Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely appeared in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 to talk about Avengers: Endgame. Hosted by Jeff Goldsmith of Backstory Magazine, the panel discussion was an all-encompassing look at the process of writing the film, revealing some never before heard tidbits about the epic MCU conclusion. Here’s what we learned.
The Infamous Planning Board
We’ve heard the screenwriters talk about how they went about planning for Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame, using a large wall on which they had photos of every available character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and moved them around to try to figure out the stories. For the first time ever, we are seeing a photo of the board itself. This image is from one week after Comic-Con 2016, in between the first and second drafts. The Avengers originally didn’t go to the same places that we see in the final film. For instance, they didn’t go to the Battle of New York from the original Avengers movie. That was an idea that the Russo Brothers suggested after this photo was taken.
The top photo shows the planning of where the heroes could possibly go, listing off the places that we knew the Infinity Stones could be. And below you can see the baseball cards with every available Marvel character attached on magnets. The second photo shows the same board later in the process of developing the story.
The Living Tribunal Was Cut Out Of The Movie
The Living Tribunal was originally in the movie. Kevin Feige showed up at set with some comics, as he wanted to ensure the Jim Starlin weirdness made it into the final film. The result was adding the Living Tribunal into the movie. As Thanos and Doctor Strange came to blows, Strange hit Thanos into the mindscape, being presented with all his many crimes. It was very psychedelic, and at the end of the sequence, Thanos came face to face with the Living Tribunal. Why didn’t it make the final film? Because they realized it might be too confusing for general audiences, and it sucked the air out of a climactic fight as well.
Thanos Killed The Avengers, Again – This Time, All Of Them
In an earlier version of the Endgame script, Thanos had time to spare while waiting for Gamora to open up the time portal, so he went to Earth and wiped it out and killed the Avengers of that multiverse. When Gamora opens the portal, Thanos came out, and you could see the aftermath of the battle, with Giant-Man laying in the wreckage in the background alongside other heroes. Thanos threw Captain America’s decapitated head at Captain America’s feet. The whole sequence was cut because it was obviously too dark and they joked that they didn’t want to traumatize children.
The Midgard Serpent
Originally the Thor storyline in Avengers: Infinity War “sucked.” He had to fight a giant Midgard serpent to obtain Stormbreaker.
Explaining Jane Foster
There was originally a scene in Avengers: Endgame where Rocket had to uncomfortably explain to Natalie Portman’s character Jane Foster why and how he had to remove the Aether from her body. It was apparently hilarious, but it didn’t make production, as it really wasn’t needed.
Gamora Is Probably Still Alive
The screenwriters suggest that alternate timeline Gamora was not snapped away at the end of Avengers: Endgame, but instead more likely ran away and her storyline will likely be explored in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
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