It says it in the title. There are spoilers in this post. If you don’t want them, stop reading. OK. By now, most of you have seen Avengers: Endgame. It definitely helps explain the 1.209 billion dollar box office take that the film had for its opening weekend. But, the movie you saw on the big screen could have been drastically different. How? Well, according to the film’s writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely there were some changes made. Here is what they told the New York Times about the final scene between Hawkeye and Black Widow:
McFEELY: “There was, for sure. Jen Underdahl, our visual effects producer, read an outline or draft where Hawkeye goes over. And she goes, “Don’t you take this away from her.” I actually get emotional thinking about it.”
MARKUS: “And it was true, it was him taking the hit for her. It was melodramatic to have him die and not get his family back. And it is only right and proper that she’s done.”
McFeely went on to further explain his perspective on Natasha’s death.
“Her journey, in our minds, had come to an end if she could get the Avengers back. She comes from such an abusive, terrible, mind-control background, so when she gets to Vormir and she has a chance to get the family back, that’s a thing she would trade for. The toughest thing for us was we were always worried that people weren’t going to have time to be sad enough. The stakes are still out there and they haven’t solved the problem. But we lost a big character — a female character — how do we honor it? We have this male lens and it’s a lot of guys being sad that a woman died.”
When it comes to the battle, it turns out the original cut was much longer, but changes had to be made.
McFEELY: It didn’t play well, but we had a scene in a trench where, for reasons, the battle got paused for about three minutes and now there’s 18 people all going, “What are we going to do?” “I’m going to do this.” “I’m going to do this.” Just bouncing around this completely fake, fraudulent scene. When you have that many people, it invariably is, one line, one line, one line. And that’s not a natural conversation.
MARKUS: It also required them to find enough shelter to have a conversation in the middle of the biggest battle. It wasn’t a polite World War I battle where you have a moment.
It also turns out that one of the film’s most contentious moments nearly didn’t make it into the film:
McFEELY: There was much conversation. Is that delightful or is it pandering? We went around and around on that. Ultimately we went, we like it too much.
MARKUS: Part of the fun of the “Avengers” movies has always been team-ups. Marvel has been amassing this huge roster of characters. You’ve got crazy aliens. You’ve got that many badass women. You’ve got three or four people in Iron Man suits.