By Nick Maylor
Although it is only my second most anticipated movie coming out this year, the forthcoming culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first massive story arc (known as the “Infinity Saga”) basically has me busting at the seams with anticipation. Unlike Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the forthcoming sequel has shown us basically no footage of the 3-hour + long Endgame in the few trailers they’ve released. Honestly, why bother even marketing this movie? It’s guaranteed to make all the money in the world and there are 21 individual films that have been leading to it. Disney made the right call with this one. I haven’t been reading fan theories. I’ve barely discussed it with friends. I have no idea what the big action pieces will be, if Thanos is still the main villain, how they will bring back all the dead characters…
I don’t know jack, and I like it that way.
I’m not interested in trying to figure out how the Avengers will do “whatever it takes” to right all the wrong caused by Thanos’ decimation. I just want to sit back and enjoy the ride. However, there are some things (both major and minor) that I definitely want from this movie. I expect it to deliver on most/half of them. Some of them are obvious. Some are pedantic. Nevertheless, it is my duty to lay them out to the masses and thus, I present my list.
Here are ten things that I really want to see in Avengers: Endgame (2019)
10. “ROCKY RACCOON” by The Beatles
Something has been bothering me since 2014. REALLY bothering me. Let me lay down some facts:
Peter Quill’s Mixtape served as the soundtrack for Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
This populated the film with classic pop songs
The musical element to the Guardians has been continued in films wherever the characters appear
One of the Guardians is named Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and looks exactly like an anthropomorphic raccoon (despite being some type of alien creature/science experiment)
There is a Beatles song called “Rocky Raccoon”
The Marvel character was deliberately named after the Beatles song
The namesake song has not yet appeared in a Marvel film
WHY HAS THIS NOT HAPPENED?
Am I the only one going nuts over this? “Rocky Raccoon” is an awesome song. I’ve even recorded a version of it. The lyrics of the tune describe Rocky as a gunslinger out for revenge. Sound familiar? I have to hope that they have been planning this all along and saving it for Endgame or a future Guardians film but why haven’t they used this song yet? I doubt it’s a financial issue. Marvel is owned by Disney. After the events of Infinity War, Rocket is the lone Guardian left alive on Earth (Nebula is in space with Tony Stark). From the small amount of footage that we’ve seen, we can gather that Rocket meets up with (and joins) The Avengers for their final battle. I want to see a shot of Rocket wandering through the desolate wasteland after the fallout in Wakanda when this Beatles tune starts playing. It’s beyond perfect for the moment and the character.
9. PROFESSOR HULK
In The Avengers (2012), Hulk said “puny god”. In Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), he said nothing. In Thor: Ragnarok (2017), he got a little chattier. The balance of identity between Bruce Banner and Hulk is shrouded in grey area. Where does Banner end and Hulk begin? Are they two separate, sentient people? Does Hulk just tap into something more primitive that already exists inside Banner? Who knows? Some of the artwork for Avengers: Endgame shows Hulk wearing a specialized Avengers suit with a less….
How do I put this?
Less Neanderthal-like appearance. To some, this suggests that Banner will be able to operate as the Hulk, while retaining more of his Bruce Banner personality (and brain power). This bears some resemblance to the character of Professor Hulk from the comics. Much like the character arc of Caesar in the new Planet of the Apes films, Hulk has had evolving language skills. It seems only appropriate for Marvel to pull out all the stops for this culminative picture. Mark Ruffalo is clearly digging the performance-capture element of his character. Let the dude EMOTE!
8. ROCKET MEETING TONY
These guys are both wise-cracking, grease-monkey bad boys. Can you imagine the banter? I know you all agree with me that these two need to have some screen time together. If Rocket is excited by prosthetic arms, imagine how stoked he’ll be when he witnesses the weaponry that Stark has at his disposal. Iron Raccoon anyone?
7. CAPTAIN MARVEL’S WEAKNESS
While certainly not Marvel’s strongest outing, Captain Marvel (2019) delivered in all the ways it needed to in order for us to get here. The Avengers are broken and a ton of heroes are dead. The team needs a big gun for this final act. Carol Danvers proved that she is going to be it. This lady packs some serious fire-power and would be invaluable in a fight against any cosmic foe. However, for all the awesome plasma blasts and ass-kickery that Danvers delivered in her solo film, it left me wondering where the line was. Can she be hurt? She is powered by the Tesseract so that might come into play but…
What is her weakness?
She can’t just come in a blast everyone to bits without conflict. There has to be some demonstration of her vulnerabilities. This is one that is guaranteed to happen.
The famous battle cry of the Avengers was cheekily teased by Joss Whedon during the final moments of Avengers: Age of Ultron. It’s time to bring it home and have someone say it. The trick is to get someone to say it without it sounding corny as hell. Your move, Marvel.
5. SOMEONE OTHER THAN THOR WIELDING STORMBREAKER
Someone has to have become worthy enough, no? What about Tony Stark? How cool would it be to see Tony pick up Stormbreaker? Maybe even Cap’s shield? When the Vision was created, the Avengers were unsure whether or not the synthetic being could be trusted. In lieu of providing a typed-up resume and some credible references, Vision demonstrated to the team that he was more than qualified for the job when he effortlessly lifted Thor’s hammer. Thor’s fancy new weapon seems to abide by many of the same rules that his previous one did. Needless to say, if Stormbreaker comes when the god of thunder beckons, and harnesses the power of the Bifrost, it won’t be lifted by anyone who isn’t “worthy”. In the comic books, Captain America has been shown (from time to time) to be able to pick up and wield Mjolnir, but Marvel Studios may want to throw us a curve ball by giving the honor to someone else; someone unexpected. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see Tony Stark face off with Thanos one last time wielding Stormbreaker? Maybe his 11-year arc and journey through space has given him the credentials by now. I can see Tony holding Stormbreaker in one hand while holding (a man can dream) Captain America’s shield. That’s an image I’d pay to see more than once. My bet is they let Carol Danvers do it instead. We shall see.
4. REMATCH: HULK VS THANOS
The Hulk’s appearance in Avengers: Infinity War was disappointing, to say the least. He appears only briefly during the film’s opening. He then proceeds to get ass handed to him by Thanos with little effort on behalf of the latter. After that, Hulk just hides inside of Banner, refusing to come out. Whether or not Avengers: Endgame will show us a “Professor Hulk” version of the character, the big green monster will surely be seen again, most likely in a glorious and triumphant return. We’re not exactly sure what’s making the Hulk so timid that he refuses to come to the surface. Many are speculating that Hulk is suffering from PTSD after getting beaten by Thanos and is hiding like a wuss. I suspect that Hulk remains subverted within Banner… waiting to fight Thanos. That would be cool. The only reason that Hulk stays dormant is because he won’t accept any challenger besides the mad Titan. Only Thanos will do.
3. TONY & CAP’S REUNION
Included on the iTunes release of Avengers: Infinity War was a directors’ roundtable featuring many prominent directors from Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Iron Man 2) to Ryan Coogler (Black Panther). Joss Whedon (who directed the first two Avengers films) perfectly summed up where the Avengers take their lead. It’s always been Cap and Tony. The reason is that Cap is the heart of the team, Tony is the head. Although we see Tony back on Earth in the latest Endgame trailer, there’s at least some good reason to believe that of the little footage we’ve been shown, at least some of it will not appear in the film; serving only as carefully crafted misdirection (The trailers for Infinity War did this). Maybe Cap and Tony don’t reunite but let’s be honest, that’s crazy. The inevitable reunion of the two leaders of the Avengers is likely to be one of the film’s most emotionally rich scenes. How it plays out is anyone’s guess. Will we see a handshake? A hug? Perhaps the two will instinctively jump into battle together against a common foe without saying a word until long after the dust settles. I’ve never cried in a Marvel film yet. I’m no tough guy either. I will absolutely start the waterworks if a film has earned it; never holding back. Speaking of that, I also want to see….
2. SOMETHING THAT WILL GENUINELY MAKE ME CRY
Marvel has come close. The recent tribute to Stan Lee at the beginning of Captain Marvel (2019). A few moments in Captain America: Civil War (2016) and who could forget “We are Groot!” Yes. Marvel has indeed come close but I’ve never cracked yet. I love these characters. I’ve invested over a decade in some of them. As I said, I’m not macho man. I cried during Shawn of the Dead (2004). I got choked up during The Grey (2011); a movie that only promised to deliver Liam Neeson fighting wolves in the snow. Maybe it will be Tony and Cap’s reunion. Maybe Groot will regenerate himself from the handle of Thor’s Stormbreaker and greet Rocket, making me spill it. I’m not sure. Some harsh stuff has to happen in this movie. Maybe one (or more) of the key Avengers will die and actually stay dead.
Which brings me to the number one thing I want to see in Avengers: Endgame (2019) …
1. SIGNIFICANT, PERMANENT DEATHS
Yes. This needs to happen. It will hurt and crush many fans but honestly, it’s what the fans deserve. Comic book stories are always 2nd acts. The story has to keep going and so there is little finality. The world will need saving again. There HAVE to be real stakes for us to emotionally stay connected. The Russo Brothers have already focused heavily on character in their previous Marvel films. This one has to be the heaviest; and for that, we need some of these beloved characters to go. 100% Tony or Steve has to die. The obvious choice is Captain America, and it could happen. Tony Stark would work just as well. The actors’ contracts are up but that’s not the important thing. Marvel showed some serious gusto when Infinity War ended with a victorious villain and half of the universe wiped out. They have to top that. As much as I don’t necessarily want to see them all go, I would have a tremendous amount of respect for the filmmakers if they killed off the entire original lineup: Tony, Cap, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Hulk and Thor. This is highly unlikely. However, you all know that something serious has to happen. Killing some beloved characters seems like the only way to do it. I’m pretty excited for this movie. I’m not bothered that it’s over three hours long. The longer, the better in my opinion. As Steve Rogers would say:
“I could do this all day”
Your move, Marvel.
Nick is an actor/writer/comedian/musician from Hamilton, ON Canada. Having been a film nut since the early days of his life, Nick has had an obsession with cinema and popular entertainment. Nick has written for thecinemaholic.com and is the current Foote & Friends “expert” on all things geek/superhero/comic-book related. Nick is the host/producer of the official Foote & Friends On Film podcast. Nick met John when studying acting at the Toronto Film School, for which John H. Foote was director and Film History professor. The two have been arguing ever since.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickMaylor