Imagine being an actor and never reading the entire script start-to-finish for the movie you’re starring in because it’s never been finished. That’s exactly what Chris Hemsworth says happened to him and the rest of the stars of Avengers: Endgame.
The Marvel movie that broke all kinds of box office records went through nearly constant changes and rewrites. Sure, nothing’s perfect on the first try, especially movies. There are drafts and more drafts of a script before it’s finalized. And even then it’s common for actors to improvise lines — with the green light from production, of course — and for scenes to be tweaked or altered in the midst of filming.
Chris Hemsworth and rest of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ read ‘odd version’ of script
While at ACE Comic-Con in Rosemont, Ill., Hemsworth, who played Thor in Avengers: Endgame and previous movies in the franchise (get the order of all the films here), said he and co-stars including Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye), Paul Rudd (Hank Pym/Ant-Man) among others, never got their hands on a complete script while they were filming the epic conclusion to all the Avengers movie that came before.
“We got a script, or parts of the script and it was a very odd version of the script,” Hemsworth told the audience while speaking onstage, according to Men’s Health. “You could go and sit in a room and read the script but to be honest, it wasn’t even completed,” he added.
The 36-year-old actor continued saying, “The second half of shooting that movie was completely in their hands and being guided by what they had in store for you.”
There were a lot of changes to the script
Since the movie came out on DVD and Blu-ray in August 2019, audiences were able to get a scene-by-scene breakdown from the writers, Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, and directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, or the Russo brothers.
In the commentary, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) learned a lot about what happened behind-the-scenes with the writing. They found out that many changes were made.
For instance, Downey Jr. “instinctively” knew that one thing had to happen in his character’s last scene. He also suggested to McFeely and Markus that Iron Man/Stark have very few lines in the moments before his death. They had him snapping his fingers but knew the character needed a final, memorable line.
Ultimately, the scene could’ve been very different had editor Jeff Ford not suggested a callback to a line (“I am Iron Man”) from the first Iron Man movie in 2008. Plus, there’s the fact that the 54-year-old actor never said the same line twice.
Black Widow, another character who met their end in Avengers: Endgame, got a drastic change to their last scene as well. The writers admitted the scene fans saw in the final cut of the movie proved to be “much better than what we had.”
Now we know actors don’t necessarily need an entire script to play their parts. They can shoot their scenes without running the risk of accidentally sharing a spoiler during interviews like Evans once did.