‘Avengers: Endgame’ Reshoots Fixed 1 Major Problem With the Final Battle

Yes, fans are still discussing Avengers: Endgame, even though by now everyone who wants to see it has seen it at least twice. One reason the discussion is still going on is that the movie is on Disney+ – Disney’s new streaming service – complete with extras like a commentary and deleted scenes. 

One of the aspects fans are discussing is the big final battle, where the Avengers face Thanos and his army once and for all. That final battle had a lot of individual beats, one of the most memorable being the entry of Captain Marvel – who had actually turned into a problem even before her movie came out. But audiences would never have know that thanks to the problem-solving efforts of the Avengers: Endgame crew and a few strategic reshoots.

The problem with Captain Marvel

Brie Larson, who plays Captain Marvel, poses with fans at the world premier of 'Avengers: Endgame.'
Brie Larson | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Audiences got their first hint of Captain Marvel at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. Just before Nick Fury became dust in the wind, he sent out a signal on a pager to Captain Marvel. Before we could continue that story, we had to meet her in her solo movie, which made more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office. That movie was her origin story, taking place mostly in the ’90s, when she met Fury. 

Thus established, Captain Marvel came in very early in Avengers: Endgame, responding to Fury’s call. However, she mostly disappears from the movie after the first act. Captain Marvel, being the most powerful of all of the MCU’s heroes, could easily defeat Thanos, especially if he didn’t have his gauntlet. However, the writers didn’t want to turn her into a crutch, where Carol Danvers could literally fly in and fix everything, making the Avengers unnecessary. 

In fact, another Marvel heroine, Wanda Maximoff, almost defeated Thanos by herself too, until he commanded his armies to “rain fire,” thus temporarily dispatching The Scarlet Witch. Then, instead of firing down on the ground, Thanos’ guns fired upward – at Captain Marvel, who was making her big entrance in the final battle. But even then, she wouldn’t defeat Thanos by herself. That would have robbed the other Avengers of their redemption and undercut the drama of the story. 

How the ‘Avengers: Endgame’ story changed in reshoots

MCU movies are notorious for constantly evolving, sometimes even to the chagrin of their actors. Marvel actors have been known to ask “Who am I fighting,” and the actors aren’t told the answer. The movies change the most in the editing bay, and it’s not just minor tweaks to pick up the pacing. Sometimes whole story elements can change. And so it was with Captain Marvel in Endgame

On CBR.com, one of the editors of Endgame, Jeff Ford, explained: “Anthony [Russo] came up with the great idea — this was a reshoot, by the way, at the last minute — he had the great idea that Thanos pulls the power stone out of the gauntlet, and then he punches her with the raw power stone,” he continued. “That is a fantastic use of that prop and that story point, because that’s what you want. And we had to find a way that he could sideline Captain Marvel for a minute, because she’s so powerful, there’s no way to do it.”

That solution solved two problems at once. First, it gave audiences the Thanos vs. Captain Marvel moment fans had been waiting for, but it also gave the writers a way for Thanos to sideline Captain Marvel so that Tony Stark could be the one to deliver the snap.

Other ‘Avengers: Endgame’ changes made with reshoots and edits

And that was hardly the only change in Endgame, or even in the final battle. The decisive blow, with Tony Stark declaring, “I am Iron Man” was its own late addition, with Ford convincing Robert Downey Jr. to come back to deliver that one line, according to Screen Rant

The editing also affected the other major hero’s death in that movie, Black Widow. As originally shot, “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,” Ford told Business Insider

The scene was reshot to make it more intimate between Natasha and Clint. The individual scene worked, although some fans were still unhappy Natasha didn’t get the kind of elaborate sendoff Tony Stark got. Fans will at least be able to see her in action one more time when Black Widow opens in May.