Avengers: Infinity War has the best ending one could ask from the first episode in the epic two-part Avengers series. By allowing Thanos to complete his Infinity Stone quest in the first film and snap his fingers to kill half of all living things in the universe, Marvel made sure that all MCU fans would talk about that epic cliffhanger for months. In a new interview, Marvel boss Kevin Feige confirmed that the company had been working on this particular Infinity War ending for years and that the ending was exactly what the company wanted.

While it’s unclear what Avengers: Endgame will bring, we do suspect most of the dead heroes will return to life. And even though the Endgame ending might still deliver some more heartbreak, as we’ve come to expect from Russo brothers’ creations, there’s still hope beyond the next installment of the Avengers saga.

Speaking on Variety and iHeart Radio’s podcast (via ComicBook), Feige explained how Marvel chose the Infinity War ending, and why it makes sense not to have happy endings in every movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

We did Infinity War and Endgame at the same time, but those have been the longest gestating movies we’ve ever made. Four years now, almost five years. And it was always about delivering on the promise that we had set up. And the way the world received Infinity War was amazing, it was exactly what we wanted. […]

And that ending, which we had been working on for many years, and I do remember people, on all of the movies we’ve made and I’m sure on many of the movies we’ll make in the future, whenever the good guy wins, which is often — good guy, good woman, good hero wins — they go, ‘Eh, it’s kind of predictable. Good guy wins. Well, sometimes that’s fun. But for years I remember thinking, ‘I wonder what they’re going to do when they don’t?’ Because we knew that was coming. And it couldn’t have been better. The reaction was the best. The reaction. Was. The. Best.

The exec also said that the company does feel the pressure to deliver on expectations, but it chooses to do it in ways that will surprise fans. It’s safe to say that by now, expecting surprises from Marvel films with the Russos at the helm isn’t itself a stretch.

Regardless of what happens next in Endgame, the MCU still has a bright future, which is something else Feige said during the interview. He only confirmed one movie that will follow Endgame, and that’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, but he did tease that other creations are in the works (via TimesNow). Feige may have not said it, but many of the deaths we’ve witnessed in Infinity War will have to be undone to allow Marvel to tell all other MCU stories:

The only thing we’ve officially, officially announced after Avengers: Endgame is the Spider-Man movie that we’re working on now, Spider-Man: Far From Home. There are other things in development, there are other filmmakers [including The Eternals director Chloe Zhao and Black Widow director Cate Shortland] who are working on things in development. But when and where and how and why we haven’t discussed yet. But it is fair to say that we will continue making films after Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Next year we’ll have three new MCU movies, the final two episodes from Phase 3, including Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame in March and April, and then the first film of Phase 4 in July, which is Spider-Man: Far From Home.