Avengers: Endgame is a rollercoaster ride of emotional resonance and epic moments that delivers a once in a generation movie experience. As viewers though, we tend to get so caught up in relishing that experience that we forget to question some of the plot points and writing decisions on an immediate basis. It’s only when we’ve had enough time to ponder over the movie do the supposed plot-holes and gaps begin to sink in.
To that end, the Russo Brothers responded to a fairly lengthy Q & A in which they tried to clear up as many of such doubts as fans could have. Beware though, the questions and their doubts undoubtedly contain major spoilers for Endgame so read-on only if you’ve seen the movie. In any case, the official spoiler ban on Endgame lifts the coming Monday which would make us free to mention spoilers in headlines without feeling guilty about it.
Still here? Good. Let’s begin.
The Final Snap
One of the lingering questions coming out of Endgame and how devastated it leaves us, is regarding the final snap. The Infinity Gauntlet is snapped three times in the space of the climactic battle, first by Professor Hulk to bring back the disintegrated lives, second by Thanos in what amounts to a failed attempt and finally by Iron Man to take out Thanos and his entire crew of Outriders. Fans began questioning why was Iron Man the one who needed to do the snap when many other powerful people such as Doctor Strange, Thor or even Captain Marvel could’ve done it, while maintaining their own safety.
The explanation by the Russo brothers boils it down to Iron Man’s proximity of Thanos and how the snap played into his notions of self-sacrifice, finally being able to rest after fulfilling his promise to keep the world safe.
Thor in this movie couldn’t do it. Only the Hulk was strong enough to do the snap without dying. We are still not sure whether Captain Marvel can also withstand all the power of Infinity Stones at once. The reason we choose to let Iron Man do it in the end was because he was the closest one to Thanos at the time. In all the futures Doctor Strange foresaw, Iron Man was the only one who could get close to Thanos and do the snap.
People usually think the death of a hero is a horrible tragedy. But we think this is different. When his death was able to bring back hope, to save half of the universe, then his death was powerful and meaningful. We shouldn’t feel too sad or angry about it.The Russo Brothers on Iron Man doing the final snap in Avengers: Endgame
The Russo Brothers’ comments about Captain Marvel make sense when you consider the shooting schedules of Endgame and Captain Marvel. Avengers: Endgame was shot before Captain Marvel which meant the Russos had very little to work with in terms of Carol Danvers’ characterization and her power set.
Time Travel Timeline
Another question, posed about a second hero’s fate, has to do with Captain America choosing to go back in time and live the life that he missed. This brings out questions of whether it affected the ongoing timeline and would it have led to a time where two Captain Americas existed?
The answer to these lies in the understanding of how time travel works in Endgame (for which I’ll probably do a separate piece later). Suffice to say, going back in time does not affect the past that already happened, but spins out a new alternate reality out of the events that follow.
To me, CA’s action in the end wasn’t the fact he wanted to change anything, it’s more like me has made a choice. He chose to go back to past and lived with the one he loved for the rest of his life. The time travel in this movie created an alternate reality. He lived a completely different life in that world. We don’t know how exactly his life turned out, but I’d like to believe he still helped many others when they were needed in that world.
Yes, there were two Captain Americas in that reality. It’s just like Hulk said, what happened in the past has already happened. If you go back to the past, you simply create a new reality. The characters in this movie created a new timeline 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.The Russo Brothers on Captain America travelling back in time in Avengers: Endgame
It would be cool someday, to use this concept to fully explore Multiverses in the MCU. In a certain way, it could also be used to ret-con the Fox X-Men universe as an alternate reality that spun out of some character’s future decision to travel back in time.
Real vs CGI
Looking at a fat Thor and an old Captain America made fans curious on how those were actually done from a production standpoint. The straightforward response from the Russo Brothers was that it involved a lot of CGI, with some makeup to aid Evans’ transformation.
[Regarding fat Thor’s look] It was mostly CG’d. Thor suffered more loss than anyone else, he has been living in constant pain and regret.
[Regarding old Cap’s look] 95% CG, 5% make up. But the voice was 100% Evans, no modification for that.The Russo Brothers on fat Thor and old Cap in Avengers: Endgame
Yet another question fans had after Endgame had to do with Black Widow’s sacrifice to get the Soul Stone. With the snap itself reversed and the stones returned, would it be possible to somehow bring back Widow herself?
The answer, in Endgame-parlance is no. Widow’s sacrifice is permanent according to the Russo Brothers and not even returning the stone could bring it back.
No, the process is irreversible. Even if you have returned it to its original location, you wouldn’t be able to get the person back. In fact, it’s not really returning the stone, more like put it back properly. The tribute soul for the soul stone will forever be sealed in that place, therefore Black Widow is gone forever.The Russo Brothers on the possibility of Black Widow returning.
This all but affirms that the upcoming Black Widow movie will be a prequel, dealing with her origins before the bulk of the MCU kickstarted.
Five Year Time Jump
We saw how, when every one was brought back from the snap, no one had aged in those 5 years. Its because the 5 years passed differently for people stuck in whatever alternate reality they were trapped in. Time passed differently for them, as it did to those who traversed through it by using the Quantum Realm.
Yes, those people whom were lucky to survive the snap are 5 years older than the people who just got back. The reason Spider-Man saw his friend again in high-school at the end was simply because his friends were unfortunately also dusted like Spider-Man was. Of course, there are people in his grade who didn’t die and they are probably already in college by now.
To those dusted people, they had no conscious in these past 5 years. They didn’t know what happened. It’s as if they woke up from a long sleep. The only one who was aware about how many years have passed was Doctor Strange, because he already saw that when he was meditating on Titan. Parker’s reunion with Ned was a touching moment. There are also people who indeed moved on but were suddenly reunited with their lost ones. Yeah it’s kind a complicated world now.The Russo Brothers on the five-year time jump in Avengers: Endgame
I’m looking forward to seeing this situation addressed at least to some extent in Spider-Man: Far From Home. The first trailer had everyone appear quite normal for a post-Avengers world. Here’s hoping the second trailer sheds some light into this conundrum now that Endgame is out.
Finally, in a hilarious bit, Scott Lang had to rely being rescued by a rat who accidentally pushed the right buttons to get Scott out of the Quantum Realm. Fans have since jokingly remarked that in the many failed outcomes seen by Doctor Strange among all possible 14,000,605 futures, many were ones where the rat failed to push the right buttons.
Surprisingly, the Russo Brothers supported that theory, and only gave more voice to it in their response to this question.
Yes, the MOUSE SAVED THE UNIVERSE. Among the many realities in those 14 million possible futures Doctor Strange foresaw, the mouse failed to press the right buttons and thus the heroes failed in those futures.The Russo Brothers on the rat helping the Avengers win.
That was quite an extensive Q & A and I fear I may still have missed out some tidbits. I’ll probably do a Part II if there are more important points left to cover. Let us know what you think of these answers in the comments below.