AVENGERS: ENDGAME Directors On Robert Downey Jr.'s Reaction To The Ending, Test Screenings And More - SPOILERS

AVENGERS: ENDGAME Directors On Robert Downey Jr.'s Reaction To The Ending, Test Screenings And More - <font color=red>SPOILERS</font>

In a new interview, Avengers: Endgame directors address the movie's ending, Chris Hemsworth's reaction to the changes Thor goes through, the MCU's first openly gay character, the budget, and much more...

With Avengers: Endgame now in theaters, directors Joe and Anthony Russo have started doing the rounds to discuss the Marvel Studios movie and in this latest interview, they touch on a number of fascinating topics. 

They include Robert Downey Jr.'s reaction to learning about their plans for Iron Man, the challenges of shooting this movie back to back with Avengers: Infinity War, how Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok completely changed their plans for The God of Thunder, and a whole lot more. They also shed some light on how test screenings changed the way they presented time-travel. 

In addition, the filmmakers touch on the now controversial decision to have Joe Russo play the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first openly gay character during that therapy scene with Steve Rogers.

So, to check out these new quotes from the Avengers: Endgame directors, hit the "View List" button!

On Pitching Robert Downey Jr.'s Arc To Him

Avengers: Endgame ends Robert Downey Jr.'s time as Iron Man but given his importance to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Russo Brothers pitched the character's ending to him in advance as it was vital to them that he approved of how the story played out. 
"The Tony Stark arc is the longest and perhaps fullest in the MCU," Anthony says. "Once we decided we wanted this kind of ending for the character, we certainly wanted to make sure Robert was comfortable with it, just because of his enormous contribution to the MCU. We did pitch it out. We went over to meet with him and we pitched it out to him."
The question is, how did he feel about bidding farewell to Iron Man in such a definitive way? "I think Downey may have had mixed emotions about thinking about [where Tony Stark ends up in Endgame], but I think at the end of the day, he totally accepted it," Joe reveals.

Did The Massive Cast Salaries Change The Movie?

It goes without saying that in a movie as big as Avengers: Endgame, the huge amount of money the actors are being paid had to be taken into account when deciding how and where the budget would be allocated but did it have a signifiant impact on how things played out on screen?
"It was a huge financial issue on this one, and really the way it manifested for us was the fact that we shot these movies back-to-back," Anthony explains. "The primary motivation to shoot these movies back-to-back like this and to block them was so that we could condense actors' work so we were basically buying them for a little more than one movie rather than two full movies."

"Marvel and Disney were able to structure deals with the actors because we were economizing their time commitment by blocking the movies this way,"
he continues. "That was the only reason to shoot these movies this way. Of course, there was a huge creative upside for Joe and I, in that we got to tell a story with all these characters and all these wonderful actors. Everything else about blocking these movies together is a downside. It was really difficult."

How Taika Waititi Changed Avengers: Endgame

It's no secret that Marvel Studios directors discuss the movies with each other, but Joe reveals that bumping into Taika Waititi while he was planning out Thor: Ragnarok ended up changing Chris Hemsworth's role in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Unsurprisingly, that mostly boiled down to humour. 

"[Running] into Taiki [Waititi] when he was talking about Thor: Ragnarok...informed some choices we made with Hemsworth on Infinity War. We had already crafted our own version of that character and then we found a way to integrate the level of humor that he was going to be playing with, but pulled it into the psychological realism that we like to filter everything through."

The God Of Thunder's Unexpected New Look

The Russo Brothers took Thor down a very different route in Avengers: Endgame, as the impact of Thanos' actions literally turned him into an overweight drunk.

Now, Anthony has shed even more light on his transformation and whether Hemsworth was on board with changing the foundations of the character so greatly.
"He was on board. We talked to him early on about it. That was born from us just thinking about, on an individual level, how each of the Avengers were moving forward from the moment at the end of Infinity War. How they were dealing with the pain of having lost to Thanos and the pain of losing everyone? We just started building. This came out of really intense sessions with the writers, Markus and McFeely.

"We just started circling this character, who was really blaming himself. If you look at the loss Thor suffers in Infinity War, it's staggering. From the beginning of the film, when Thanos attacks his ship, kills Loki and Heimdal and much of his people. And all the way through to his failure to stop Thanos. We started thinking about how that would weigh on him and what that would do to him. We started circling this idea of depression and throwing that out in a way that we thought was really surprising and interesting."


Why Joe Russo Played The MCU's First Openly Gay Character

There's been some backlash regarding Avengers: Endgame director Joe Russo playing the MCU's first openly gay character during that therapy session with Captain America, but the filmmakers have now provided a very compelling explanation for why they chose to go down that route. 

"Representation is important for us in these movies and I think the thing we are happiest most about Marvel moving forward is it's becoming incredibly diverse," Joe says. "We've done four of these films and it was incredibly important to us to have a gay character represented somewhere in one of these four movies. We felt so strongly about it that I wanted to play that character."
"We had to have a voice in the movie that was outside of the Avengers," Anthony continues. "Sort of bringing the experience of what Thanos did into the narrative and filling out the narrative. That scene was very important to us because we wanted to reach beyond the Avengers to tell the story of what the snap did to people."

What Did The Filmmakers Learn From Test Screenings?

Some lucky moviegoers got to see Avengers: Endgame far in advance at test screenings which are used to shape a movie. So, how did they change what we saw in theaters? "It's a complicated plot for people to track — time travel," Joe says.

"We were altering the rules of time travel in this movie and using multiverse time travel rules vs. Back to the Future rules that have really informed every time travel movie and television show since the release of that film."

"For us it was really about trying to get people to understand some of the time travel rules and how the plot was unfolding. It was only a few small things that we had to add to help alter people's perception of the storyline."

Click on the "View List" button to hear even more from
the Russo Brothers thanks to a recent Chinese Q&A!
Avengers: Endgame is well on its way to becoming the biggest superhero movie of all-time, and it's easy to see why fans are so engrossed by the final chapter of Marvel Studios' Infinity Saga. 

After all, it wraps up over a decade's worth of stories across 22 movies in an epic and satisfying manner which won't be soon forgotten. However, it has understandably left us with a lot of big questions about not only what comes next, but also the events of the film itself, including how time-travel works in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and some big character deaths.

Well, co-director Joe Russo has now delved into all of that and more. He also drops some huge hints about Captain America's future, and it seems his story may not be over after all. 

The interview is translated from Chinese so that's why it may sound a little clunky here and there.

So, to check out these Avengers: Endgame details, simply click on the "View List" button below!

Why Didn't Doctor Strange Just Cut Off Thanos' Hand?

In both Infinity War and Endgame, Earth's Mightiest Heroes struggle to remove the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos' hand so why not just chop his arms off as Thor did and stop him from using it altogether? After all, surely Doctor Strange could have used his powers to do so? 

"Thanos' skin is almost impenetrable, we don't know whether Doctor Strange had the capability to do it," the filmmaker explains. "If he failed to cut it on time, Thanos would still able to do the snap. Doctor Strange realized this issue during his millions of test runs."

That's a solid explanation, and the Sorcerer Supreme cutting off the Mad Titan's arms would have resulted in a very different movie.

Will Black Widow Be Resurrected When The Soul Stone Is Returned?

There's been some confusion about whether returning the Soul Stone to Vormir will resurrect the person who sacrificed themselves. While that's not possible for Gamora, there's been some speculation that Black Widow will return, especially as she has a solo film arriving in theaters next year. 

Unfortunately for fans of the character, the door is definitely closed on Natasha's present day return.

"[The] process is irreversible," Russo says. "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."

How They Made Thor Fat And Steve Rogers Old

Asked about the process of making the hunky Chris Hemsworth look like a fat drunkard, Russo explained that there was a good reason for that transformation while also shedding some light on how he was transformed. "It was mostly CG'd. Thor suffered more loss than anyone else, he has been living in constant pain and regret."

As for Captain America's transformation into an old man, he added: "95% CG, 5% make up. But the voice was 100% Evans, no modification for that."

Why They Chose Iron Man To Wield The Infinity Stones

When it comes to making the ultimate sacrifice to stop Thanos, it's Iron Man who manages to wield the power of the Infinity Stones as he turns the Mad Titan and his entire army to ash. 

The question is, why was Tony Stark the one chosen by the Russo Brothers to take the fall? 

"Thor in this movie couldn't do it, only 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 foresee, 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."

In other words, Doctor Strange always knew that Iron Man's story would end this way, hence why he raised a finger during the final battle to make it clear this was that one possible future. 

What Year Was Steve Rogers Dancing With Peggy Carter?

Avengers: Endgame wraps up with Steve Rogers finally sharing a dance with Peggy Carter, and it appears as if that takes place during World War II. We know that she ultimately gets married to someone who isn't Steve, though, so what exactly does that mean? 

"We can't answer it for now," Joe said, "this is a story that happened in an alternate reality. Maybe it will be revealed in the future." In other words, this confirms that the life Steve lived was in another timeline and while he may have spent his life with a Peggy, the one we know still lived out her life with someone else before passing away during the events of Captain America: Civil War

Were There Two Captain Americas In The Same Timeline?

So, if Steve Rogers ended up in a new timeline, that must mean there was another Captain America in that world who either stayed in the ice or was still discovered by S.H.I.E.L.D. in 2011 while our Cap grew old. However, it's hard to believe he remained inactive during that time and Joe Russo went to shed some light on how this apparent time paradox worked. 
"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 CA in that reality, it's just like what Hulk said, what happened in the past has already happened. If you go back to past, you simply created a new reality. The characters in this movie created 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."


Did Captain America Meet The Red Skull On Vormir?

The Red Skull appeared in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, but we never got to see the former HYDRA leader interact with Captain America and that's disappointed many fans.

The question is, when Steve Rogers travelled back in time, did he finally comes face to face with his old foe? According to Russo, if they did meet, it may not have played out the way you might think.

"Red Skull would probably put the soul stone back to its location, and wait for the next unfortunate stone seeker to make a 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."

How Did Thanos Bring His Army Into The Future?

Thanos may have got his hands on Nebula's Pym Particles, but how did the Mad Titan figure out how to use them and then transport both himself and his entire army into the future? 

"There is a guy called Maw in his army, he was a great wizard. Thanos himself was a brilliant genius as well. Those two easily reverse engineered and mass produced Pym Particles."

Before you get too excited about those Pym Particles factoring into future movies, bear in mind that Thanos, his army, and his ship were all wiped out when Iron Man snapped his fingers.

Could The Time Stone Have Been Used To Bring Iron Man Back?

Thanos used the Time Stone to undo The Vision's death at the hands of the Scarlet Witch, so why couldn't The Avengers bring back Iron Man? Well, it's a nice idea but doing so would have also resurrected Thanos and his army which would have put the heroes straight back to square one. 

"It's because even if you save Iron Man, it will still not change the fact that Thanos will eventually win the war," Russo confirms. "Among the 14 million possibilities that Doctor Strange has seen, Iron Man's sacrifice is a must for that one win scenario."

What Does The Five-Year Time-Jump Mean For The Dusted Characters?

The five-year time-jump isn't undone at the end of Avengers: Endgame so what does that mean for the characters who weren't dusted? Are half the people Peter Parker went to school with now five years his senior? Apparently so, according to the director.
"Yes, those people that 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 colleges 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 had just woke up from a long sleep. The only one who was aware about how many years has passed was Doctor Strange, because he has already seen that when he was time mediating on Titan. Parker's reunion with Ned was a touching moment. There are also people whom indeed moved on but suddenly was reunited with their lost ones. Yeah it's kind a complicated world now."


Did That Mouse Save The Universe?

Something everyone is overlooking is the fact that if that mouse hadn't walked across the control panel of the Quantum Tunnel in Scott Lang's van, he would have remained in the Quantum Realm and the universe would still be down half of all life in existence.

Now, Russo has jokingly made it clear that we should all be very grateful about that mouse's actions in the movie! "Yes, the MOUSE SAVED THE UNIVERSE. Among the many realities in those 14 millions possible futures Doctor Strange foresee, the mouse failed to press button and thus the heroes failed in those futures."

How Exactly Did Time-Travel Work In Avengers: Endgame? 

After confirming that the movie doesn't take place in a time loop, Russo added that "Both Ancient One and Hulk were right. You can't change the future by simply going back to past. But it's possible to create a different alternate future. It's not butterfly effect."

"Every decision you made in the past could potentially create a new timeline," he continues. "For example, the old Cap at the end movie, he lived his married life in a different universe from the main one. He had to make another jump back to the main universe at the end to give the shield to Sam."

That definitely opens the door to a lot of exciting storytelling possibilities moving forward. 

What Was Up With That Easter Egg At The End Of The Credits?

Avengers: Endgame didn't feature any post-credits scenes but if you stayed right to the end of the credits, you would have heard the noise of Iron Man creating his armour way back in the 2008 movie. Was that just a tribute or a way of teasing his return? "It was our way to say goodbye to him," Joe says, putting an end to a number of fan theories which have done the rounds since the weekend.

Why Was Harley Keener At Iron Man's Funeral?

After a memorable appearance in Iron Man 3, Harley Keener returns for Avengers: Endgame as one of the people who attend Tony Stark's funeral. Was there a reason for that, though, or was it just a neat little Easter Eggs for longtime fans? "We just feel that he should participate in Iron Man's funeral," the filmmaker confirms. "As for whether he will appear again in future, who knows."

Here's Why Black Widow Didn't Get A Funeral

Everyone came together for Iron Man's funeral but where was Black Widow's sendoff? "Did you forget when the heroes where mourning for her after when they returned from past?" Russo asks in response to that. "Maybe her funeral happened off screen. Maybe it will be shown in future installment, because there are still tons of stories in MCU that are waiting to be tell."
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