Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame were written without much consideration for WandaVision or the future of the MCU, according to the Russo brothers. As the climactic finale to the Infinity Saga, which encompassed the first three MCU phases, Avengers: Endgame wrapped up many of the series’ main storylines up to that point. With WandaVision and the beginning of Phase 4, the MCU has started fresh in many ways.
For years, Marvel teased Thanos and his quest for the Infinity Stones as the ultimate conflict of the MCU. From the introduction of the Tesseract in Thor and Thanos’s post-credits reveal in The Avengers, the eventual battle to come was clear. That battle arrived in Infinity War and concluded with Endgame, leaving Iron Man dead, Thanos defeated, and an entire universe of Marvel heroes united in one of the most ambitious cinematic events in history.
Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame were highly praised for their dedication to wrapping up the Infinity Saga, and the Russo brothers have revealed why. In a recent interview with ComicBook, Anthony Russo that he and his brother Joe agreed to direct the films in part because they were promised a level of freedom from future MCU projects. “One of the great things about Endgame was our job was to sort of bring a sense of closure to a journey that had been unfolding up until that moment,” Russo said. According to him, Disney allowed Endgame to be a proper finale, without forcing setups for future films.
The unique thing about Endgame for us was unlike Winter Soldier, unlike Civil War, unlike Infinity War is we did not have to think about what happened after Endgame. And in fact, that was a mutually agreed upon thing that we came to with Marvel, because that was what freed us up, and also I’m speaking for [writers Christopher] Markus and [Stephen] McFeely, what freed them up as well to think about closure, think about an end rather than think about where it goes next. And I think that was really a creative gift to us. And we used that.
While WandaVision’s kickoff of the MCU’s Phase 4 has received high praise from fans and critics alike, the series lacks the big-picture impact that has always drawn audiences to the franchise. It’s possible that some larger storylines for MCU Phase 4 could be set up in the series finale, but WandaVision’s focus has been more on individual character development and emotional arcs. With the early days of Phase 4 set to be dominated by other Disney+ shows, like Loki and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, that trend may continue for some time.
It may take a while for the MCU to build up another overarching story like the Infinity Saga, but that’s still a worthy trade for the satisfying conclusion Endgame brought. The task of summing up the biggest movie franchise in history after so many years was a daunting one, but the freedom apparently allowed to the film’s writers and directors yielded a fantastic result. It may be years before Marvel reaches anything close in scale to Avengers: Endgame again, and it should be interesting to see how the franchise develops in Phase 4.