most anticipated movie of 2019

Avengers: Endgame is a big deal globally. It could gross as much as $800 million worldwide on opening weekend alone, shattering the $640 million record set by its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War. A solid $43 million of Infinity War’s eventual haul was owed to India, where it made nearly three times as much money as Avengers: Age of Ultron and became the highest-earning foreign film and one of the top 20 grossing films in the country — ever.

It’s no surprise, then, that Marvel had something special in store for Indian fans. Today, their very own Marvel anthem, composed and sung by the legendary A.R. Rahman.

Director Joe Russo, who’s currently in India promoting Avengers: Endgame, revealed the Hindi version of track and the video at a press conference, claiming it left him teary-eyed. According to Rahman, versions of the song will released in Tamil and Telugu soon.

Western movie-goers likely know Rahman for his work on Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and 127 Hours (2010), but the music maestro first burst onto the Indian stage in 1992 with Mani Ratnam’s Tamil-language Roja before entering India’s Hindi-language mainstream (“Bollywood”) with films like Rangeela (1996) and Ratnam’s Dil Se (1998), for which he produced classics like Chaiyya Chaiyya:

Essentially, Marvel teaming up with Rahman is a big deal.

The chorus of the anthem roughly translates to “We’ve cried, but we won’t stop now, friends” (echoing the Endgame trailer’s “Whatever it takes”), with lines alluding to history and the fight for justice; you know, standard superhero stuff. The video isn’t anything special — with its limited footage from Endgame, it’s indistinguishable from a fan retrospective — but as an Indian fan (and one who’s spent months dissecting these films!), it’s admittedly nice to be recognized by the world’s premier blockbuster franchise beyond a throwaway scene in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

As global markets grow, American studio franchises will expand to cater to them. We’ve already seen this in the form of more diverse casting (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, for instance) while several Marvel films have had scenes set in South Korea — Iron Man 3 even had additional China-set scenes for its Chinese release, though they didn’t exactly go over well. Don’t be surprised when more Indian actors start showing up in Marvel movies, or if Rahman is hired to compose the score for something like Ms. Marvel. Personally, I’m all for it. Cast Ranveer Singh as Hercules in The Eternals for all I care.

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