Avengers: Endgame: Everything We Learned From The Audio Commentary
Avengers: Endgame is now available digitally, and coming to 4K and Blu-ray on August 13. Now, you can rewatch the movie on your own time, and feel free to pause whenever to take a pee break. The home release of Endgame contains deleted scenes, featurettes, and audio commentary. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo sat down with writers Chris Markus and Steve McFeely to record audio commentary for the film. We didn't get as much info as the Infinity Warcommentary, but there was still some good stuff there.
Obviously, there are going to be some spoilers for Endgame below.
From scenes that didn't make it into the final cut to learning just how much CG is in the movie, there was a lot to take in during the three-hour long conversation between the four creators of the epic Marvel movie.
Below, you'll find the most interesting tidbits we learned during the commentary for the movie. And if you want to pick up Endgame for yourself, check out the links below. However, keep in mind that the physical release of Endgame doesn't happen until August 13.
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1. The Opening Scene Was Originally Going To Be In Infinity War
Ava Russo, director Joe Russo's daughter, plays Clint Barton's daughter in the opening of the movie. Originally, this was going to be in Infinity War, and even appeared in one cut of the film, but there was too much going on during the final scenes. "We're already cutting between a lot of people at that point in the film," explained Anthony Russo.
2. Tony's Gaunt Look In The Spaceship Is Heavy CG
Joe Russo revealed that while Tony is travelling through space with Nebula, he had some FX work done to him. "Our VFX team did an exceptional job taking some weight off of him and making him look like he is on death's door," said Joe Russo. "And the intent here was to make you believe, if momentarily, that we may actually kill Tony Stark at the start of the film."
3. Carol's Reveal Was Different In Other Cuts
Originally, Captain Marvel's reveal in Endgame was going to be a bit different. "We felt like it was not as successful of a reveal. We just didn't like the transition," Joe Russo said.
While the majority of what the audience sees on the screen remains intact, there was one missing piece. "But the idea will be that there'd be orange light on Tony's face. He'd see something. The audience wouldn't see it, and then only would you reveal what happened there," added screenwriter Chris Markus.
4. Joe Russo's Favorite "Acting" Scene in the movie
Things got very quiet during the scene at the Avengers compound early on, when Tony Stark returned and was lecturing Captain America about everything that happened and gives up being Iron Man. "The moment here is one of my favorite acting moments of the movie" Joe Russo explained. "This is their essential conflict, and Tony can't get past it."
5. Brie Larson Played Captain Marvel Before Captain Marvel Was In Production
Even before Brie Larson started production on 2019's Captain Marvel, she was already playing the role for Endgame. "It should be noted, people might know this already, that's basically Brie Larson's first or second day." McFeely said, and Joe Russo confirmed it was her first day.
6. Coincidences and Rats
A lot of moments in film happen because of some grand coincidence, which is exactly how Scott Lang returned to the present from the Quantum Realm, after a rat stepped onto the control pad for the machine which was contained within the van. "Now, we have a rule in writing that, you know, sort of coincidences," began Mcfeely. "You're sort of allowed them in act one. A coincidence late in the movie is perhaps lazy. I'm delighted that a rat has saved the universe."
7. The Writers Digging Themselves Out of a Hole
Infinity War left writers Steve McFeely and Chris Markus in a tough spot, as they needed to figure out a way to undo everything Thanos did at the end of that movie. They say the scene between Scott Lang and Steve Rogers discussing time travel mirrored their discussions, early on, of how to approach writing Endgame. When introducing the time machine they felt it was the stupidest idea they could have had, but since the seeds of time travel had been planted in the Ant-Man movies, the science for this way out was already there.
8. On People Returning 5 Years Later
The endgame of Endgame was to bring those who were Snapped back into existence in the present. But what about people who were in airplanes or on a boat at sea? These are things the creatives behind the film thought about too. "[It's a] very complicated premise, right?" asked Anthony Russo. "You know, bringing people back from five years ago is a messy proposition any way you look at it, not even talking about the time travel complexities of it. You know, that's something I know some people like to think about, after watching the movie… "
"If you were in a plane, what happens to that now when you come back?" interjected McFeely. Anthony Russo pondered a life where someone got remarried, and their former husband or wife returned. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, moving forward, will be exceptionally complicated, and "one of the most compelling things about the movie, is doubling down at the end and not reversing it," explained Joe Russo. According to McFeely, they have to own it.
9. Smart Hulk Was Almost Part of Infinity War
Bruce Banner and Hulk's amalgamation into Professor Hulk--which the directors and writers call "Smart Hulk"--was a bit of a shock to those watching Endgame for the first time because the audience never saw the transformation take place. However, according to McFeely, his transformation sequence was shot for Infinity War, but cut from the movie during the editing process because there was too much happening.
"He was fighting in Wakanda," McFeely said. The whole arc of the story was Banner and Hulk were not getting along. Hulk wouldn't come out to help him. And at his hour of greatest need, they make some sort of compromise, and Smart Hulk rips out of the armor and beats the crap out of Cull Obsidian and destroys him. It was pretty clear that the movie could not handle this weird success. The movie needed to just stay in its succession of losses in the third act, which meant some hustling on the part of VFX late in the game."
10. Joe Russo's Other Daughter
Both of Joe Russo's daughters appeared in the movie. His other daughter, Lia, appeared in the diner sequence early on, where she was trying to get her picture taken with Smart Hulk.
11. Thor's Journey
Thor has gone through a lot during his adventures in the MCU, and by Endgame, he's numbing his pain with video games, jokes, and beer. "So of all the journeys these characters have had during these five years, one of the ones that brings me the most joy and delight is Thor's because the depths of that character had been driven to over the course of his arc through the MCU, and especially most recently in Infinity War," Anthony Russo explained. "He lost his mother, he lost his father, his planet was destroyed. Thanos shows up in the beginning of Infinity War, kills his brother, kills Heimdall, kills many of his people. Thor's sort of mission of vengeance in Infinity War ends in failure. Like, you can't get any lower. So where do you go when you're at the bottom? [...]It's amazing what the human psyche will do. It's like sometimes the only road forward is humor… He survives by [regressing]."
12. A Thor Sitcom
After watching that sequence with Thor, Korg, and Miek, we're not the only ones who'd love to see that scenario as a situational comedy. "This feels like a sublime BBC comedy," said Joe Russo, who also said he'd love to see seven seasons of this TV show. One of Markus' favorite moments is Thor opening a beer on his ax Strombringer. "I'm also very fond of the fact that the magical weapon he took the entire last movie to get a hold of is now a bottle opener."
13. The Time Travel Suit is CG
The first person to go back in time is Hawkeye, and he visits his farm before his family was Snapped. This is the first time we get to see the new Avengers outfit as well, and what's crazy is that the uniform this team wears doesn't exist. "None of this suit exists," Joe Russo stated after mentioning the entire suit is computer generated.
14. A Fun Cut Rocket Joke
While Endgame is certainly a somber movie, there are still plenty of really funny jokes, but not all of them make the final cut. Here is one Joe Russo and Steve McFeely discussed, which is actually included with the deleted scenes.
Joe Russo: "There was a scene that we cut that was entertaining, but it ultimately didn't work, where, if you remember they were watching the Battle in New York. And Rocket had a great joke, where he was like, 'Oh, my god. How long did you fight [the Chitauri]?' And I think Steve Rogers says, 'A couple of hours.'
Steve McFeely: "'Hours?!'"
Joe Russo: All you gotta do is blow up the mothership!"
McFeely: "Everybody knows that! They're the suckiest army in the galaxy!"
15. Not Even The Writers And Directors Know What's Up With Vormir
In one of the most confusing moments from the three-hour long commentary, all four of the men behind Endgame debate what exactly happens to Red Skull after the Soul Stone leaves Vormir and whether or not Steve Rogers ran into him.
Anthony Russo: "Speaking of Red Skull, have you guys thought about whether or not Cap runs into Red Skull when he's returning the Soul Stone?"
Steve McFeely: "He would have to."
Chris Markus: "Many times."
McFeely: "Well I guess if Red Skull has been released from his bonds…"
Markus: "I don't think… He's not released."
McFeely: "Well, what's he doing there?"
Anthony: "At the exact moment…"
Joe Russo: "The exact moment the stone…"
Markus: "He's the guardian."
McFeely: "But there's no Soul Stone there."
Markus: "But it may come back."
McFeely: "But he goes back the moment before."
Anthony: "It's fun to think about."
16. Rene Russo Had More Lines In Endgame Than Any Thor Movie
Rene Russo reprised her role as Frigga--Thor's mother--for Endgame, and it made everyone realize that while she is great for the few moments she's in this movie, this may be the most screentime she's had in one MCU movie. "She may have more lines in [Endgame] than she has had in the previous two Thor movies," McFeely said. "Or it might be close."
17. Cap in Carter's Office Wasn't Originally In The Movie
When Captain America and Iron Man go back to the 1970s, there was a scene where Steve found himself in Peggy Carter's office, looking at his long-lost love. Originally, that scene wasn't in the movie. "Our first draft did not have this, and it would have been a shame," said McFeely. "It's really lovely. Just the structure of the scene. The production design, setting up this office in such a way that he can be in shadow and she can be in light."
Joe Russo added, "And that performance from [Chris] Evans, the longing on his face without a single line of dialogue, you understand how important she is to him and how much he misses her."
18. TV to Movie Connection
While the MCU contains both TV series and movies, there isn't a ton of crossover. In fact, there is only one character that originated from a television show that has appeared in an MCU movie, James D'Arcy, who played Jarvis on Agent Carter and in Endgame. McFeely said that this scene felt organic.
19. The Original Vormir Scene With Black Widow And Hawkeye
Things change during pre-production and production, and most times, it's for the better. This was the case with the scene on Vormir where Hawkeye and Black Widow had to figure out who needed to die in order to retrieve the Soul Stone. "[The current scene] is much better than what we had," explained McFeely. "It was a little more complicated. It was Thanos sending a small army to pretend to try to stop them. It was sort of awkward. Sort of kabuki theater."
Joe Russo went on to state they came up with the current scene in the edit room.
20. Cap Gets His Head Cut Off
One of the craziest stories of scenes that almost made it into the film was the moment where Thanos kills Captain America. But it's not the Captain America you know and love. Markus explains, "There was another version where Thanos opened up a large portal on the battlefield where it became evident that in his own time frame, he had come to Earth. And he walked up to them [present day Avengers] and tossed 2012 Captain America's head on the floor. It seemed like it was never gonna make it, but it was … For a movie that began with essentially Thanos' head on the floor, it was a shocking reversal."
21. The VFX Team Had a Large Load
Finally, between these two movies, it's impossible not to notice the immense amount of CG on the movie screen. So many sequences contain it. However, it was revealed that between Infinity War and Endgame, there were 6,000 shots with visual effects in them.