infinity war ending

Avengers: Infinity War hit theaters over the weekend, and proceeded to make all the money and break all the hearts. The superhero sequel’s ending left many fans reeling and wondering: what comes next? Infinity War directors the Russo Brothers have weighed in on the Infinity War ending, and as it turns out, Mark Ruffalo accidentally spoiled the whole thing back in 2017. Spoilers below.

We’re talking about the end of a movie here, so again, watch out for spoilers. If you’ve seen Infinity War, you know that the film ends with a large chunk of Marvel characters being erased from existence. They quite literally go up in a puff of smoke. It’s shocking and even a little bit traumatizing. Most of all, it was unexpected. Yes, in the lead-up to Infinity War, everyone realized that many MCU characters would meet a tragic end in the film. But I don’t think anyone predicted the film would end the way it did. The Russo Brothers sat down with Variety to chat about that shocking Infinity War ending, and stressed that they tried hard to create something unpredictable:

“We do our best work when we follow our instincts and tell the story we want to tell. We’ve had one or two experiences early in our careers where we didn’t do that and we learned a very hard lesson: When you try to predict what an audience wants, you’re going to make mush. When you commit to the story you want to tell, it tends to have a much more resonant impact on the audience … The audience can tell you they love chocolate ice cream, but if you give it to them every day, they’re going to get sick of it real fast. You’ve got to stay ahead of them.”

One thing everyone wants to know after that Infinity War ending: are the stakes even real? For my part, I had a problem with the ending because I thought it was abundantly clear that everything that happens at the end will be un-done, either via the Time Stone in Thanos’ gauntlet, or some other method. For instance: Spider-Man disappears at the end, but there’s no way that’s the last time we’ll see Spider-Man. But according to the Russos, that stakes will be real. Or, at the very least, there will be a “commitment” to the stakes being real, whatever that means:

“Unless you have real stakes, you’re sort of limited in terms of the emotional impact a story can have on you. You have to go to very difficult places for the stakes to feel real, for the characters to feel like they have something to lose, for the audience to feel like they have something at risk. What we’re looking for in storytelling or art is emotional catharsis. And that’s not simply getting what you want. It’s getting an emotional experience that makes you feel and respond to it and energizes you on some level….I will say this: There is a real commitment on our end to the stakes.”

We’ll see, Russo Brothers. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, a year ago, Mark Ruffalo, who is infamous for accidentally letting spoilers slip, went ahead and gave away the ending to Infinity War. Sort of.

I think it’s pretty clear that Ruffalo is just joking here. Plus, despite what he says, everyone doesn’t die at the end of Infinity War. Still, this is pretty amusing, and par for the course for Ruffalo, who once accidentally live-streamed a portion of Thor: Ragnarok.

Avengers: Infinity War is in theaters now.

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