Movies 7 December 2018 | 15:56

The Avengers trailer sets the tone for a grand finale to an 11-year adventure

07 December 2018 15:56

The first trailer for Avengers: Endgame has dropped and is poignant for a host of reasons. For a start, it is yet another reminder that the world of Marvel comics lost its mighty magus, Stan Lee, less than a month ago.

Second, this film, the 22nd to be produced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and the fourth Avengers movie) will clearly be, as its title alone suggests, a grand finale to the extraordinary journey that began with the release of Iron Man in 2008 – and one that looks certain to have a distinctly elegiac thread running through it.

The opening shot reveals Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) drifting in space, out of food and water and low on oxygen, recording a farewell message to Pepper Potts (Gywneth Paltrow). ‘When I drift off, I will dream about you,’ he says. ‘It’s always you.’ We already know that Potts will graduate to her own iron-suited super-identity as Rescue in this movie. But how? We must wait till April to find out.

Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff reminds us that the intergalactic menace Thanos (Josh Brolin) has wiped out half the population of Earth. She is also seen reunited with Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) who has left behind his Hawkeye persona and morphed into the much more lethal Ronin. Steve Rogers, the fugitive superhero formerly known as Captain America, also features heavily – and there is a clear tease that the love of his life, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), will be making some form of time-defying return to the narrative.

The trailer takes a tonal swerve at the end with the comic return of Paul Rudd’s Ant Man: clearly, Joe and Anthony Russo’s movie will not be two hours of unremitting universe-smashing bleakness. But they, and the masters of the MCU, have raised the stakes vertiginously in this epic first taste of a cinematic moment 11 years in the making. The reputation of the most successful and ambitious franchise in the history of film now hangs in the balance. Will Avengers: Endgame deliver?

(Trailer below)