Ignoring The Fans Was The Only Way The Russo Brothers Could Get Through Endgame

Let's travel back in time. It is the year 2019. Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have invested over a decade investing in all the different characters, stressing over the stakes, and more with each new addition to the story. All of this was building up to "Avengers: Endgame." 

The film represented the end of an era: All of the various threads needed to be explained away or resolved, but new pathways also needed to be opened up to segue fans into the next phase of the MCU. Then there was the need to ensure fans were at least satisfied with the final result because the Internet would be set on fire if the film turned out to be a dumpster fire.

It's an understatement to say that the Russo brothers were under an extraordinary amount of pressure from fans. As anyone who has dealt with rabid fandoms knows, you can't make everyone happy; that's just not realistic. But the internet is dark and full of echo chambers, with many a fan taking to various websites to discuss hopes, share theories, and to complain about what the MCU hasn't done yet. With all of that background noise beating away at their skulls, how exactly did the Russo brothers manage to get anything done for "Avengers: Endgame" in the face of non-stop fan chatter and opinion? 

Short answer: they focused on listening to just two fans — themselves.

Time to think about ourselves

The Russos had to come up with a way to combat the mounting pressure that was being heaped on their shoulders. While participating in a retrospective of their work with GQ, Anthony Russo shared how they were able to trick themselves out of getting distracted by all the various fan requests: 

"[T]he thing that we could always default to, which helped us move through any ideas of outside pressure, was just ourselves. We were huge fans ourselves. We just kept focused on, 'How do we surprise ourselves? How do we challenge ourselves? And how do we find the most satisfying version of the story for ourselves?'" 

Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest. In this particular case, it all came back to what they thought they would want in a Marvel movie. Given how Marvel Studios consistently focused on building each new installment to be bigger and better than the last the Russo brothers had the right idea here. Joe Russo shared that it also helped to think of the next generation:

"The goal for us was to make sure that a new generation could walk out of those theaters and have lifetime memories from being there, watching it with their family, or their friends, and having a true theatrical experience."

Keeping these simple goals in mind helped them deliver arguably the best MCU movie fans thus far with "Avengers: Endgame." It also serves as good advice for any of us pursuing our passions.