The snap that concluded Avengers: Infinity War was arguably the most talked about movie moment of 2018, but in the film’s early test screenings, this genocidal ending apparently rendered its audience speechless.
In a recent interview with Empire, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige recalled how the Snap left its test viewers in a state of shock.
“When we do test screenings, you can judge the authenticity of reactions based on when the applause starts,” Feige said. “Here, there was nothing. Nothing. Silence. The best reactions after were like, ‘I hated it, but I loved it. I hated it, but I understand why it had to happen.’ Panther disappearing at the end was shocking to people. Spidey: That was filmed on the first or second day of what would be an almost two-year process.”
Nonetheless, Feige claimed that he was still “a hundred percent confident in that ending.” Or at least he was until the Monday before release, when he began having doubts.
“Then I started to get really nervous. It was like, ‘Wait a minute; what have we done?’ For years, leading up to the release of that ending, people were going, ‘These movies are predictable. The good guys always win.’ And for years I was thinking, ‘Just wait.’”
Co-writer Stephen McFeely has mentioned that in the early draft stages, the team was considering saving the Snap for the first act of Avengers: Endgame, since the movie was so heavily stuffed with plot. Feige, however, reasoned that putting the Decimation at the end of Infinity War “was the most shocking thing we could do.”
Given the world-conquering box office success of Avengers: Infinity War, you can imagine that Feige has no regrets about ending the movie on such a grim note, rather than saving the Snap for the sequel. And besides, Avengers: Endgame is already looking pretty packed as is. With recent reports indicating that the film’s runtime might even exceed the three-hour mark, it seems that just showing us how Earth’s Mightiest Heroes go about undoing the Snap is more than enough for one movie.
In any case, while the Decimation left Marvel fans feeling rather shaken, it’s widely assumed that next month’s follow-up will see the universe-wide purge reversed, if only so that heroes like Spider-Man, Black Panther and Doctor Strange can come back for their confirmed sequels. How exactly the surviving heroes are going to pull off this feat, however, remains the number one question, but we’ll find out when Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26th.