'Don't eat or drink before the movie': No point in Endgame for a bathroom break, say film-makers
Avengers: Endgame co-director on how to enjoy action-packed three-hour epic
Stepping into the grand ballroom of Four Seasons Hotel Seoul, I thought I was taking part in some international summit.
The huge venue was packed with journalists from around the Asia-Pacific region.
All 200-plus of us were there for just one reason - to find out more about the biggest movie event of the year, Avengers: Endgame, at the film's press conference.
But everyone who is a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has perfected the art of keeping secrets. The lid on Endgame is closed so tight that none of the cast members have even seen the final film.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, the man behind the 22 MCU films, teased that fans may have to bring tissues to Endgame, which opens here on April 24.
He told the reporters: "We have spent the better part of 10 years towards the making of this film... all the work we did was leading to this."
The 45-year-old explained that the secrecy was needed so they can "deliver surprises and a satisfying conclusion to the Infinity saga".
And any advice from the film-makers on how to survive the three-hour superhero epic?
"Don't eat or drink before the movie," said co-director Anthony Russo, laughing.
"There is really no good spot to get out for a bathroom break."
Joining Feige at the Seoul event was producer Trinh Tran, directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and stars Robert Downey Jr, Brie Larson and Jeremy Renner.
Endgame will see the original six Avengers - Iron Man (Downey Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Renner) - doing whatever it takes to defeat Thanos (Josh Brolin), after the genocidal titan wipes out half the universe.
They are joined by Captain Marvel (Larson), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) on their mission.
Ever the life of the party, Downey Jr entertained us with slick dance moves and goofy poses on stage.
But the 54-year-old US actor was all serious when reflecting on his journey since the first Iron Man film in 2008 kick-started the MCU franchise.
Commenting how the stage back then was much smaller and how he was concerned only about his character, Downey Jr said: "As you grow older, you become more objective and see the bigger picture.
"I'm just glad to be able to be a part of and witness to this cultural phenomenon."
Perhaps as an act of passing the torch, he hailed his co-star Larson as the "lady of the hour".
Captain Marvel has shattered box office records with a colossal haul of over US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion).
Said Downey Jr: "She has broken through the double-paned glass window to re-establish what this genre is supposed to be and it is very gratifying."
US actress Larson is thankful to be able to introduce her character to the world, calling her a fantastic female symbol.
The 29-year-old Oscar winner is also excited to see how Captain Marvel will play out in Endgame, claiming that apart from her scenes, she has no clue what the movie is about.
Also in the dark about Endgame's plot is Renner, who admitted he was entertained by the creative fan theories.
"They are hilarious and completely crazy," said the 48-year-old US actor.
"These theories are examples of how invested people are in the story, and I love that."
Downey Jr joked that the best fan theory he has heard so far was how Ant-Man goes up Thanos' butt in order to destroy the villain.
Speculations aside, the concluding chapter has already broken global box-office records in pre-sale tickets, crashing cinema websites in Singapore and elsewhere from the intense demand.
Endgame's directors have been overwhelmed by the fan response.
Said Anthony Russo, 49: "It has been a privilege to make these movies. I am glad they have something to offer to people watching them."
Joe Russo, 47, added: "(Endgame) is a very important movie for those who have been following the films and pouring their heart out all these years."