There’s a good case to be made that Avengers: Infinity War‘s twist ending was the movie moment of the year. Audiences across the world were united in their shock at many of Marvel’s most popular characters being killed off with a snap of Thanos’ fingers and it ensured that everyone who saw this one will be back next May to find out how the universe-shattering cliffhanger’s resolved.
Sure, this was a bold move for Marvel themselves, but it’s also worth bearing in mind that the studio’s owned by Disney, famed for their family-friendly nature and whose animated films, in particular, are typified by their happy endings. So, with that in mind, did Mouse House execs ever conflict with Marvel over the grim climax to Infinity War?
The Russo brothers were asked this question while speaking at Business Insider’s IGNITION Conference and revealed that they didn’t receive any blowback from Disney. In fact, the opposite was true and they actually encouraged it.
“We did not. They were incredibly encouraging of the choices we made,” said Joe.
Anthony Russo continued the point by saying how Disney, like Marvel, understood how important to the story the ending was, as well as its potential to create a real cultural moment.
“The only way to drive a conversation is to surprise people. If you’re constantly adhering to convention, you’re not going to surprise people.” Plot twists done properly create “pop culture talking points for an audience,” he said, “but they’re also just good narrative.”
To be fair to Disney, other examples of their recent productions prove they’re willing to go dark. Star Wars: The Last Jedi, for instance, was as dark as the franchise has gone so far – if we’d been told prior to The Force Awakens that Disney would be responsible for that milestone, we wouldn’t have believed it.
On the other hand, while things are at rock bottom at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, there’s the expectation that the heroes will defeat Thanos and resurrect their fallen friends by the time the credits roll in Avengers 4. If that turns out not to be the case, though, then Disney are a lot braver than we thought.