Ex. Avengers: Endgame Exec. Producer Trinh Tran talks past & future of MCU!

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Marvel fans have been waiting a very long time for this. And finally, AVENGERS: ENDGAME is about to shatter box office records on April 26th. Recently, we had the opportunity to cover the junket for the new film – you can find our interview with the very talented Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely here. Fortunately, we had the chance to speak with a few of the fine folks involved in this gargantuan project. One of the major forces behind the MCU is executive producer Trinh Tran who has been on board the Marvel train all the way back to IRON MAN, where she worked on the film as an assistant. And with CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, she joined the already impressive producing team as an associate producer.

When we sat down with Ms. Tran, it was a blast talking about the past ten years anf the future of Marvel heroes. Considering we were only witness to two scenes for the upcoming film – usually when doing a junket you will watch the entire film – it was clear that they want audiences to go in fresh. Trinh discussed how you can market a film that a studio wants to keep secret, and she carefully answered the questions without revealing too much. She also opened up about the possibilities of the recent merger between Disney and Fox – but of course she kept things very safe in regards to what’s to come. However, her enthusiasm for what's lies ahead, and of course for what we’ve already seen, is quite infectious. Here’s hoping that ENDGAME will be the movie you all have been counting the hours for.

Trinh Tran, Avengers, Endgame, MCU, Kevin Feige, Captain America, Iron Man, 2019What were the key concerns in bringing the first (ten year) phase to a close?

Oh, my God. This phase, or the first phase? Because this is the third phase.

The third phase. So many phases.

I know, there's so many phases. Just actually making it through, and making sure that everybody is loving the movies, because without phase one, there wouldn't have been phase two or three, right?


So yeah, it's just making sure that the audiences were loving all of the movies that we were bringing out, because those were the different franchises. Like with phase one, IRON MAN, THOR, CAPTAIN AMERICA, leading up to THE AVENGERS, had we not created that, there wouldn't have been an interconnected universe that we did in INFINITY WAR, where we brought the different franchises together. So to be able to get past that was a huge stepping stone because that led to more characters like the other dozen ones that came out in phase two. I can't even recall, because there's so many.

Oh, right. Well, Doctor Strange.

Exactly. The Guardians, everybody.

Kevin Feige, he has said that with the MCU, this will … Endgame will forever change the MCU after this. What does that mean for fans going into the next phase?

Oh, my Lord. Okay.

That's a tough one, huh?

What does that mean, for fans, for future?


Look, I think it's the same way that fans have been reacting to any of the previous movies. There's just going to be more great stories that we can … I'm trying to be as general as-

No, I totally understand.

… as possible. There's just going to be more great stories that we're hoping to tell down the line. It's just as long as people want to watch it, we're just going to keep making these movies. And here's another 10 years hopefully that we can continue the different phases, because we have so many characters. There's a ton of characters that Marvel hasn't even touched on. So, why not?

Trinh Tran, Avengers, Endgame, MCU, Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man, 2019I guess this ties in: with so many threads from so many films all being tied together for this one, was there a formula for keeping track of everything and making sure it actually pays off naturally?

I wish there was a little math equation that we created, like if e= … That kind of thing. Look, Kevin envisioned this big, grand storytelling where you're able to connect all of these different movies and different characters together. And he saw it about 10 years ago and he was hoping that 10 years later we'd be able to do this, and here we are 10 years later. So there isn't a specific formula in that sense, other than the fact that he saw a vision of all of these characters, and one day hoping to unite them.

And in terms of the details, it's just each movie and each solo franchise that these characters have in the past, as long as we're telling stories that we're passionate about and that audiences are invested in – starting with IRON MAN – that it's allowing us to sort of do it now, and continue to do.

Now for you, does this feel like the end, or is this a new beginning?

It's both. We're closing a chapter, right? This is 10 years in the making. These characters we've grown to love in the last 10 years, and there's some newbies in there, but the original six are in there and they've started on phase one. So it's nice to close a chapter, but it's also going to open up a lot of other phases and chapters to explore.

This is going to be so big. Now obviously, today we didn't see the whole film and usually we do.

What? Why not?

I know, right?! [Laughing] Marvel's been playing this very close to the chest. How can you do that and still manage to market it properly?

It is the hardest thing ever. We've been doing this for four years now. It’s one of the most challenging, I think, factors into this movie, other than shooting the movie itself. Because it's so important to us that the audiences are going to experience it for the first time without any spoilers, that they might leak or something. So it's very crucial to us that they get that experience. And in order to get that experience, you have to just go in completely not knowing what's going on.

And Infinity War was hard because the big ending was a huge thing. And we couldn't obviously let that out because that would have affected the whole entire experience of watching that movie. And the big factor was that our heroes lost. That was a big deal. That was a big risk that we took. So preserving that was very, very important. Leading up to this, pretty much everything, I think, is a huge spoiler. So we can't say anything about it. And we just want everybody to be experiencing it for the first time and enjoy it without losing sight of the journey, if you were to know certain aspects of it.

So for four years it's been an overall secret that even when we were shooting the movie, people didn't know what was going on.

Trinh Tran, Marvel, Avengers, Endgame, Thanos, Josh Brolin, 2019, MCUThat's great. I get it though, too. You guys are at the very … It's a very enviable position where you can do that because people have been waiting for this movie for 10 years. So you can kind of get away with it.

Yeah, exactly. It's like, I can't imagine if you were to do that with the first IRON MAN. It's like people had no idea what you were getting into. You're not just telling them a single thing, but it's because everybody's invested, and these characters … And they grew up; 10-year-old kids who are now 20 have been going to these movies every single year for the last 10 years. They've grown to love these characters, and they don't want to be spoiled by it. So it's like, why are we going to allow that to happen when they spent all of these years, energy, time into sort of enjoying the experience every time they go to the theater?

Well this is a tricky one, and I know you can't really answer, but I'm going to ask for your personal view. The Disney/Fox merger has now essentially flooded the MCU with opportunities, all popular characters. How does that new stable of characters start to inform the direction for you, specifically?

How do the new characters –

Yeah, how do all these new characters that you have access to… At least for you, build your hopes and ideas and thoughts for the future?

Look, it's great that there's more characters to play with in that sense, right? There's a lot of opportunities that we have. I have yet to talk about it because this has been my life for the last couple of years. So I've been knee-deep on that. But look, that's … to have that opportunity to have … There's still a lot more … Regardless of the merger or anything, Marvel still has tons of characters that we haven't scratched the surface on. We've only explored these, but there's just so many more to play with. So I want to get more of that going. I want to get more of a diverse group out there. We made CAPTAIN MARVEL the first female solo movie. Let's get more of that. BLACK PANTHER was a huge cultural impact on audiences. Let's get a more diverse group of that. That's exciting, because that's what I think audiences want to see.

Yeah. I mean, I'm thrilled about BLACK WIDOW. Well I guess the last question is, after these 10 years, what has stuck with you? What really got to you, and what means the most to you, as a filmmaker?

You know what? I think it's just been the overall journey. I think it's been working with great collaborators. It's also been just sitting and remembering watching the first IRON MAN and coming out of it, and that made me a fan, in itself. And the same way the audience saw and experienced and reacted to, I was the same exact way and said, "I want to actually be a part of this company for a very long time, because these are the stories that I'm excited to tell, and I hope that I get to be a part of it as much as anybody in the company is a part of it."

Trinh Tran, Avengers, Endgame, The Russo Brothers, Marvel, MCU, 2019

Source: JoBlo.com

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JimmyO is one of JoBlo.com’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.