Case in point: the first encounter with a visibly wounded Thanos. Many fans would have expected an early showdown between the Mad Titan and the remnants of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes; instead, Thor Odinson aims for the head, and achieves what is undoubtedly a hollow victory for the Avengers.
And just like that, within the opening half-hour, the MCU’s greatest ever villain has perished. It’s a clever bait-and-switch that was successfully hidden during the Endgame marketing blitz, and, as writer Stephen McFeely tells the NY Times, a sure-fire way to subvert expectations all over the globe.
We always had this problem. The guy has the ultimate weapon. He can see it coming. It’s ridiculous. We were just banging our heads for weeks, and at some point, [the executive producer] Trinh Tran went, ‘Can’t we just kill him?’ And we all went, ‘What happens if you just kill him? Why would you kill him? Why would he let you kill him?’
The result? Thor chops off Thanos’ head with one sweep of his remodeled Stormbreaker. And Earth’s Mightiest Heroes return home, left to mull over the fact that the Infinity Stones have been damaged beyond repair. Purely from a character standpoint, co-writer Christopher Markus believes Thanos’ acceptance is fitting. He had already accomplished his mission and the universe was in a state of perfect balance, population-wise.
It reinforced Thanos’s agenda. He was done. Not to make him too Christ-like, but it was like, “If I’ve got to die, I can die now.
It’s already sunk Titanic and is now powering towards a historic third weekend at the global box office, so it’s small wonder why everyone can’t stop talking about Avengers: Endgame and its super-sized story. What comes next? We’ll find out on July 2nd, at which point Spider-Man: Far From Home will scurry into theaters.