Avengers: Infinity War ends on a pretty bleak note, but if screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely had their way, the ending would have been a lot darker. The screenwriting duo recently explained their reasoning for not wanting to include a trademark Marvel Cinematic Universe post-credit scene and then explained why they were okay with it after it was all said and done. Infinity War is a rollercoaster ride and even though there is a post-credit scene, it offers more questions than a beacon of hope.
The Infinity War post-credit scene is a great one and will probably go down as one of the MCU's finest, but it almost didn't happen at all. Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely originally wanted fans to sit through the lengthy credits and get hit without anything, just a feeling of darkness. The screenwriters admit that they intended for there to not be any hope. McFeely explains.
"(The question was) do you want to give any hope? And we wanted primarily not to, because you'd go, ah, they're going to get out of jail free. It's a tragedy, and tragedies end in a grim and sad way. We want you to sit with those 8 or 10 minutes of credits, owning that movie."
In the end, a compromise was met between Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus with the Russo Brothers and Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige. It wasn't until they learned that Captain Marvel takes place in the early 1990s that everything started to make sense. It continued to make sense to the screenwriters because it didn't have anything to do with Infinity War. McFeely had this to say.
"When we figured out Captain Marvel takes place in the past, and Fury's in it, and they interact, we realized there's a pre-existing...it's more than just an oh that one's not dead, he's getting up. It's hinting at a whole path of story that isn't in the movie, so it seemed legit to us."
After Thanos completes his journey and snaps his fingers in Infinity War, half of the universe turns to dust, including Nick Fury in the post-credit scene. Right before he does, he's able to pull out a pager-like device that is revealed to be sending a signal to Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel. More than anything, it's a way to introduce Captain Marvel to the MCU while also setting up her appearance in Avengers 4.
Would Infinity War have been a better film had Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely gotten their original wish? It all depends on your way of thinking. For some MCU fans, the death of Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury was a funny way to ease tension while giving a faint glimmer of hope with the message sent to Captain Marvel. For others, they would have preferred the bleak ending without explanation and breaking the mold by not including the post-credit scene after the Mad Titan wins. You can read the rest of the interview with the Infinity War screenwriters at Collider.