Avengers: Endgame continues running to packed houses and sold out shows but the spoilers are starting to emerge. Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley sat down in an extensive interview with The New York Times in which they talked among other things, that epic final battle we all saw in the movies. Now there be spoilers for Endgame past this point so all those who haven’t seen the movie yet, this is your time to turn back.
The final battle sees all Avengers descend into the upstate Avengers facility to battle Thanos. And this includes the dusted Avengers who were disintegrated as a result of Thanos’ snap in Avengers: Infinity War. Thus Black Panther, Sam Wilson, Janet Van Dyne, Bucky, Star Lord, Groot, Spider-Man and several others, all brought into the field through Portals conjured up by Doctor Strange. The writers spoke about the challenges of writing that scene and the choice of including the characters that were present, while explaining the reasoning behind ones who weren’t.
“I think they knew it was coming,” said Markus about Marvel’s thoughts when they began writing the battle. “We wrote and shot and even much longer battle, with its own three-act structure,” explains Markus. “It’s why it took so long. We shot 200 days for two movies,” chimed in McFeeley.
That the filmmakers shot a longer battle than what we saw on screen is a tantalizing prospect. At 3 hours, 1 minute, Avengers: Endgame is already the longest Marvel Studios movie by a wide margin. To think that it could still contain scenes we haven’t seen, let alone those being battle scenes, is salivating to imagine. When asked specifically, if there were sequences they wrote that didn’t make it to the film, they talked about a small conversation amidst the chaos of the battle. From the sound it of though, it doesn’t seem like this is a deleted scene that will appear in the Blu-Ray extras in that it was never filmed to begin with.
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.Stephen McFeeley on a cut sequence in the final battle
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.Christopher Markus on a cut sequence in the final battle
Endgame finally also broke the connection with the TV Shows by having at least one character from the shows feature in the movie. James D’Arcy, who played Howard Stark’s butler Edwin Jarvis was in the movie reprising the same role. To that end, the writers were asked if there was ever the possibility of including the likes of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist – the Defenders of Marvel Netflix Shows – into the fold. They maintained their stance, that in an already crowded battle, it would’ve been too much to see these characters show up fully formed out of nowhere.
We would have to introduce these five characters — or whatever many. We already are assuming people have seen a lot of the movies. Are we really going to assume they have bought a subscription to Netflix and watched those shows enough so that when they see them, they’re going to go “yay?”Stephen McFeeley on including the Netflix Defenders in the final battle
It also screws up the timelines. You would have to assume that they all got snapped away, or otherwise they might have shown up earlier. I think the only character who has come from TV to the movies is Jarvis, James D’Arcy [from “Agent Carter”].Christopher Markus on including the Netflix Defenders in the final battle
The issue with timelines is an interesting one. Indeed, if the Defenders emerged from the Portals, audiences would assume they were snapped out of existence as well, which would convolute the show’s settings. Of course one could assume that Netflix cancelling the shows meant the characters were dusted in the snap but as easy as it would’ve been for a fan to concoct those explanations, it would’ve taken general audiences totally out of the picture. This also extended to the Fox-acquired characters since not only would it have messed up universes, they weren’t legally allowed to use them back then.
Lastly, on that dope shot of all women in the MCU coming together to fight the Outriders, the writers explained how they coordinated that moment.
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.Stephen McFeeley on all the women in the final battle
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.Christopher Markus on all the women in the final battle
It surely must’ve been an emotional journey for writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley who’ve been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe right from 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger. They essentially wrote most of Cap’s major arcs, including his concluding one here.
Update: Our Avengers: Endgame review is now live and it’s largely spoiler-free.