Although the Marvel Cinematic Universe has received consistent critical acclaim for nearly a decade, one of the common criticisms is the level of stakes there are for the characters – particularly in their standalone films before the highly-anticipated team-up film. With films like Avengers: Infinity War on the horizon, it can sometimes be difficult for fans to feel that some of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes could potentially bite the bullet because thanks to confirmed future release dates, the tension in the moment can be lost knowing most of our heroes will live to fight another day.
For fans concerned about the MCU not upping the ante in terms of stakes for the characters, Avengers: Infinity War directors Anthony and Joe Russo believe that challenging the heroes and increasing the tension is a necessity in great storytelling.
While answering some fan questions, Joe Russo addressed why he believes that heroic sacrifices are essential not just for Avengers: Infinity War, but for other stories dealing with human characters whether normal or larger-than-life:
“I don’t know about the need to accept it, but I will say this: we love being told good stories, and we love telling good stories, and all of our energy, and our effort, and our thought, and our passion goes into telling the best story that we can. And for us, the best stories have stakes. Characters have to make sacrifices. To really, really feel the true emotion and the hero’s journey they have to go through trials and those trails could cost them something.
So, for us, its very important that the heroes feel pain and that they make sacrifices because I think that, not only is a great storytelling, but it also is inspiring and I think we need a lot of inspiration in this world right now. So, for us, I don’t know if we can ever get you to accept it, but I promise you this: we’ll do our damnedest to tell you the best story possible, and what you do with it from there is up to you.”
Part of what draws audiences to consistently pay millions of dollars every year to see larger-than-life heroes battle it out is because there is something inherently human about the desire to be the best person they could be. It just so happens that these heroes have special abilities and have the opportunity to save the universe from certain doom.
As entertaining as the standalone MCU films have been such as 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok, beyond just being a pure fun experience they also delved deep into the most human traits of the titular heroes by exhibiting their heroism even when they are stripped of some of their most iconic elements such as Spidey’s ideal suit and Thor’s hammer.
Given that Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of an entire decade in the MCU, the Russo Brothers are certainly going to showcase how even as our heroes suffer their most dangerous mission yet, hope and inspiration can still prosper regardless of how many sacrifices must be made.
Here is the synopsis for the film:
“As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.”
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan, Chadwick Boseman, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Tom Hiddleston, Tessa Thompson, Benicio Del Toro, Danai Gurira and Josh Brolin.
Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on May 4, 2018.