Earlier this month, Marvel Studios began ramping up its otherwise limited promotional campaign for Avengers: Endgame with a “Special Look” trailer-esque video that, among other things, included a rather poignant line from Tony Stark. “It’s not about how much we lost,” he says. “It’s about how much we have left.” Until critics and audiences alike have had a chance to see the film when it premieres next week, there’s no way to know precisely what Stark is talking about, or who he’s talking to.
Even so, considering how this same promo also emphasized Stark and Rogers sharing a handshake, he’s probably delivering the line to Captain America. (That, or Steve is the subject of its context.) Why? Because judging by an official clip that arrived a week later, it seems that the two friends-turned-enemies won’t be seeing everything eye to eye just because Thanos beat them both and won. “Let’s go get this son of a bitch,” the super soldier declares to a group of surviving Avengers that includes Nebula, the only other person to survive the battle on Titan with Tony.
One wants to get revenge against Thanos and undo the snap. The other, meanwhile, wants to take stock of what’s left and craft a more careful plan. In other words, it sounds like Steve and Tony have found yet another item to add to their growing list of grievances against one another. Which makes sense, as Avengers: Infinity War never actually offered a resolution to what drove them apart in Captain America: Civil War. It simply hinted at one. So between this decontextualized exchange of lines and the various context clues glimpsed in other television spots, it appears that the Civil War may explode yet again.
Of course, the fact that Endgame is going to be over three hours adds plenty of credence to this, as that means writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely managed to pack a lot of material into directors Joe and Anthony Russo’s final cut. Then again, the fact that Civil War is one of a selection of Marvel Cinematic Universe entries that Markus, McFeely and the Russos have identified as “necessary” to watch before seeing Endgame also helps. There’s also the fact that everyone’s playing coy about Tony and Steve’s eventual reunion.
As Uproxx‘s Mike Ryan pointed out to Markus and McFeely, Nebula is with Rogers and the rest of the surviving Avengers when he makes his potty-mouthed declaration, but Tony is nowhere to be seen. In response, Markus did his best to avoid all potential spoilers and quipped, “So they didn’t show you the 10-minute scene of Tony in the bathroom?” However, they were willing to discuss the influence Civil War, which they also wrote, would have on Endgame:
Markus: Well, I mean, there are a lot of back and forths, almost emotional corners in Captain America: Civil War.
McFeely: There’s no going back from a few of those moments.
Markus: There’s no going back, but they have the huge fight at the airport, then Tony’s back on his side, then he flips again and you wouldn’t do that all the time. It felt like, those felt like deal breakers, at certain points.
After all, it takes Tony more than a few beats to bust out Steve’s old flip phone in order to call him at the beginning of Infinity War (though he ultimately isn’t the one who makes the call). The animosity between these two is still alive and well, and even if Markus and McFeely are unable to comment on it before the film’s release, all the signs are out in the open now. As the latter told io9 recently, “Their relationship is one we would like to see addressed.”