Robert Downey Jr. in a scene from Avengers: Endgame. Supplied by Marvel Studios.
Robert Downey Jr. in a scene from Avengers: Endgame. Supplied by Marvel Studios. Marvel

Avengers' final stand is the end of a Marvel

When Iron Man hit cinemas 11 years ago, no one could have predicted it was the start of a new blockbuster dynasty.

Now, 22 films later, Marvel's Cinematic Universe reaches its climax in Avengers: Endgame. And one man, producer Kevin Feige, has been along for the entire ride.

"We hired a great director to do the first film in the MCU, and then we hired a great actor. And we had fun making that first movie,” Feige said at the recent Avengers: Endgame media conference in Los Angeles.

"The bar for success was pretty low. It felt high at the time, but it was not that high. It was comparative to other Marvel films that had been out in that general area, which is what we wanted to compete with. But as we were making the movie and as we were looking at dailies and as we were looking at effects tests coming in, we realised that this was really going to be special and even perhaps more special than we thought.”

Chris Hemsworth in a scene from the movie Avengers: Endgame. Supplied by Marvel.
Chris Hemsworth in a scene from Avengers: Endgame. Supplied by Marvel. Marvel

Avengers: Endgame reunites long-time MCU stars Robert Downey Jr (as Tony Stark/Iron Man, pictured above), Chris Evans (Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Chris Hemsworth (Thor, pictured right) and Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), with more recent additions including Karen Gillan (Nebula), Bradley Cooper (Rocket), Tom Holland (Spider-Man), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Brie Larson, who only recently made her big-screen debut as Captain Marvel.

"I came at just the most magical time I think,” Larson said.

"To come exactly at this 10-year anniversary and really my first introduction to everyone was the 10-year photo, which was a really remarkable and special day. And super surreal and also like not allowed to talk about it. So the whole thing has always felt like a dream. And this film will always be personally dear to me because it was my first time playing Captain Marvel.

"We shot this first. So I had to stumble and try to figure out who this character was with no script for this and no script for Captain Marvel either, and perform for the first time in front of legends. But it was incredible.

"There is no other word I can describe it as other than surreal, and I'm super excited for this to come out. Mostly just so that I can talk about it. I want to be able to talk about my experience. Which I haven't been able to do for a very long time.”

After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, in which Thanos (Josh Brolin) wiped out half the life in the universe, the remaining Avengers and their allies must assemble to do what is necessary to undo the Mad Titan's deed.

Endgame will be the final stand in Marvel's grand conclusion to the 22 films. Feige says it will be a definitive ending to the saga.

"Well, what's special is all the actors,” he said. "And the family that has come together this decade plus. And the fact that Robert said it so well in the trailer - part of the journey is the end. And about four or five years ago, we all started talking about doing something at every turn including the first Iron Man film. We talked about how can we do something that's never been done before.

"What if a superhero outs his identity at the very last shot of the movie? We can't do that? No one does that. You can't do that. What would we do next time? I don't know. Let's do it. Four or five years ago, we talked about what haven't we seen in films based on comic characters. We haven't seen an ending - a definitive conclusion to an overall saga. So that's why it's called Endgame and why I think it's very, very, very special.”

STARS: Robert Downey Jnr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jeremy Renner.

DIRECTORS: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo


REVIEWER'S LAST WORD: Already breaking pre-sale records, this superhero action epic is guaranteed to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the year.

Avengers: Endgame opens on Wednesday.