I went to a T.I. concert once, and he told me (well, the whole crowd) that haters are only going to hate if you’ve got something for them to hate on. So thanks, T.I., for basically writing the beginning of this article. Because the line sums up perfectly what’s been happening with “Avengers: Infinity War” this year.
The latest Marvel installment has earned around $2 billion at the box office and ecstatic praise from its hordes of fans ― all serving as an incentive for the aforementioned haters. But there’s one thing the critics keep coming back to, and it has to do with the movie’s ending.
Warning: Spoilers for “Avengers: Infinity War” below!
The film’s ending wiped out half the residents of the universe ― including a lot of your favorite superheroes like Spider-Man, most of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Panther ― but many of those characters have sequels that are on the way.
I loved “Infinity War.” I loved it so much I want to marry it. I too, however, can be counted among the ending-aggrieved haters; I previously wrote about how the Marvel masterminds basically lied to us about the permanency of the film’s deaths.
“Death is death,” “Infinity War” writer Stephen McFeely told me in an interview before the premiere. “If we say goodbye to some characters, we will say it permanently,” he added later.
Uh, “Spider-Man 2,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and “Black Panther 2” beg to differ, dude. Plus, some of the actors whose characters supposedly died have already confirmed that they’re coming back in “Avengers 4” and other sequel movies.
My colleague Matt Jacobs laid out his beef with the deaths in an essay titled “The End Of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Is What Happens When Money Writes Movies”:
Marvel Studios is a business first (owned by Disney) and a story factory second. And because it’s a business, we know how many movies certain actors are contracted for and which ones have sequels already in development. That includes some whose characters supposedly went bye-bye.
We said our piece, and now the “Infinity War” directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, are responding.
I asked the Russo brothers for their thoughts on the criticism ― and about the fact that we’ll see dead characters coming back in sequels ― but they stuck to their guns.
“Here’s the thing, I think it’s important to remember anything is possible in the MCU [Marvel Cinematic Universe],” Anthony said. “Just because there’s a sequel on the books doesn’t mean ... people become accustomed to time moving linearly in the MCU. That doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. There’s a lot of very inventive ways of where the story can go from here.”
Joe agreed, reiterating the idea that the movies don’t need to happen in chronological order.
“There’s four years between ‘Guardians 2’ and ‘Infinity War.’ That’s a long time, and a lot of ‘Guardians’ stories to tell. Again, as Anthony said, don’t expect everything to move forward in a linear fashion in the Marvel universe.”
OK, some of what the directors said is going to come true sooner rather than later. Marvel’s next two films, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and “Captain Marvel,” both take place before the “Infinity War” timeline. But according to some theories, that’s so both of those movies can establish ground rules for the Quantum Realm dimension ― which could bring back dead characters in the future.
If this were the D.C. universe, we could have used Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth on the Russos. But also, if it were D.C., Captain America and Iron Man would’ve probably stopped fighting in “Captain America: Civil War” because their moms have the same name. So we might just be better off waiting.