‘Avengers: Endgame’ Cast Gets Emotional at Marvel Premiere: ‘I Cried Like Six Times’

If more than 20 worldwide blockbusters over 10 years sounds like a big undertaking, try locking up the cell phones and smartwatches of the most important people in Hollywood for four hours.

Only a franchise with the cache of the Marvel Cinematic Universe could have A-list talent, celebrity fans, agents and executives gladly turn over their gadgets for a chance to watch the dazzling spectacle of “Avengers: Endgame” four days before it opens. The upcoming superhero epic serves as a culmination to the current phase of MCU comic-book films that first kicked off in 2008 by unwitting dice-rollers Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and director Jon Favreau on “Iron Man.”

“It’s been an amazing ride and so moving, I love all of you guys so much. It’s been the trip of a lifetime, and what you did up there tonight was so beautiful. My brother and sister Avengers, I love you so much,” gushed Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk, after a three-hour screening that saw possibly as many sniffles as it did rousing calls from the audience.

“I have a lot of my friends and family here tonight, and a lot of them are right up here,” said Captain America himself, Chris Evans. “We have this bond that transcends what we do for a living … I cried like six times [tonight].”

Scarlett Johansson, who has played the lethal and empowered Black Widow for a decade, was overcome by the “beautiful, open-minded people” she got to work with. Jeremy Renner, the bow-and-arrow wielding Hawkeye, went down a line expressing love to people including Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and the “Endgame” directors Joe and Anthony Russo. Chris Hemsworth, who plays the beloved Thor, resented speaking last but expressed the same affection for his castmates and shouted out his family — brothers Luke and Liam, and sister-in-law Miley Cyrus.

The man of the hour, the first Avenger (at the cinema, anyway) was Robert Downey Jr. Tony Stark arrived true to form in a sleek Audi, suited and in shades with wife Susan Downey. After the carpet, the actor changed into jeans and a hoodie.

Disney CEO Bob Iger singled out the star ahead of the screening. Downey, clutching a child actor from the film, looked out onto the crowd and said, “We’ve got a lot of parties and after parties to get to, so we’re just going to say we love you.”

Given that the film unites superstar heroes from all over the Marvel Cinematic Universe, venue selection was always going to be a challenge. Marvel owner Disney settled on the Los Angeles Convention Center, where the studio staged an entirely indoor event for security reasons, according to word on the ground.

Hundreds of fans who had camped out for days in cosplay chanted and screamed from behind barriers in the vast lobby, where a circular red carpet was constructed around a giant purple letter “A,” the Avengers logo, which rotated on a platform.

Paltrow spoke with Variety, and remembered the day she got the call to come on board. She was in London when Favreau rang. “I thought, ‘Really, you want me to be in this movie?’ He explained that he really wanted, what he considered, great actors to revolutionize how people perceive these big-budget superhero movies,” said Paltrow.

On the center’s second floor, the studio spent a week building out a 2,000 seat pop-up theater on high risers, erected before a massive screen. Stars like Matt Damon and Kevin Hart came just to catch the first screening, which opens Friday and seeks to beat its predecessor “Avengers: Infinity War” at the box office as the highest-grossing opening weekend of all time.

Tons of former and current Marvel stars were on hand: Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright of “Black Panther,” Sebastian Stan, Don Cheadle, Cobie Smulders, uber-villain Josh Brolin, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tessa Thompson, Karen Gillan, Elizabeth Olsen.

An equally starry after-party followed as Marvel Studios lieutenants Victoria Alonso and Louis D’Esposito greeted friends and colleagues, like Skydance CEO David Ellison, who couldn’t be bothered with business on such an exceptional night. He attended with his best friend since age 13, and stood in line for candy and popcorn like the rest of the lucky moviegoers.

More Film

  • Harry Styles to Play Prince Eric

    Harry Styles in Talks to Play Prince Eric in Disney's 'Little Mermaid'

    Harry Styles is going under the sea. The former One Direction frontman is in early negotiations to play Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid.” Halle Bailey will portray the Ariel, a mermaid princess who dreams of being a human, while Melissa McCarthy is playing her evil aunt Ursula. “The Little Mermaid” [...]

  • Stuber Movie

    Disney Left With a Slate of Film Flops After Fox Deal

    Is Disney having buyer’s remorse? The studio would be forgiven if it were having some regrets after absorbing 20th Century Fox, the company that once generated big box office with the likes of “Avatar,” “Life of Pi,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” After “Dark Phoenix” bombed earlier this summer, Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista’s action comedy “Stuber” [...]

  • Taika Waititi Returning to Direct 'Thor

    Taika Waititi to Direct Marvel's 'Thor 4'

    Taika Waititi is returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The filmmaker will write and direct the sequel to his 2017 blockbuster “Thor: Ragnarok.” Waititi’s take on the fourth “Thor” movie puts Warner Bros.’ long-in-development “Akira” adaptation on hold indefinitely. However, the studio hopes that “Akira” can get resume production with Waititi at the helm once [...]

  • Akira

    'Akira' Production Put on Hold by Warner Bros.

    Warner Bros. has put its long-in-development “Akira” adaptation on hold indefinitely, sources tell Variety. Sources indicate that after a brief delay, the studio has pulled the plug on production indefinitely for the classic anime adaptation, which was set to begin later this fall. “Thor: Ragnarok” helmer Taika Waititi was on board to direct, and the [...]

  • Sir Elton John, David Furnish. Sir

    New Elton John AIDS Foundation Gala to be Held in the South of France

    Elton John and David Furnish are launching a new gala for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The two will host the inaugural A Midsummer Party benefit on July 24 in the south of France at the Johnny Pigozzi’s private estate, Villa Dorane, in Cap d’Antibes. A cocktail reception will be followed by dinner, a live [...]

  • Sebastian Maniscalco Green Book

    Sebastian Maniscalco Moves Into Movies With 'Green Book' and 'The Irishman'

    As a comedian whose routines not only lampoon Italian stereotypes but demand larger-than-life performances of those cultural peccadilloes, Sebastian Maniscalco has carefully — if inadvertently — created a niche for himself as an actor. In 2018, in between selling out shows at Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden, he took his first steps [...]

  • Erin Westerman

    Lionsgate Promotes Erin Westerman to President of Motion Picture Production

    Lionsgate has promoted veteran executive Erin Westerman to the post of president of production of its Motion Picture Group. Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake and motion picture group president Nathan Kahane made the announcement Tuesday. The post has been vacant since earlier this year, when it was held as a co-presidency by Peter Kang [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content