As the release date for Marvel's highly anticipated Avengers: Endgame approaches, the original six Avengers and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige sat down for conversation with Entertainment Weekly to reflect on the journey so far. The time is especially ripe, with many speculating this could be the last Marvel Cinematic Universe outing for some of the actors, specifically Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Chris Evans as Captain America.
The group detailed what's it been like keeping spoilers from the public for a decade and what they hope the legacy of the 22-film stretch now known as the "Infinity Saga" will be.
"Let’s just hope they’re still talking about it in 30 years. That would be nice," Feige said when Jeremy Renner raised the topic. Renner answered, "I absolutely can guarantee that. I mean, it’s impossible not to."
"Star Wars has a similar continuity, but that was a big start-and-stop thing," Evans chimed in. "[Marvel’s films] all took place in a finite amount of time. ... That’s a huge landscape that [Feige] managed to make into this unbelievable ribbon of continuity."
Mark Ruffalo first joined the Marvel world in 2012 with the first Avengers film, replacing Edward Norton as Bruce Banner and the Hulk. "One thing I think about these movies that’s really exciting is they’re forward-leaning in the narrative of good versus evil," the politically outspoken Ruffalo explained. "We’re able to transcend some of the divisive narratives that are happening now. These stories do touch a lot of different kinds of people with different kinds of beliefs."
Trying to avoid spoiling the movies for the fans is something Ruffalo in particular has been guilty of, and Scarlett Johansson is particularly feeling the burn right now. "I’m gonna have PTSD from this [press tour]," she joked. "I mean, honestly, it is so stressful. At the end of every day, I lie awake at night and I think about all the things I almost said. It gives me panic."
Hearing ScarJo share her experiences avoiding the minefield, Ruffalo responded, "Oh, you think you feel that way?" Saying what everyone else was thinking, Downey said, "You're a repeat offender, Mr. Ruffalo." Confident that he's not going to spoil anything this time around, Ruffalo added, "I've had reeducation camp."
They also spoke briefly about the not-yet officially announced Black Widow movie, which is currently in pre-production. "Kevin, can she talk about the film that's been announced, or not even?," Downey asked. "We haven't announced anything. We've announced Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home." Circling back round to her comments regarding spoilers, Johansson said, "The PTSD is a real thing! I have so much anxiety."
Earlier this year Marvel comics legend Stan Lee passed away, and each of the cast members talked about their interactions with him. "He’s a really big deal, but he’s just another schmuck and we have to get his coverage in the can, too," Downey said, fondly recalling his Civil War cameo. "It’s like, 'And roll sound…' and he’s like, [in a Bronx accent] 'I have a delivery for Tony STANK!' [Laughs] It went completely downhill after that. I was like, I am exactly like him. It all goes downhill after Take One. You gotta capture it before it’s gone."
As the conversation wrapped up, Feige added that Lee "said the right thing to the right person at all times. Every interaction was what one's dream interaction with Stan Lee would be." Renner agreed: "I aspire to be as strong-minded. ... When you spent time with him, you just knew this guy was burning with the fire of life."