinity War" will return, but the question is: how? Will it be done in a way that satisfies most audiences?
If there is anything that fans hate, it is a rushed ending that betrays all the setup and buildup already established beforehand. Luckily, for "Avengers: Endgame",most of the motivations and story arcs have already been put into place, thanks to "Infinity War" and the previous 18+ films. Not all six "Avengers" will make it out on the other side, mostly due to actor contracts and money, but hopefully for story purposes as well.
Captain America and Tony Stark had a major falling out in "Civil War", and part of the reason the heroes failed to stop Thanos in "Infinity War" was that those two leaders were not together to formulate a proper plan. Thor lost his brother, Loki, as well as a remainder of his kingdom to Thanos and later his revenge, which resulted in the numerous deaths in the film's conclusion. Bruce Banner has struggled to contain the Hulk within him for several films and managed to control the monster for a while, but now may have lost his aid right at the worst time.
Black Widow has seen friends around her die and questions her ordinary presence in this ever-evolving world of aliens and gods. Hawkeye has been laying low in comfort with his family, but with the snap in effect that presumably won't last for long. "Infinity War" saw the six-year payoff of Thanos and his quest for the Infinity Stones come to a head and finally be resolved. Now, the bigger picture is the resolution of the journey of these six heroes.
"The Avengers" films tend to have a task of juggling of multiple overarching story lines, but now that half of the heroes are off the playing field due to "Infinity War", the canvas is a lot smaller. The smaller cast of characters allows the focus to be put back on the six main "Avengers", as those characters are the ones with the most emotional attachment with audiences.
Everything started with them and everything up until to this point should end with them as the focus. There has never been a superhero film conclusion of this size on screen before where multiple films have been leading up to the end itself. Like a TV show, each film released is an essential episode of the story and the characters as a whole, while everything is riding on the big series finale, which could make or break everything.