‘Avengers: Endgame’ Directors Reveal The Real Hero Of The Infinity Saga, And It’s Not Tony Stark

Avengers: Endgame became available for digital download at the end of July, and the DVD and BluRay release is set for August 13th. Now that the highest-grossing movie of all time has entered the home media market, a lot of new information has come to light about the film thanks to six deleted scenes and the three-hour DVD commentary from the directors and writers.

'Avengers: Endgame' star Robert Downey, Jr.
‘Avengers: Endgame’ star Robert Downey, Jr. | Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

While fans believe that it is the Avengers – and more specifically Tony Stark – who saved the world from Thanos and brought back everyone lost in The Snap, Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo and co-writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely say that there is one hero that has been overlooked.

Bringing Scott Lange out of the Quantum Realm

In order for the complex time heist to take place, Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) had to first get out of the Quantum Realm, and that happened because of the true hero of the story – the rat in the storage facility. During their DVD commentary, Joe Russo, Markus, and McFeely made it clear that it was the rat who saved the world.

“And now, shortly you’re about to be introduced to the hero of the entire film. The savior of the universe,” said Markus, with Russo adding, “The hero of the Infinity Saga.”

“This rat,” added Markus.

If the rat wouldn’t have walked across the right controls to turn on the Quantum Tunnel, Lang would have never returned. And, it’s possible the remaining Avengers would have never figured out a way to fix The Snap.

A Lucky Coincidence

McFeely explained that there is a rule in writing where coincidences are only allowed in Act One because if they happen late in the movie it comes across as lazy. He admits that the rat releasing Lang from the Quantum Realm in Avengers: Endgame is a coincidence, but when devastating things like The Snap happen, “often rats are all that’s left.”

“And arguably, it’s one in 14 million chances,” said McFeely in reference to the odds Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) gave in Infinity War.

“I was going to say, there were 14 million versions of this story where the rat did not step on that button,” added Russo.

Another storytelling risk

The five-year time jump was also a major risk for the writers, and it ended up having a significant impact on the story, especially for Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Joe Russo says that for him, the most compelling part of Avengers: Endgame was Tony’s story arc and how he traveled such a long distance. He explained that when you look at where Tony started in the MCU – an egotistical, self-involved character – compared to where he ended up, Endgame was a large part of his journey into a selfless hero.

The five-year-jump in Avengers: Endgame allowed Tony to start a family and go down a path of selflessness that ended with him giving his life to save the world.

“And it tests him dramatically,” McFeely said. “He certainly has been taking nibbles at being a more selfless character all along the way. I mean, certainly in Avengers, he was gonna die by sending a nuke into space. By the time he gets to Civil War, he’s certainly trying to take things out of his own hands. But by the time he gets here, has a family to lose, the sacrifice becomes pretty dramatic.”

The directors and writers shared more behind-the-scenes details

According to Insider, McFeely, Markus, and the Russo brothers shared a lot more details during their insightful three-hour commentary, including the security measures they took to keep the plots of Infinity War and Endgame a secret.

There were fake versions of scripts, referred to as “code blue,” and the only actor who received a full version of the real script (known as “code red”) was Robert Downey, Jr.

The opening scene of Avengers: Endgame – with Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye losing his family to The Snap – was originally supposed to appear at the end of Infinity War, but the Russo brothers thought the scene would be disorienting.

Instead, it made more sense to use it at the beginning of Endgame to remind viewers what had happened and to bring up the emotions surrounding The Snap.

To add more emotional impact, Joe Russo said it made sense to show life on Earth five years after The Snap through Scott Lange’s eyes.

The writers originally though time travel was a dumb idea

Markus and McFeely wrote the scripts of Infinity War and Endgame back-to-back, and they admit they backed themselves into a corner at the end of Infinity War. At first, they thought a time machine was “the stupidest idea you could possibly have” to reverse The Snap, but then they realized Ant-Man had made the idea more plausible.

“The ‘Ant-Man’ franchise, which we hadn’t dealt with yet, had legitimately, if you believe the science, the seeds of a time machine in it, which was a breakthrough,” said Markus.

Fans can download Avengers: Endgame now to watch all of the extra commentary.