“It’s ageing out”: Avengers: Endgame Directors Reveal the “incredibly difficult problem” Marvel is Facing and its Not Superhero Fatigue

As it turns out, the masterminds behind ‘Avengers: Endgame’ feel that the MCU isn’t facing “superhero fatigue” but something even more difficult.

avengers endgame

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently suffering severely, and its recent box office bombs justify just how much on the edge of the cliff it is. If anything, except for a few, there have hardly been any perfect movies from the saga after Avengers: Endgame, which itself was released nearly half a decade ago. This is why many seemingly termed this problem as being “superhero fatigue.”

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

However, two masterminds tend to differ in their respective opinions on this situation. And as it turns out, these two genius brains are none other than the creative helmers behind Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel, Joe and Anthony Russo. According to the Russo Brothers, this recent downfall of the MCU isn’t due to “superhero fatigue,” but is rather a part of a “generational divide.”

Avengers: Endgame Directors Reflect on the MCU’s Current Dire State

After delivering some back-to-back masterpieces to worldwide audiences, the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems to be falling behind lately, with a lot of fans hardly being amused anymore by its projects. The reason behind this? Well, according to the Russo Brothers, this “incredibly difficult problem” is all just a part of the great “generational divide.”

The Russo Brothers. | Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons.

The Russo Brothers

Recently, this dynamic duo behind Avengers: Endgame was present at the Sands: International Film Festival in St Andrews, Scotland. There, calling it “a reflection of the current state of everything,” Joe Russo shared with GamesRadar+:

“I think we’re in a transitional period and people don’t know quite yet how they’re going to receive stories moving forward, or what kinds of stories they’re going to want.”

Continuing, he further emphasized his point by saying:

“There’s a big generational divide about how you consume media. There’s a generation that’s used to appointment viewing and going to a theater on a certain date to see something, but it’s ageing out. […] You know, it’s a very different moment in time than it’s ever been. […] And I think that really is probably what’s at play more than anything else.”

A still from the Russo Brothers' Avengers: Endgame.

A still from the Russo Brothers’ Avengers: Endgame

According to Joe Russo, this new generation differs widely from the old one, where they are like, “‘I want it now, I want to process it now’, then moving onto the next thing, which they process whilst doing two other things at the same time.” At the same time, he also mentioned how he believes the MCU isn’t the only one going through this phase.

But that’s not all. The reason behind this tremendous shift in preferences, as per Joe, is that people have started “collectively, globally, process[ing] our conversation so intimately and quickly” that they “over-process and don’t care about context anymore.” This is why “everything’s 100 characters or less – or 10-second videos on social media.”

Joe Russo. | Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons.

Joe Russo

As Joe further explained, “The two-hour format, the structure that goes into making a movie, it’s over a century old now,” and the industry is in great need of a transition for this newer generation.

“So, there is something happening again and that form is repetitive,” said Joe. “But it’s hard to reinvent that form and I think this next generation is looking for ways to tell their own stories that service their own sort of collective ADHD.”

Needless to say, this new generation of audiences will most certainly find this accurate, because this is pretty much exactly what they are going through as of now. At the same time, the Russo Brothers also shared their take on the very commonly used term “superhero fatigue.”

The Russo Brothers Don’t Believe in “Superhero Fatigue”

Superhero fatigue doesn't exist? So say the Russo Brothers!

Superhero fatigue doesn’t exist? So say the Russo Brothers!

While elaboratively explaining the major reason why the Marvel Cinematic Universe and other superhero franchises have been facing quite the decline was one thing, the Russo Brothers also went on to share how they simply don’t believe in even the idea of superhero fatigue. If anything, they feel it is “fatigue in general.”

Talking about it at great lengths, Anthony Russo said during the same interview:

“The superhero fatigue question was around long before the work we were doing. So, it’s sort of an eternal complaint, like we always used to cite this back in our early days with superhero work.”

Anthony Russo. | Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons.

Anthony Russo

He then took the examples of Westerns, explaining how people used to complain about them, back in the day. But even through this complaining, the Westerns still “lasted for decades and decades and decades” and were continually reinvented and brought to new heights as they went on.” The same way goes for superhero movies as well.

To put it all in a nutshell, yes, the MCU is going through a very difficult phase right now. But, as the Russo Brothers pointed out, all of this is just a part of the process, and as long as they continue to cater to their respective audiences’ demands, they will once again find footing in the entertainment industry just fine.

Meanwhile, the last blockbuster masterpiece from the MCU, i.e. Avengers: Endgame is available to be streamed on Disney+.

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