A dear friend of mine recently asked me if The Marvel Cinematic Universe is my favorite film franchise. I told them that while I'm not sure I could take the time to rank my favorite franchises then and there, I did assure them that the MCU is my favorite that I've ever lived through. I can't name another modern franchise that I've been so invested in so intensely (Lord of the Rings comes close). I've adored these heroes ever since I was a kid, and seeing them come to life so flawlessly has been a pleasure. Watching artists tell stories that mean something, that hit you at a gut level, is true artistry. To stay persistent over 20+ movies is an accomplishment too. Most franchises fizzle out after just two or three movies. Heck, the James Bond franchise has ups and downs. But I firmly believe that the MCU has made good movies, fun movies and some great movies. There isn't a single MCU film I'd call awful or bad.
I can't believe that I've invested over ten years of my life to this franchise, or for the guy that sees hundreds of movies a year, for that excitement to not subside is a miracle.
I watched this latest Endgame trailer and I cried. Go ahead and laugh, but I cried. Cried because they are really going for it, on all story fronts. Cried because they are pushing the boundaries of the genre. But most of all, I cried because I felt the weight of those 10+ years of investment. Just like so many people in their 40s and 50s, who camped out in front of the theater for "A New Hope," "Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" felt when they saw trailers for Star Wars prequels or Episode 7. Movies are empathy machines, on a level I've never seen before and there isn't a flood of emotion on this planet similar to seeing a series of movies that you've been invested in for so long.
The MCU isn't going to be the same after ENDGAME and you can feel a sense of closure in this new trailer and I'm not sure I'm ready for it. But I'll continue to watch, because of that investment. These may just be superhero movies to some, but for a kid who never thought they'd see something on this scale being do done so well...they've become something else.
Best of all, there are probably going to be kids who leave the theater after this movie and they will go home and dream big. Maybe theyll try and write a script. Maybe they'll invest in a video camera. Maybe they'll look at filmmaking and fine arts colleges. These movies will inspire the next wave of filmmakers, much like "Star Wars" did for many, like J.J. Abrams. They will be fearless and that is a good thing.