The still-untitled Avengers 4 may just be Anthony and Joe Russo's best work yet, even if they do say so themselves. The highly-anticipated movie hits theaters in May 2019. Once again written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and directed by the Russo brothers, it will serve as the follow-up to Avengers: Infinity War and the final installment in the MCU's first saga.
Outside of potential spoilers revealed by Tom Holland, Marvel has kept predictably tight-lipped about what fans can definitively expect. Rumored to be picking up a few years after Thanos snapped his fingers and wiped out half of the universe, the remaining heroes will no-doubt be on a mission to pick up the pieces and avenge (and/or resurrect) their fallen allies. Though Ant-Man and The Wasp is in theaters now and has served as a pleasant, light-hearted distraction from the devastating conclusion to Infinity War, eyes remain fixed on the potentially titular "End Game". Not even the Ant-Man 2's post-credit scenes or behind-the-scenes photos for Captain Marvel were safe from scrutiny, as everybody attempts to solve the puzzle of what's to come.
According to The Russos, though, however things turn out on-screen, it'll be worth the wait. Speaking to Deadline, the co-directors had this to say:
"You know, we’re very proud of it. I think ultimately Avengers 4 may be our best work for Marvel. I think we’ve grown with every movie that we’ve made there. We’ve grown with the characters. We’ve grown with the cast. As filmmakers we’re very happy and very excited with the movie."
Fans will no doubt be pleased to hear this, as the flames of hype continue to be fanned. Of course, it's not unusual for directors to champion their own work, especially ahead of release, but the Russos are far from the the hyperbolic, overly-conceited types. More importantly, the self-proclaimed comic-book collectors also have the pedigree of work that more than supports their claims. They first joined the MCU to helm the extremely well-received and impeccably executed Captain America sequel, The Winter Soldier, and turning even lower-tier characters like Bucky Barnes into fan-favorites.
From there, they got the chance to merge various corners of the universe for the first-time outside of a team-up movie with the equally-acclaimed Captain America: Civil War. After that, of course, they blew everyone away and decimated the box-office with the sublime Infinity War. Outside of Joss Whedon, who helmed both The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, nobody has been allowed to play as openly in the MCU sandbox as much and as freely as The Russos have. Not only that, but the precedence they set on balancing drama and comedy and even tragedy has been felt across each MCU movie that followed theirs. Lest we not forget, they were arguably the first to be allowed to not only have a more nuanced villain but keep them alive.
With each movie, and each character added to the juggling act that is increasingly the story, they have clearly risen to the challenge. That being said, nothing is harder in storytelling that to stick the landing. Just ask the creators of LOST. Production apparently began before Infinity War, leaving the directors free of audience response or external noise, but with a decade of story and character development (and adoration) leading up to this point, expectations will still be through the roof. It may even be one of the hardest landings ever witnessed in the history of cinema. Audiences will ultimately be able to decide whether or not they pulled it off next year, but if anybody has earned the benefit of the doubt, it's The Russo Brothers.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019