Endgame Director Explains Why Marvel Films Have So Much Humor


Joe Russo reveals that the secret to Marvel’s success is the use of humor in their films, as Kevin Feige is aware of what audiences are enjoying.

Avengers: Endgame director Joe Russo reveals why the MCU films have so much humor in them. Having grossed $25.6 billion at the worldwide box office, the MCU is the most successful film franchise of all time, and over the past 14 years, audiences have become wrapped up in the characters and the world of these heroes. The films stand as some of the biggest pieces of shared cultural moments of the 21st century, as the dialogue has become quotable in everyday conversation.

One defining aspect of the MCU is the franchise’s sense of humor, which originated back in 2008’s Iron Man, due to the film not having a finished script and having to rely on Robert Downey Jr.’s improv skills, which director Jon Favreau was well suited for because of his comedy background. The franchise would further be defined in The Avengers as the banter and wit of the script was one of the film’s highlights, and subsequent MCU films have gone tried to capture that. The comedic elements of the MCU have now become just as much of an attraction for audiences as the action scenes.


Related: Some Of Marvel’s Most Iconic Jokes Were Improvised

Russo reveals exactly why the MCU films have so much comedy in them and says it is the key to Marvel’s success. While speaking with Deadline, via TheDirect, Russo revealed that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige likes to test Marvel films to see how audiences are enjoying them. Feige wants audiences to have a good time, and part of the way to track that is with humor. Russo said:

“Well, Marvel’s secret sauce is that Kevin likes the films to be entertaining, right? And entertaining typically involves humor, and I think that Kevin’s very big on testing movies and I think he likes to sit in the test screening and hear the response. So the audience’s laughing, you can hear their response. You can understand, ’Okay, every 2 minutes [they] are getting some enjoyment out of the movie,’ and that’s a strong way for him to gauge how the movie will perform with an audience, right? So I think humor is very important to him.”

The MCU style of humor has become so popular that it has been mimicked by other studios and has now grown a negative reception among some audience members as “Marvel Humor.” Some take issue with the franchise’s insistence on humor as they feel it often deflates rather serious moments, and some criticize the franchise’s inability to take anything seriously, like mocking Doc Ock’s name in Spider-Man: No Way Home, for example. Yet, even under all the humor, the MCU has been able to use that as a way to get more lofty themes into their films from racial politics in Black Panther to looking at the devastations of colonialism and impacts on refugees in both Captain Marvel and Thor: Ragnarok, or the complicated nature between children and parents in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

However, despite the reaction to Marvel’s use of humor, inserting comedy into action films is not something Marvel created. In fact, it very much shows that MCU not only draws from comic books to inform their films but cinematic influence as well. Raiders of the Lost Ark features a number of well-played comedic beats that subvert audiences’ expectations, the biggest being when Indiana Jones shoots the swordsman, which was not in the original script. Pirates of the Caribbean, James Bond, and Star Wars are other major franchises that found ways to incorporate humorous jokes, quips, and protagonists into their stories to keep audiences entertained. Marvel Studios is just following in the footsteps of the greats.

Next: The MCU’s Trademark Humor Makes Its Tragedy More Meaningful

Source: Deadline (via TheDirect)

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023

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