‘Avengers: Endgame’: Captain Marvel’s Entrance Originally Made a Lot More Sense
Avengers: Endgame had a lot to live up to. The Marvel Studios release had to provide fitting send-offs for the original Avengers line-up and set the stage for what comes next. For instance, the film finally brings Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel together with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
To accommodate Marvel’s busy release schedule, Larson even had to shoot her scenes for Avengers: Endgame before Captain Marvel. So directors Joe and Anthony Russo and their team had to continually shift the story around to incorporate Captain Marvel in a meaningful way. Now we’ve discovered her role was almost very different from what audiences saw.
Captain Marvel’s role in ‘Avengers: Endgame’
Although Avengers: Endgame is roughly 3 hours long, Larson only appears at the beginning and the end. Part of this is due to the focus on characters like Iron Man and Captain America. Plus, the film needs to rationalize the larger struggle against Thanos, considering Captain Marvel’s immense power.
Captain Marvel rescues Iron Man and Nebula and then accompanies the surviving heroes during their attack on Thanos. After that, she has one brief post-time jump conversation with Black Widow and company, seemingly still in touch with Avengers HQ. Then, she disappears from the film until the final act.
For the most part, Avengers: Endgame‘s choice to use Captain Marvel judiciously works well. After all, her responsibility as a hero extends far beyond her home planet. But once the fighting begins, we imagine she decides to high-tail it back just in time to take out Thanos’ ship, the Sanctuary II.
How Captain Marvel originally entered the final battle
In the final film, Captain Marvel’s surprise arrival is a crowd-pleasing moment. But the new book, Avengers: Endgame — The Art of the Movie, explains how Captain Marvel’s originally joined the battefield. And it involves an entirely new sequence before she takes out Thanos’ ship.
In the book, Marvel visual development artist Jackson Sze breaks down how he built the sequence around uniting the female Avengers.
So Captain Marvel, being intergalactically powerful, would help take care of Thanos’ ship, which at this point is just shooting blasts down onto the battlefield and making things really difficult for everyone, and she gets shot down on the ground. Pepper Potts, in her Rescue suit, sees that, rushes to her, and tries to protect her from another blast from the ship. So she raises her shield-protection powers and, as she’s getting bombarded, calls to all the other female Avengers to come help, and they all jump in around Captain Marvel in a circle — that’s actually the keyframe that you see expanded upon in the sequence — and they’re all trying to fight off the Outriders and protect her. Eventually, she comes to, realizes what’s happening, thanks everyone, and then powers up full Binary. Pepper just goes, “Do your thing, Captain.”
That’s quite a different approach than what’s in the final film. First of all, it gives Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) even more to do on the battlefield, positioning her as a leader. Rather than surprising audiences with Captain Marvel’s initial attack, it opts to build up to the destruction of Thanos’ ship. Both approaches could work, though it’s easy to see why the Russos’ chose what wound up in the movie.
That A-Force moment would have been more logical
One way Captain Marvel’s original entrance would have been an improvement is the aforementioned moment in which the female Avengers rally to help her. The “she’s got help” scene is a clear shout-out to Marvel’s all-female A-Force team in the comics. But it’s also one of the more divisive moments in Avengers: Endgame.
Some moviegoers have slammed the A-Force moment as pandering to audiences, while others label it as lazy storytelling. To be fair, the final cut of the movie doesn’t really justify the location of all the female Avengers. So it can come across as convenient or just illogical.
The original plan would have clarified why all the female heroes gathered around Captain Marvel. With all the moving parts Avengers: Endgame has to balance, the trade-off might sacrifice a bit of clarity. But we’re willing to bet most audiences would agree Captain Marvel’s stirring arrival, which turns the tide of battle, was well worth it.