AVENGERS: ENDGAME Editors Reveal Alternate Black Widow Death Scene & Other Huge Alternate/Deleted Scenes

AVENGERS: ENDGAME Editors Reveal Alternate Black Widow Death Scene & Other Huge Alternate/Deleted Scenes

Avengers: Endgame editors Jeffrey Ford and Matthew Schmidt have revealed alternate takes on the arrival of Earth's Mightiest Heroes in 2012, Black Widow's death, and how they fooled us with old footage...

Avengers: Endgame is well on its way to defeating Avatar at the worldwide box office (it's currently closing in on the $2.5 billion mark), and interviews relating to the movie keep on coming. 

Now, editors Jeffrey Ford and Matthew Schmidt have shed some light on a number of topics, including several unused ideas for how Earth's Mightiest Heroes would return to 2012, an alternate, action-packed death scene for Black Widow, how they reused old, unseen footage, the "I am Iron Man" moment, and much more.

It's clear that a lot of Avengers: Endgame was changed during reshoots, but unlike a lot of movies, these alterations were made for the better and to improve what we ultimately saw on screen.

So, to check out these reveals from the editors, simply hit the "View List" button below! 

Returning To 2012


In Avengers: Endgame, the heroes embark on a "time heist" that takes them back to the events of The Avengers in 2012. Surprisingly a decision was not made about where Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, and Ant-Man would arrive until post-production. 

"The script had us showing up right when Tony flies through the Leviathan and blows it up from the inside," Ford explains. "But when we screened it for audiences in test screenings we realized it took a few minutes for them to acclimate themselves. It wasn't landing the way we wanted. So we tried other versions."

One cut sequence saw them show up at the moment Hulk smashes Loki but it was eventually decided that the scene where they assembled made most sense. "The version that won was where we come in on the Avengers first assembling, the round-a-round shot," Ford adds. "It was the cleanest and most epic transition back into 'Avengers 1.'"

An Alternate Death Scene For Black Widow


Upon learning what needs to be done in order to retrieve the Soul Stone, Black Widow and Hawkeye engage in an emotional battle which sees them both attempt to make the ultimate sacrifice.

However, the scene was originally very different. "On script and what we first shot was an excellent scene," Schmidt reveals. "Thanos and his soldiers show up on Vormir and a small battle ensues between them and Natasha and Clint. Natasha decides to run off the cliff. Clint tries to stop her while also fending off the attack."

While this version of her death was reportedly met with a positive reaction from test audiences, "It was reshot to make it more intimate between Clint and Natasha, which fully worked in the end version of the movie. We just came up with a better idea, something that serviced Natasha a little bit more."

Diving Into The Archives


We already know that Natalie Portman didn't shoot any new footage for Avengers: Endgame (she did, however, provide a single line of dialogue), but the editors have now revealed how they delved into the archives and reused footage from Thor: The Dark World.

"The shot of Loki throwing his cup in the cell and Thor and Rocket sneak past him in the background, that's a piece of digital negative taken from the dailies of 'The Dark World' that we repurposed," Ford reveals. "The same for the scene of Natalie Portman." Apparently, it was always a priority for the filmmakers to repurpose old scenes so we'd really feel like we were revisiting them.

"I Am Iron Man"


Ford has been credited by the Russo Brothers with coming up with the idea of Tony Stark saying "I am Iron Man" during that final confrontation with Thanos, and he's now delved into that scene.
"We shot it in a couple of different ways in the initial shoot with different lines of dialogue. Robert [Downey Jr.] also does an improvisation. We did some where he's just silent and one of those was our favorite for a long time. But we decided Thanos needed a moment at the end of the movie where he says something. We thought there's this structure of the movie where Thanos says he's inevitable — he says it in the beginning of the movie and he sees himself say it in the middle of the movie. So we thought this could create this incredible symmetry if we carried that moment forward."
The sequence was reportedly filmed during reshoots. Asked how it feels to have received so much attention thanks to Joe and Anthony's remarks in interviews, Ford says: "I've pitched some crazy bad stuff and they shot it down right away. But if you don't say it you never know."

No Post-Credits Scene


Avengers: Endgame didn't boast a post-credits scene, but we did hear the noise of Tony Stark creating his armour right at the very end. It turns out that the Easter Egg was actually Kevin Feige's idea.

"We knew early on that we weren't going to have any post credit scenes in this movie," Ford confirms. "Towards the end of our mix, Kevin came in and said, 'I got an idea, and I want to try it, what if we have a little audio flashback at the end with Tony?' So we dug through the elements of 'Iron Man 1' and found the exact piece of sound from the print master."

"We laid it in against the logo and adjusted the rhythm slightly. We showed Kevin and he gave it his blessing. We thought this was a great sendoff."
Honestly, it was actually pretty perfect. 

Many thanks to Business Insider for the quotes used in this post.

Continue reading below for some big reveals from
Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo!

Why Thanos Failed

As Avengers: Endgame progresses, it quickly becomes clear that Thanos' plan was a failure. Wiping out half of all life didn't create a utopia and the drop in population only really set Earth back by half a century (meaning today's problems would resurface somewhere down the line). 

"Thanos is an egomaniac," Joe explains when that predicament was put to him and the impact it had on how Thanos' story plays out. "He was rejected in his youth when he presented a solution to his home planet and he lost it and probably lost a lot of people he cared about. So years later, he has processed his grief in a way that has convinced him that this is a really good idea."
"He's smart enough to know logically that it's like resetting planets like Earth back 50 years. But I think his hope was that the pain of what he had done would teach them to appreciate the resources moving forward. And by the end of the movie, he gets to the point where he's like, "I should have just wiped it all out and started over."

A-Force Assemble

"The number of ideas that we want to put into these movies is always far greater than the space available to realize them," the filmmakers explain when asked just how long they were planning to have a group of female superheroes assemble during the final battle with the Mad Titan.

"That's one of the ideas that stayed with us for a long time, and maybe we had tried different versions of it here and there throughout the story, and this was the particular, specific version of it that ended up working for the narrative."

A Different, Far More Personal Role For Black Widow

Black Widow met her maker in Avengers: Endgame and as upset as fans have been by this, it felt like a pretty logical way to end her story. Now, Anthony has revealed that he and Joe were originally planning to give the hero a very different role as she dealt with the fallout from the Mad Titan's attack.
"One thing that we talked about a lot—and I thought was really profound, but it was almost too large of an idea for us to wrangle, but we did try for a while—is just the idea that one-quarter of all children have no parents. Assuming you started with two parents. So that’s a lot of global orphans. Just the staggering number of that. I believe at one point really early in development, Black Widow was actually leading the organization in D.C. that was in charge of orphans, basically. That was what she was heading up five years later. But yes, it’s fascinating when you start running it down."


Was Iron Man Right?

When Iron Man returns to Earth, he wastes no time in making his grievances with Captain America known, and while much of what he says is clearly a result of the trauma he's been through, the Russo's say that this was a way of showing that his stance in Civil War may have been the correct one - to an "extent," at least.

"He was not wrong that there was a great threat coming, and they needed to build a suit of armor around the world, and at what point do civil liberties trump—no pun intended—do civil liberties come before the government’s ability to protect its citizens?" Joe asks.
"I think what’s interesting is that to some extent, they had to go through this. There was a sense of destiny to this. They had to go through it to win it. And in a way both he and Cap were right."

Why We Didn't See Normal People Return From The Dead

Something we never see in Avengers: Endgame is how normal people react to the dead returning. So, why was that not included?  "Well, when we see those things in movies, I just feel like I disconnect from them, because I don’t know those people," Joe says. "And so we always try to find a way to tell that story through the characters that we have and that we care about."
"And as directors, we’d rather direct a scene between Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner than with Extra 4 and Extra 5," He concludes, fully justifying this decision. 

Stan Lee's Legacy


"Stan was a ball of energy—very entertaining. He had the same joke every time he came to the set, which was, 'Why do I only get one line?'" Joe recalled of the late, great comic book creator.
"The first time we’d ever worked with him was on Winter Soldier," Anthony added. "He showed up just cracking jokes, talking to everybody, shaking hands. To see everybody light up — when Stan was doing these cameos, there were always twice as many people on set. Everybody wanted to be there — we were in awe of him."

Time-Travel Confusion

For weeks now, fans have been debating the mechanics of time-travel in Avengers: Endgame and the filmmakers have once again attempted to explain how they perceive it. "Here’s the most important thing about time travel: It doesn’t exist," Anthony joked.

"According by the rules of the movie, as stated by the Hulk and by The Ancient One, we go to great pains to tell you that Back to the Future is bullshit," Joe added.
"If you’re trying to change the rules of time travel in a movie, unless you are super clear and point out that these are not the rules from Back to the Future, people just won’t understand it. We learned about this after three test screenings. We had to go back and add in more jokes about Back to the Future so that people would take our multiverse theory seriously."

Explaining The Multiverse

"The Hulk says if you’re in the present and you go back to the past, you cannot affect the present because it has already occurred. That now becomes your past. Right?," said Joe Russo. "And if you’re [currently] in the past, this is now your present. And anything you do in that time shift would create a multiverse reality. It will create a new future, but it’s not going to affect your past."
“But to be honest, talking about time travel is very similar to talking about god," said Anthony. "Everyone’s going to have a different understanding of what it is." Joe agreed: "At the end of the day, any thinking about time travel breaks down. What we tried to do was make sure the rules we were playing with [in regard to] time travel were honored by the plot of the movie."

Iron Man Had To Die

"In a way, Tony was always fated to die," Joe says when asked about Iron Man's heartbreaking fate in the movie. "He was a futurist, always haunted by what was around the corner. [He went from] someone with an ego to someone who was completely selfless in the end. So that seemed like a very noble trajectory."

"Initially, he didn’t say anything when he was facing off with Thanos — he just gets the stones and snaps. But we were in the edit room and it just felt a little flat," Anthony adds, crediting editor Jeff Ford with one key change. "He's edited more Marvel movies than anybody. He said, ‘What about 'I am Iron Man?’ And we were like, that’s it!"

Captain America Is Worthy

Arguably one of the best moments in Avengers: Endgame comes when Steve Rogers finally wields Mjolnir. Asked why it was then that Captain America was finally deemed "worthy," Joe said: "Do you think he was worthy in Ultron, but he just didn’t pick up the hammer so he didn’t hurt Thor’s feelings? Because clearly Thor’s very sensitive."

That's something Joss Whedon also alluded to when Avengers: Age of Ultron was released.

Cutting Hawkeye From Avengers: Infinity War

The movie's writers recently revealed that the opening scene with Hawkeye was originally going to take place in Avengers: Infinity War and now Joe has elaborated on why that was moved.
"We were originally going to include that at the end of "Infinity War." Hawkeye wasn't going to be in the film, and then at the end when Thanos snaps his fingers, we were going to cut to black and then come up on a family picnic at [Clint] Barton's (Hawkeye's) house. We wanted the audience to be confused. "Why are we here, what am I watching?" And then after Barton's family slowly disappeared we'd cut back to Bucky. We tried it, but we found that it was too jarring of a concept. So I thought, why don't we remove it from the body of this movie and move it to open the next movie. It's a great way after a year to remind you of the pain that everyone was feeling."


Why We Got A Five-Year Time-Jump

The moment "Five Years Later" pops up on screen, it becomes clear that the MCU as we know it is gone and the ramifications of Thanos' actions have been felt in a significant way. "We wanted something that allowed them to change enough," Joe explains when asked about the time-jump. "We needed enough time for them to process their grief that it would alter them as people."
"They accepted it and made choices about how they were going to proceed with their future, and that changes people. Clearly, Banner has changed dramatically."
Anthony adds: "It gave Tony enough time to have a daughter he can interact with."
"Thor became increasingly depressed and isolated. So one year wouldn't have allowed for quite the effect and five makes it feel more permanent to the audience," Joe concludes.

Why The Falcon Is Captain America

At the end of Avengers: Endgame, the MCU has a new Captain America in the form of Sam Wilson. Why, though, was he a better choice to wield the shield than Bucky? "We definitely would sit around and talk about what made the best story moving forward, and Sam just always felt like the right recipient," Joe confirms. "After all, Bucky is damaged."
"And Sam seemed to most share [Steve Rogers'] qualities," Anthony adds. "When they first met, the bond between those two characters just spoke to a symmetry in their moral nature."

Loki's Future

The God of Mischief died at the hands of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War but he escaped with the Tesseract when we caught up with his past self in 2012, so what does that mean for Captain America's attempt to fix the timeline by returning the Stones? 

"Loki, when he teleports away with the Time Stone, would create his own timeline," Joe confirms. "It gets very complicated, but it would be impossible for [Cap] to rectify the timeline unless he found Loki. The minute that Loki does something as dramatic as take the Space Stone, he creates a branched reality."
"We're dealing with this idea of multiverses and branched realities, so there are many realities," Anthony says, further reiterating plans to explore the Marvel Multiverse moving forward.

Captain America's Return

Despite conflicting remarks from Avengers: Endgame's writers, the filmmakers stand firm with the idea that Captain America created a new timeline when he returned to the past to find Peggy Carter and grow old. Now, Joe has reiterated that "he would have to come back to this timeline in order to hand off the shield."

"There's a question of, how did this separate timeline Cap come to reappear in this timeline and why?" Anthony added and when Joe was asked if that's a story for another day, he said: "Correct." In other words, it definitely sounds like Steve Rogers' story in the MCU isn't quite over just yet. 

Gamora May Have Been Dusted

At the end of Avengers: Endgame, Star-Lord is showing looking for Gamora. The 2014 version of the character embraced her heroic side despite still being under her father's thumb, and seemingly went on the run after his forces were wiped out by Iron Man.

However, there's nothing to say she wasn't dusted along with the rest of them according to Joe. 

"We don't know whether she was dusted or whether she survived. That's probably a question that "Guardians [3]" will answer," he teased before Anthony added: "Quill doesn't know either."
Many thanks to Business Insider, The Hollywood Reporter, and Slate for the quotes used here.
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