Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo, along with screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, celebrated the movie’s one year anniversary with a virtual screening. They took fans’ questions, offered insights into the filmmaking process, and talked about what didn’t make it into the movie. (Note: Markus and McFeely tweeted from Comic Book‘s Twitter account.) The Russos also did an Instagram Live for the first hour, where Joe Russo was joined by Robert Downey Jr. The former Iron Man revealed he recently had a Zoom chat with the other original Avengers, but wouldn’t say why. Let the speculation commence!
Here are the most interesting things we learned during the quarantine Marvel watchalong.
Captain America Has Soul
Maybe the biggest “what if” of Endgame and Infinity War is that at one point Captain America was almost the Soul Stone. We’re not sure how this would have worked or what this even means exactly. Would he have literally been the Soul Stone, the universe’s own manifestation of Creation? How would anyone have figured that out? Also, where would the Soul Stone have been before he was born? Was it always a person, or something else? Or did it not exist before him, which is why no one could find it? This possibility raises more questions than it answers, but either way, it sure would have made for a very different story.
An Invisible Tony Almost Fought Heimdall
We were just obsessed with the fine detail vs. the fun. We had a sequence where Tony and Thor went to Asgard because technically there were two stones there. Tony, in an invisible stealth suit, fought Heimdall. Cool, not emotional. #AvengersAssemble #QuarantineWatchParty -SM https://t.co/yhaNeBqTpO— ComicBook.com (@ComicBook) April 28, 2020
Originally, the script did not have Earth’s mightiest heroes going back to the first Avengers movie. In that version, Tony (rather than Rocket) went to the past with Thor to Asgard to retrieve the two Infinity Stones there. And Tony, wearing an invisible suit, would have fought Heimdall. Wait… WHAT?! Yes. This would have obviously been amazing, but it would have had a huge butterfly effect on what we did see. Tony and Steve never would have ended up in the ’70s together, so Tony wouldn’t have seen his dad. (That wasn’t in the original draft either.) And the two estranged friends wouldn’t have reestablished trust.
However, it also would have meant an appearance by Idris Elba, one of the few MCU stars to not appear in the film. Turns out there were lots of sliding door moments like this for the movie. For example, originally Wanda survived the Snap, but they couldn’t make her role fit in Endgame so she became dust instead.
Banner and the Soul Stone
We did write one, a conversation between Hulk and Banner, but it didn't make it to camera. Ruffalo showed up but Hulk wouldn't come out of his trailer. -CM #AvengersAssemble #QuarantineWatchParty https://t.co/SudT0uC6aO— ComicBook.com (@ComicBook) April 28, 2020
When Thanos snapped his fingers in Infinity War, he was transported to the realm of the Soul Stone, where he saw young Gamora. Tony made a similar trip in an Endgame deleted scene where he saw an older version of his daughter. It was rightfully cut since as it would have lessened the emotional impact of that moment. But what about when Bruce Banner snapped his fingers? There were two possibilities that didn’t make it into the film.
In one version he sees Natasha, who sacrificed herself to get the Soul Stone in the first place. In the other, Bruce would have spoken to Hulk. While both are interesting, especially a final farewell for Black Widow, who didn’t get her own funeral, each would have slowed the momentum of the film. Sometimes good ideas just don’t work in the bigger picture. That includes how Professor Hulk almost made it into Infinity War, why the filmed Die Hard homage with Reginald VelJohnson was cut, and also why we didn’t see Captain America’s “reunion” with Red Skull.
Nebula and the Gauntlet
Comic book fans wondered if Nebula would be the one to use the Infinity Gauntlet on screen like she did in the pages of Marvel—and she almost did. She got to at least wear it in the script for “awhile.” But what she would have done with it is unclear. We also agree it might have undercut the moment Tony wore the Iron Gauntlet, which he was always going to do. They always planned on Tony being the one to save the universe from the very first draft.
We can’t say we didn’t wish she got to put it on even for a second, just to have that visual.
An Accidental Stop
Finally, somebody asked! Because in the first iteration of the Vormir scene, Thanos arrives to try to steal the stone (or at least pretend that's what he wants). But when we reshot it without him (much better), it left this question. #AvengersAssemble #QuarantineWatchParty -SM https://t.co/mSiLdA6B7d— ComicBook.com (@ComicBook) April 28, 2020
Of all the potential plot holes or unanswered questions in the film, this might be both the least important and also the most obvious. Why did Natasha and Cliff even bother going to Morag with Rhodey and Nebula before heading to Vormir themselves? Turns out it was nothing more than a quirk created by a reshoot, because originally Thanos was going to Vormir, too.
Considering there’s an alternate version of what we ultimately saw, the Soul Stone seemed to cause plenty of script obstacles.
Planting Seeds Underwater
When Endgame came to theaters, we wondered if a small report by Okoye could have a huge payoff eventually. Were those underwater tremors she reported to Natasha really a hint at Atlantis and Namor? Markus and McFeely wouldn’t confirm it, but they wouldn’t deny it either. Like many past MCU moments, this has the potential to grow into something more, or it could just end up being a fun “what if.”
Considered, but quickly dropped. Captain America is about the idealism, what we could be if we were better. Sam is that. Bucky is something else entirely. -CM #AvengersAssemble #QuarantineWatchParty https://t.co/3Z90XnLHva— ComicBook.com (@ComicBook) April 28, 2020
Sam Wilson will be taking up the Captain America mantle now that Steve Rogers is an old man. But Markus and McFeely revealed they briefly considered giving the mantle to his oldest friend, Bucky Barnes. The Winter Soldier wielded the shield in the comics, after all. But it doesn’t sound like it was every a real possibility for the MCU as the idea was only briefly discussed.
Some might not agree with it, but if Captain America is not just any man, Sam Wilson certainly better exemplifies the ideals that define the hero. But Bucky probably wasn’t that caught off guard by that moment. He seems to have at least had an idea Steve wasn’t coming back.
The Old Man at Peggy’s Funeral
A popular Endgame fan theory is that an unseen old man carrying Peggy Carter’s casket in Captain America: Civil War is really an old Steve Rogers. It would answer who her unnamed husband was and where Steve Rogers was floating around in the past. Now we can consider that theory canon, since Endgame‘s writers—who also wrote Civil War—have signed off on it.
But one thing they haven’t signed off on yet is revealing all of the changes the script underwent. There were “many, many” pages written that didn’t make it into the movie. Sounds like they’ll have plenty to cover during the next rewatch.
Featured Image: Marvel