SDCC 2019: 'Avengers: Endgame' screenwriters reveal the movie almost included Jane Foster, the Living Tribunal and more
‘Avengers: Endgame’ has become arguably the most popular franchise movie of all time. The movie has made over $2 billion in box office revenue and is one of the highest-grossing films of all time. ‘Avengers: Endgame’ was penned by screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and the writers, who have worked on multiple projects in the MCU including all the ‘Captain America’ movies and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, took to the stage in Hall H at SDCC 2019 to talk about the writing process that led to the penultimate movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3.
‘Endgame’ brought the epic story of the Infinity Saga, spanning over 20 movies, to a final conclusion. It followed the superhero team known as the Avengers as they attempted to defeat the intergalactic tyrant Thanos. Here are six things we learned from the panel at the San Diego Comic-Con 2019:
The Living Tribunal was meant to be in ‘Endgame’
In Marvel Comics there are gods and then there are those who are more powerful than the gods themselves. The Living Tribunal is the cosmic judge of the Marvel Multiverse, second in power only to the One-Above-All, the supreme being of Marveldom (often shown as looking very similar to Jack Kirby). Markus and McFeely revealed that they had initially intended to have a scene where Thanos is blasted through the multiverse and stands trial before the Living Tribunal.
As beautiful as that would have been, the psychedelic scene, unfortunately, did not make it into the final draft.
Jane Foster was intended to have a bigger role
The writers revealed that they wanted to give Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster a bigger role in ‘Avengers: Endgame’. Though it didn’t make the cut, the scene would have featured Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) explaining to Jane why he needed to extract the Reality stone. The best part? The scene would have also shown Rocket explaining how they traveled through time and Jane, being a scientist, would have been extremely excited by the physics behind it.
Ultimately, it was decided that the person Thor really needs to meet in the past was not his ex-girlfriend but rather his mother Frigga so the scene had to be dropped.
Real physicists were consulted for the movie’s time travel rules
One of the most impressive things about ‘Endgame’ was the way they incorporated real-world science into their portrayal of time travel. As the writers have revealed, this was no coincidence as they spoke to real physicists to make sure their ideas were on track with science.
However, because audiences are so used to the sort of time travel we see in ‘Back to the Future’ and other time-travel films, test audiences were quite confused and Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One had to be written into the script to provide a better explanation.
Past Thanos kills past Avengers
A particularly gruesome scene that was dropped from the script would have revealed that the Thanos from the past destroys Earth and the Avengers in 2012 after he finds out about the future. The scene would have involved him walking up to Captain America in the movie’s present and showing him the decapitated head of Captain America from the past.
There was almost a pizza party involved
Apparently, one version of the second snap that brought everyone killed by Thanos back to life would have involved all the newly-resurrected characters being brought to the Avengers compound where they then proceed to eat pizza. As fun as that might have been, it's probably better that the scene didn't make it into the final version.
Robert Downey Jr didn’t want Tony Stark to have any last words
The writers also revealed that they would have loved to write some lovely final words for Tony Stark. However, Robert Downey Jr. didn't want the character to speak in his dying moments because he felt that Tony has talked his whole life so the most powerful thing he could say with his last breath was actually nothing.
‘Avengers: Endgame’ starred Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner / Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye and Josh Brolin as Thanos, along with Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Jon Favreau, and Gwyneth Paltrow.