Avengers: Endgame was an experience for viewers worldwide. It left fans with the feelings of nostalgia, loss, and cheers which we were all delighted to soak in. However, the events of the movie left fans with more questions than ever about the plot, happenings and the whole timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since its inception.
In a bid to clear our doubts and some of the questions we also asked in our post 4 Confusing Things From ‘Avengers: Endgame’ That Marvel Needs To Clarify, Endgame directors, The Russo Brothers, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely took some time out to answer some of the questions we’ve had since watching the highest-grossing movie of all time.
HOW DOES THE TIME TRAVEL WORK IN AVENGERS: ENDGAME?
Joe Russo gave his most comprehensive explanation in a Q&A (via QQ):
“If you go back to the past, you simply create a new reality. The characters in this movie created new timelines when they went back to the past, but it had no effect to the prime universe. What happened in the past 22 movies was still canon.”
That’s why War Machine can interrupt the opening scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy by knocking out Star-Lord, because his presence there has created a whole new timeline. It’s the Thanos from this new timeline who pursues the Avengers forward in time, and is then killed, explaining why the prime timeline’s Thanos still happened. By the same logic, Steve Rogers has created a new timeline by going back to be with Peggy Carter. At the end of Avengers: Endgame, he somehow makes the jump from this timeline back to the prime one in order to give Sam the shield.
Oddly enough, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, have a different interpretation. As Markus explained:
“We are not experts on time travel, but the Ancient One specifically states that when you take an Infinity Stone out of a timeline it creates a new timeline. So Steve going back and just being there would not create a new timeline. So I reject the “Steve is in an alternate reality” theory.
I do believe that there is simply a period in world history from about ’48 to now where there are two Steve Rogers. And anyway, for a large chunk of that one of them is frozen in ice. So it’s not like they’d be running into each other.”
DID MARVEL CONSIDER ANY OTHER POSSIBLE TIME TRAVEL MISSIONS?
Earlier drafts of the script saw the Avengers travel back in time on slightly different missions, because Marvel didn’t originally want to revisit the Battle of New York from The Avengers at all.
“There’s a moment in the MCU, if you’re paying very close attention, where the Aether is [on Asgard] and the Tesseract is in the vault,” Markus explained. “In that iteration, we were interested in Tony going to Asgard. He had a stealth suit, so he was invisible, and he fought Heimdall, who could see him.” As part of this mission, Thor was even supposed to come face-to-face with his past self, an idea that was passed on to Captain America instead in the final draft.
WHY DID MARVEL KILL THANOS AT THE BEGINNING OF AVENGERS: ENDGAME?
According to McFeely, the plot of Avengers: Endgame only began to come together when Marvel settled on the idea of killing Thanos in the first act.
“The guy has the ultimate weapon,” he explained to the New York Times. “[Thanos] can see it coming. It’s ridiculous. We were just banging our heads for weeks, and at some point, [the executive producer] Trinh Tran went, ‘Can’t we just kill him?’ And we all went, ‘What happens if you just kill him? Why would you kill him? Why would he let you kill him?'” As Markus noted, this simply reinforced Thanos’ twisted Messianic mission; he had accomplished everything he had set out to do.
HOW WAS THANOS ABLE TO BRING HIS ARMY AND SHIP TO THE PRESENT?
According to Joe Russo (via QQ), it wasn’t too tricky.
“There is a guy called Maw in his army, he was a great wizard,” he pointed out. “Thanos himself was a brilliant genius as well. Those two easily reverse engineered and mass produced Pym Particles.”
IS THE WHOLE WORLD FIVE YEARS (including the MCU) OLDER AFTER AVENGERS: ENDGAME?
“Those people whom was lucky to survive the snap are 5 years older than the people who just got back,” Joe Russo explained (via QQ). “The reason Spider Man saw his friend again in high school at the end was simply because his friend was unfortunately also dusted like Spider Man was. Of course, there are people in his grade whom didn’t die and they are probably already in colleges by now.” All the people who were dusted experienced their five-year absence as though it lasted just a moment; the only one who was conscious of the passage of time was Doctor Strange, and that purely because he’d foreseen it.
HOW WAS CAPTAIN AMERICA WORTHY TO LIFT MJOLNIR?
According to the Russo brothers, he always was worthy since way back in Avengers: Age of Ultron, where the hammer shifted a little when Captain America tried lifting it after the dinner party. As Anthony Russo explained,
“Cap’s sense of character and humility and, out of deference to Thor’s ego, Cap in that moment realizing he can move the hammer, decides not to.”
During the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con, Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon, was also asked this question and his response was simply; “Is he not?”
WHAT INSPIRED THOR’S ‘LEBOWSKI’ PORTRAYAL IN THE MOVIE?
According to the Russo brothers, the idea naturally flowed out of the realization of everything Thor had lost.
“Of course, on one level, it’s very sad, but on another level, there’s humor to be found there,” Anthony Russo explained in an interview with Men’s Health. “Because, where do you go when a character is that low? The only place to go is humor, because you can’t drive them down any more with pathos.”
By the end of the movie, the Russos concluded that this new Thor felt like a natural fit for the Guardians of the Galaxy.
“He just felt like he was in a very Guardians place, in the sense that he was this, sort-of, misfit,” Joe Russo revealed. “It just seemed like… well, where does a lost soul like that go? That’s basically what the Guardians are — a collection of lost souls.”
WHY DID BLACK WIDOW HAVE TO DIE?
Interestingly, there were different versions of the script and in some, Hawkeye was the one who sacrificed himself. However, several women on the crew objected, insisting that Black Widow should be the one to die, which will demonstrate her heroism and love for Clint and his family, since Clint was the one who saved her in the very beginning..
Markus had this to say about it.
“I understand she was a beloved character and none of us want our heroes to die, but that is the natural end of her journey, and it is the sort of apotheosis of who she is becoming. She started out as a very dark character. Even before the movies begin, she’s a spy, she’s an assassin. She has red in her ledger and to take her all the way to that sacrifice point is where her character is headed. And to not let her do that seemed a disservice to her as a hero.”
WHY DIDN’T BLACK WIDOW GET A FUNERAL?
“That’s partly because Tony’s this massive public figure and she’s been a cipher the whole time,” Markus insisted. “It wasn’t necessarily honest to the character to give her a funeral.”
Furthermore, Joe Russo has implied he thinks the issue is being overstated.
“Did you forget when the heroes where mourning for her after when they returned from past?”
DID MARVEL EVER CONSIDER AN ALTERNATE HAPPY ENDING FOR TONY STARK?
As far as Markus was concerned, the script already gave Tony his ultimate happy ending.
“That’s the life he’s been striving for,” he noted. “Are he and Pepper going to get together? Yes. They got married, they had a kid, it was great. It’s a good death. It doesn’t feel like a tragedy. It feels like a heroic, finished life.” Likewise, Captain America’s final fate was decided from the first draft as well.
Curiously, Iron Man’s final line was a last-minute addition to the script. Tony’s snap was originally silent, but during editing, the Russos realized it didn’t feel right; this was a character known for his quips, and he was going without having the last word. Editor Jeff Ford came up with the idea of Tony saying “I am Iron Man,” but at first it looked as though it was going to prove problematic; Robert Downey Jr. wasn’t comfortable with the line, feeling it would be too emotional. It was only when Downey had dinner with Joe Russo and Avengers: Endgame producer Joel Silver that he was persuaded to go with it; Silver is an old friend of Downey’s, and his enthusiasm won the actor over. (Source: Screenrant)
WHAT INSPIRED PROFESSOR HULK IN AVENGERS: ENDGAME AND IS HIS INJURY PERMANENT?
According to the writers, Professor Hulk was meant to appear in Avengers: Infinity War during the battle of Wakanda, but it didn’t happen because Marvel felt it wouldn’t have worked at that time.
So, writers, Markus and McFeely decided to make it one of the changes that happened during the 5-year time jump.
“The whole thing rides on Rudd going, ‘I’m so confused,'” Markus noted.
As for the injury he sustained after using the Infinity Stones to bring back the people Thanos decimated in Infinity War, I’m afraid it is a permanent injury.
WHY DOES CAPTAIN MARVEL GET SUCH A SMALL ROLE?
As McFeely explained to the New York Times, “We shot [Brie Larson] before she shot her movie. She’s saying lines for a character 20 years after her origin story, which no one’s written yet. It’s just nuts.” In any case, though, he concluded that it wouldn’t have been wise to give Carol Danvers too prominent of a role. “That’s not the story we’re trying to tell,” he pointed out. “It’s the original Avengers dealing with loss and coming to a conclusion, and she’s the new, fresh blood.”
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN CAPTAIN AMERICA MET THE RED SKULL WHEN HE RETURNED THE SOUL STONE TO VORMIR?
“Red Skull would probably put the soul stone back to its location, and wait for the next unfortunate stone seeker to make sacrifice. Cap and Red Skull probably won’t fight. It’s because it’s his mission to return the stone to its original place. The Red Skull is also no longer the same Red Skull from FA. He is more like a ghost, you could almost say he’s a completely different entity now. He only exists to guard the stone, his past conscious may or may not exist anymore.”