25 Apr 19
The Irish Sun
AFTER 11 years, 22 movies and £14billion in ticket sales, Marvel is wrapping up its Avengers story arc.
The climactic Avengers: Endgame boasts the series’ most star-packed roster ever.
The final addition to the Avengers story arc has its most star-packed roster ever
Thousands of fans pre-booked tickets to catch the long-awaited finale, which exploded on to cinema screens at midnight on Wednesday. It smashed records for advance ticket sales, beating the mark set by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
And Endgame is expected to top the TWO BILLION dollars raked in by the previous instalment in the series, Infinity War.
Here, GRANT ROLLINGS profiles the heroes still standing at the START of Endgame.
But don’t worry, we won’t be spoiling the surprise by revealing how the three-hour epic turns out.
Hulk’s first Marvel movie appearance was in The Incredible Hulk in 2008
Mark Ruffalo, 51, took over from Edward Norton as the Hulk in 2012
WHO is he? Mild-mannered scientist Bruce Banner turns into a not-so-jolly green giant when he gets angry. Throughout the Avengers series, he has fought to control his temper. Banner seems to have won that battle in the final episode. One of the few comic-book heroes with the strength to stand up to Thanos.
Trademark move: Smashing stuff, very, very hard.
Marvel movie appearances: The Incredible Hulk (2008), Avengers Assemble (2012), Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019).
The star: Ruffalo, 51, took over from Edward Norton as the Hulk in 2012 for the first Avengers movie. Norton’s 2008 The Incredible Hulk is one of Marvel’s few commercial flops.
Ant-Man is Marvel’s smallest hero and an ex-con turned crime-fighter
Paul Rudd is also known for being Pheobe’s fella Mike in Friends
WHO is he? Marvel’s smallest hero is an ex-con turned crime-fighter who can shrink at will due to a hi-tech suit. At the end of the second Ant-Man movie last year, he was left stranded in a “quantum world” – and is assumed to be dead as Endgame begins. But we can see from the trailer he returns to the Avengers’ compound to help out.
Trademark move: Getting into tiny spaces unseen.
Marvel movie appearances: Ant-Man (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019).
The star: To Friends fans, Rudd, 50, will always be Phoebe’s fella Mike. But his CV includes smash-hit comedies The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up and both Anchorman films. The two Ant-Man movies raked in a billion dollars combined.
Captain Marvel is the newest addition to the Avengers line-up
Brie Larson’s trademark move as Captain Marvel is lightning speed
WHO is she? The newest addition to the Avengers line-up appeared in her first film just this year – a billion-dollar box-office hit. At the end of her debut, which is set in the Nineties, it becomes clear the former fighter pilot will come to the aid of Avengers founder Nick Fury. The incredibly potent character can fly through space and take out spaceships with beams of energy.
Trademark move: Lightning speed.
Marvel movie appearances: Captain Marvel (2019), Avengers: Endgame (2019).
The star: Larson, 29, claimed a Best Actress Oscar for the intense 2015 drama Room. She played a young mother being held captive by a sexual predator. But Larson displayed great comic timing in the wildly contrasting Captain Marvel. Her partner is rocker Alex Greenwald of the band Phantom Planet.
Iron Man has had several brushes with death in the franchise
Robert Downey Jr’s trousered tens of millions as Iron Man after battling addiction in 2001
WHO is he? Throughout the Avengers saga, billionaire boffin Tony Stark has vied with Captain America to lead the team. After several brushes with death, fans have wondered if Endgame might mark the end of the road for Stark.
Trademark move: Power blasts from his hi-tech armour.
Marvel movie appearances: Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Avengers Assemble (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019).
The star: Downey’s career lay in tatters as he battled drink and drug addiction in 2001. But after sobering up, the 54-year-old has trousered tens of millions as Iron Man, topping lists of Hollywood’s highest earners.
Captain America is key to keeping the Avengers team together
Chris Evans’s first role in the franchise was 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger
WHO is he? The clean-living World War Two super-soldier – who was plunged into the modern world after decades frozen in Arctic ice – is key to keeping the Avengers team together. He battles to overcome Thanos even when all seems lost.
Trademark move: Throwing his indestructible shield.
Marvel movie appearances: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) Avengers Assemble (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019).
The star: The 37-year-old American got the nod despite appearing in two Fantastic Four movies as the Human Torch. Stars with Daniel Craig in upcoming crime drama Knives Out, due later this year.
Thor’s special move is summoning lightning
Chris Hemsworth pipped little brother Liam for the role of Thor
WHO is he? The mighty God of Thunder seems humbled in the wake of his battle with Thanos. The Asgardian swaps his superpowered hammer Mjolnir for a deadly axe.
Special move: Summoning lightning.
Marvel movie appearances: Thor (2011), Avengers Assemble (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015), Doctor Strange (2016), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019).
The star: The Aussie, 35, pipped younger brother Liam to become Thor. The former Home & Away star earned £12million for Thor: Ragnarok and will slip into Will Smith’s sober dark suit for Men In Black: International this autumn. He is married to Fast & Furious actress Elsa Pataky, with whom he has three children.
Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, debuted in Iron Man 2
Scarlett skyrocketed to fame in 2003 after starring in Lost In Translation
WHO is she? When the Russian assassin debuted in Iron Man 2, it wasn’t clear whose side she was on. But the killer with a dark past is a loyal friend to her Avenger pals, notably Hawkeye and Captain America.
Trademark move: Martial arts.
Marvel movie appearances: Iron Man 2 (2010), Avengers Assemble (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019).
The star: After finding fame in 2003 indie hit Lost In Translation, she has appeared in sci-fi blockbusters Ghost In The Shell and Lucy, plus edgier fare like Under The Skin and Her. The 34-year-old mum of one is twice divorced, including from actor Ryan Reynolds.
Rocket Raccoon is known for his prison breakouts
Bradley Cooper plays genetically modified raccoon and was first seen in 2014’s Guardians Of The Galaxy
WHO is he? The genetically modified raccoon can talk his way into trouble and back out of it – and is handy with a gun too. First seen in 2014’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, Rocket is a rough diamond inclined to do the right thing when pushed. As one of just two surviving Guardians, he is determined to get revenge on Thanos.
Trademark move: Prison breakouts.
Marvel movie appearances: Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014), Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019).
The star: Rocket’s voice is nothing like the Cooper we heard sing in his directorial debut A Star Is Born. His romantic duets with Lady Gaga were very convincing – but Cooper, 44, is dating the Russian model Irina Shayk, with whom he has a daughter.
[boxout headline=”ALSO STARRING…”]
Nebula: Karen Gillan
Hawkeye: Jeremy Renner
War Machine: Don Cheadle
Pepper Potts: Gwyneth Paltrow
Spider-Man: Tom Holland
Falcon: Anthony Mackie
Star-Lord: Chris Pratt
Black Panther: Chadwick Boseman
Doctor Strange: Benedict Cumberbatch
Journey to Endgame
Avengers Assemble – 2012
Avengers Assemble included Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow
The first Avengers film carrying that title marks the moment some of Marvel’s best-known superheroes get together to fight an alien force.
They include Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, the Hulk and Black Widow.
Box office: £1.2billion (6th best ever)
Avengers: Age Of Ultron – 2015
Avengers: Age Of Ultron sees the heroes fall out due to Iron Man’s meddling
The second Avengers movie introduces Paul Bettany as Vision, plus Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. The heroes fall out as Iron Man’s meddling puts everyone in danger.
James Spader voices scheming Ultron.
Box Office: £1.1billion (8th best ever)
Avengers: Infinity War – 2018
Avengers: Infinity War sees Thanos try to wipe out half of life in the universe
After falling out in Captain America: Civil War, the team reunite to stop cosmic tyrant Thanos obtaining all six Infinity Stones.
Thanos plans to wipe out half of life in the universe.
Box office: £1.6billion (4th best ever)
Avengers: Endgame – 2019
Avengers: Endgame has its most star-packed roster ever
Fans have been asking: How can the surviving Avengers defeat Thanos and save their fallen comrades from Infinity War? We won’t spoil it.
But Endgame deftly brings together strands from 21 earlier films.
Box office estimate: £1.7billion
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