‘Avengers: Endgame’: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Rescue Almost Had a Very Different Look

A film as epic as Avengers: Endgame requires an equally grand pre-production process. During this period, the filmmakers — in this case, Joe and Anthony Russo — collaborate with various departments to determine the film’s design, iron out story details, and ensure the $350 million production stays on schedule once filming starts.

So, perhaps more than most releases in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we’ve heard a lot about the Avengers: Endgame that might have been. Key details such as a proposed rematch between Thanos and Hulk were scrapped in favor of keeping the three-hour movie as focused as possible. Now we’ve discovered Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts almost donned a very different version of her Rescue armor.

Gwyneth Paltrow at the world premiere of 'Avengers: Endgame'
Gwyneth Paltrow at the world premiere of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The evolution of Pepper Potts

From her introduction in Iron Man through to her heroic role in Avengers: Endgame, Pepper Potts undergoes quite the transformation. She starts off as Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) put-upon assistant. Then, she ascends to CEO of Stark Industries as well as Tony’s wife and mother to Morgan (Lexi Rabe).

But the final act of Avengers: Endgame takes that evolution even further. In the film’s most unforgettable sequence, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) unites all the MCU’s heroes for one last stand. One by one, Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and all the other characters reappear ready to fight. Then Pepper does a superhero landing in her new Rescue suit.

The suit itself is teased earlier in the film as a gift Tony is making for his wife. Yet, the final battle gives fans a glimpse of Mr. and Mrs. Stark suited up and fighting alongside each other. Pepper starts off as a very different kind of hero in the MCU but ends Phase 3 with a suit of armor of her own.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s alternate Rescue suit

In the comics, Pepper does indeed suit up as a superhero known as Rescue. However, these characters often undergo significant adjustments as they’re adapted for the screen. We’ve already gotten a glimpse at how Thanos’ armor was very different in Avengers: Endgame and the last-minute costume change for Captain Marvel.

In the finished film, Rescue’s suit stays much truer to Tony’s own look. While Rescue has blue armor, the actual design is essentially a more feminine, sleeker version of Iron Man. But moviegoers almost saw a drastically different take on Rescue in Avengers: Endgame.

Marvel artist Rodney Fuentebella posted an image on social media of early concept art for Rescue. And the suit not only replaces the blue and silver color scheme with a purple and gold motif. It also features a much sharper — and, in some ways, more imposing — design than what the film ultimately settled on. Still, it’s cool to imagine how this armor would have looked in action.

Will Gwyneth Paltrow return after ‘Avengers: Endgame’?

After briefly wearing Tony’s armor in Iron Man 3, Paltrow finally gets her own suit in Avengers: Endgame. But fans hoping for Pepper Potts to become a major hero in Phase 4 shouldn’t hold their breath. With Robert Downey Jr.’s exit from the MCU, it’s looking very likely Paltrow is officially out as well.

Of course, just as in the comics, anything can happen. It isn’t hard to imagine a scenario in which the MCU brings Paltrow in for a cameo or something down the line. This is especially the case if Morgan winds up factoring into the series’ long-term plans.

But for now, the Starks are off the board. As excited as fans might be for some new characters, Pepper’s exit only underscores just how very different the future of the MCU will look going forward.