Photo Credit: Disney India
Indian audiences' reaction to Avengers: Infinity War served as an additional inspiration for the Marvel filmmakers on its highly-awaited follow-up, Avengers: Endgame, Joe Russo — one half of the directing duo, the Russo brothers — told members of the press at an event in Mumbai on Monday.
“So there was an Indian theatre recording of Thor's arrival in Wakanda [from Infinity War] and it was one of your bigger single-screen theatres,” Russo explained. “And it was like a football stadium. I mean it went crazy. And we used to listen to that when we were tired working on Endgame, because Endgame took us a very long time. It was a very difficult movie to finish and [the recording] would inspire us. So we feel very connected to Indian audiences because of that.
“And you know, we make these films — my brother and I — because we come from a large Italian family. Our family growing up was about sharing stories and entertaining each other and engaging each other emotionally. And so, by extension, now we try to do this with the world when we make these Marvel films. And if there are fans out there that react the way that Indian fans do, then we're going to be there and we're going to make India the first stop on the press tour.”
Predictably, Russo avoided any and all questions concerning Endgame spoilers, though he did hint that the Marvel universe may not always proceed in “a linear fashion”. Asked if he felt that they had painted themselves into a corner on Endgame by killing off characters in Infinity War that either had ongoing contracts at Marvel or had sequels set for release, à la Spider-Man, or reportedly in the works, Russo replied:
“No, not really. I mean this is, you know, this is its own narrative and who knows if the Marvel universe is going to move forward in a linear fashion. I mean, it's a -- I'm telling these stories and I think audiences will see when we're done, it was a complete story.”
Russo added that the two big pillars for him on these Marvel films are “global thematics” and deconstruction. The former happens throughout the making of every film, even during reshoots, while the latter is part of the Russo brothers' “general disposition”, he claimed.
“What's really important about these movies is that they're about what it costs to be a hero,” he added. “And if you saw in the end of Infinity War, the message is that sometimes villains win, and I think that we're experiencing that a little bit on a large scale right now.
“And the other message that's in these films is, you know, these are heroes of different backgrounds banding together and have a sense of community, right, to try and fight a common evil.
“I think that the world is on a path right now either towards individualism or community and you know, I think when you see the films you understand the messaging that my brother and I support about whether we should head towards individualism or community.
As for deconstruction, Russo noted that they have done it right from their first Marvel project, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which “went in a completely different direction from his first movie”.
“And we deconstructed the Avengers in [Captain America:] Civil War by tearing them apart,” he said. “And we deconstructed the whole universe by killing half of it in Infinity War. So I think that our disposition lined up with a journey that was happening at the time. And we're able to take our thematics that are important to us and infuse them in four movies, that's also part of the journey.”
Avengers: Endgame is out April 26 in India and the rest of the world.