Believe it or not, that final battle in Avengers: Endgame could have been even more epic. Does that mean better? Not necessarily. Still, longtime Marvel Cinematic Universe writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are here to explain what that longer battle sequence would have entailed, at least in part, and why they ultimately decided against it.
Warning: spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame. Turn back now or risk having some of the major details of the movie ruined. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have been on this long ride alongside directors Joe and Anthony Russo the whole time. As such, they're as qualified as anyone to give spoilery answers to questions fans may have had after seeing the movie. They recently did just that in an in-depth, spoiler-filled interview. During the course of that interview, they revealed that, initially, they actually shot an even longer battle. Here's what Markus had to say about it.
"We wrote and shot an even much longer battle, with its own three-act structure."
The final battle, as we see it in the movie, sees Thanos time-travelling to the Avengers compound in present day, 2023 to nuke the place and try to get his hands on the Infinity Stones, which made their way there as a result of the time heist. It then erupts into a long, epic battle the likes of which the MCU has never seen. To think of it being even longer is almost too much to process. The two writers further explained some of what was changed from the early drafts to the version that was released in theaters.
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.
Part of what makes both Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame so impressive is that they manage to balance all of the characters shockingly well. It's downright miraculous, really. It sounds like this longer battle would have compromised that at least a bit, even if it would have meant even more cool superhero action.
Given the response to the movie so far, both critically and at the box office, it seems things worked out for the best. Avengers: Endgame has already crossed the $1.3 billion mark and is already in the top ten highest-grossing movies ever after less than a week in theaters. It would seem fans are perfectly happy with the battle as is. This news was first reported by the New York Times.