Avengers Endgame: What We Want To See Most In 2019's Biggest Movie
We're not asking for much, just the best superhero movie of all time.
With the release of a second Avengers: Endgame trailer and its release date now just a month away, this concluding chapter of the MCU's Phase 3 feels more real than ever before. Despite now getting two full trailers for the film--check out our latest trailer breakdown for details--there is still we don't know. In fact, some of what we've seen has only left us with more questions than we had before.
Endgame's mysteries are only made more pressing by the swirling anticipation and anxiety ebbing and flowing around the final fight with Thanos. We've never been in this situation before, where our heroes have been thoroughly, decidedly beaten. We've never had to deal with stakes this high. All forms of speculation are more uncertain than ever because there just isn't a road map for where we've found ourselves now--no guide book to follow and no formula to track. Every tiny scrap of information we can collect has to be picked apart and examined closely, or else we might just drive ourselves crazy with the hows, whys, and what-ifs.
Of course, that being said, sometimes the guesswork phase can be the most fun part of the pre-release hype. So we've dug deep, taken a fine toothed comb to the past 10-plus years of the MCU, and searched our feelings for a list of our biggest hopes, dreams, and wishes for Avengers: Endgame.
Look, we're not asking for much: just the most satisfying culmination of ten years of shared universe worldbuilding in pop culture history. Here's everything we want from Avengers: Endgame.
1. A satisfying ending
For all that Endgame represents in the MCU, its finality is pretty hard to ignore. Whether that means the exit of major actors from the shared universe or the literal death of some fan-favorite characters, we can't be sure, but the specifics are less important than the broader meaning. This will, arguably, be the first real phase "finale" the MCU has ever had, and in that sense, it has to be a good one. Whatever happens, whoever doesn't make it through, it needs to be an arc worthy of its ten year design. If Endgame can't get that right, it's in deep, deep trouble.
2. A way forward
Endgame might be a "finale" to Phase 3, but the MCU is far from over. Building this movie in such a way that it simultaneously feels like a satisfying conclusion and a springboard for Marvel's future projects will be a huge challenge, but one that is absolutely critical. The next phase of the MCU might be shrouded in slow burning mysteries, but it's all definitely coming--and we need to be able to care about it as much as we've cared for the last decade. The only thing beyond Endgame we've seen so far is July's Spider-Man: Far From Home, a trailer for which has shown both Tom Holland's Spider-Man and Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury back in action.
3. Skrulls, skrulls, skrulls
Retroactively introducing Skrulls in Captain Marvel could be a masterstroke for Endgame's tricky tightrope walking. Not only are they throwing a huge potential complication in the mix for the final fight with Thanos, they're also essentially a get-out-of-jail-free card for any sticky character moment that might come into play. They're a built in retcon machine, capable of (relatively) elegantly pivoting any one hero away from a major death or poor decision by ultimately revealing that they weren't actually themselves. Of course, if Endgame does cash in on the Skrull check, it'll have to be careful about how and when it makes its withdraws--as easy as they are to use as a narrative panic button, they're also just as quick to make the stories feel cheap and pointless.
All of this said, it may not happen. Captain Marvel's release has officially introduces us to the Skrulls, but they're not quite what we necessarily imagined. Its use of them could reshape expectations for future appearances by the Skrulls, though whether that rules out the possibility of a Secret Invasion-style story in the MCU remains to be seen.
4. Carol Danvers in the flesh
It seems obvious to expect a major entrance for Captain Marvel in Endgame, but given how strange and complicated her circumstances are, and how unclear it is just how she'll be able to help reverse a universe that's already been decimated, we're still counting this one as a hope rather than a guarantee. We want a Carol moment that introduces her to the present day MCU in a way that works with both the story and the overall vibe of her character, but doesn't reduce her to a bland deus ex machina.
Captain Marvel's standalone movie has already been released, introducing the audience to Carol Danvers. And the movie's post-credits scene further bridges the gap from that movie--which is set in the '90s--and Endgame. Beyond that, the second trailer for Endgame actually shows Carol having shown up (and having a fun interaction with Thor).
5. Time travel, but not too much
There's been a pretty persistent rumor about time travel coming into play for Endgame, thanks to some leaked set photos of scenes that look like recreations of The Avengers and 1940s America, as well as some teases from the Russos about the return of Captain America: Civil War's "BARF" tech. If time travel does come into play, we'll need it to be handled judiciously--something that actually highlights the bigger and more emotional moments of the MCU's past, rather than frantically trying to loop-hole the story out of a tight spot.
6. The Reunion
Steve Rogers and Tony Stark's relationship in the MCU is a complicated one, made more complicated still by their bad breakup in Civil War. Infinity War very meticulously kept the two founding Avengers apart from one another and unable to reconcile, so we're going to need an extra special pay off this time around. Sure, that might be tricky, given the situation, but if Endgame wraps up without a, big, poignant Cap and Iron Man hug, we'll riot.
Cap's iconic "Avengers assemble!" battle cry has been kept out of the MCU for six whole movies, making it feel almost inevitable for Endgame. If this really is Steve Rogers' last hurrah, we're going to need it at least once--and it better make the wait worth it.
8. Death, and other messy things
While there are obviously going to be some post-decimation returns, considering the roster of characters who didn't make it through Infinity War, we're hoping that the subsequent resurrections are actually handled with care, rather than a blanket "they're all fine now, it's over" handwave. This will ostensibly be the first time the MCU has really dipped into the very comic book-y world of returning the dead to life, and however this moment is handled will likely set a precedent for future movies, making it critical that it's actually sold well.
9. Vengeance for Gamora
One of the few non-decimation related deaths in Infinity War, Gamora's story arc has become one of the central pillars of the Thanos plot, and something that would be oh-so-satisfying to see end on a higher note. We'd love to see Gamora, resurrected or otherwise, actually be the one to land the killing blow on Thanos this time around.
10. The Hulk problem, resolved
Bruce Banner's life post-Ragnarok has been a little off the rails. He spent Infinity War unable to shift into his green alter ego and, so far, the Endgame trailers haven't given much away as to just how he intends to deal with that moving forward. Mark Ruffalo has stated that he and Kevin Feige have put together a compelling "trilogy" style story for Bruce in lieu of him getting his own solo movie, the finale of which ought to be coming in Endgame. We're hoping for a good, solid, and justifiable conclusion for him in this movie that doesn't make him feel like a punchline to a slapstick gag. Based on some artwork we've seen, there's also reason to believe Endgame might see the appearance of Professor Hulk.
11. Asgard, remembered
Thor's also in some rough waters after both Ragnarok and Infinity War. What's the state of the Asgardian refugees after Thanos' attack? What will Thor do after Thanos is defeated? Where will he go? Where are Valkyrie and Korg? We need some answers, even if they're sad ones. Anything is better than not knowing.
12. More Steve Rogers
Despite the mass hysteria sparked by Chris Evans' beautiful bearded face in Infinity War, Steve Rogers only had less than 10 minutes of actual screen time, which is, in all honesty, a travesty. The beard may be gone now, but we're willing to forgive the Russos their grave aesthetic transgressions if they just give Cap more featured time in the story. After all, when Captain America isn't on screen, everyone should be asking: Where's Captain America?