The co-writers of Avengers: Endgame recently revealed a very different, rather brutal idea for a scene intended for the film, but which was quickly dropped on second thought.
Speaking during the San Diego Comic-Con, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely explained the ‘extreme’ idea for a scene in which a time-travelling Thanos came back to the present day carrying the decapitated head of Captain America, which he’d picked up along his travels.
The scene would apparently have involved 2014 Thanos entering the mainstream timeline during the climax of Endgame, at the Avengers’ headquarters, where he would throw the body-less head of 2012 Cap, who had been beaten by the 2023 Cap in the fight for the Infinity Stones.
Confused? Yup. But fortunately the idea didn’t make it past the writers’ room, and was banished to the cutting room floor, though Markus joked the scene could have been ‘awesome’, as per ComicBook.
The writers also decided to discard the idea of showing Giant Man’s corpse – which would have been a small homage to the alternative Wolverine comics Old Man Logan, which showed the Marvel Universe in ruins after Red Skull and a band of supervillains killed all the superheroes – in the background of a scene where the Avengers work out how to use the time travel device.
Thankfully, however, despite a few darker scenes which didn’t make it, the happy ending for 2023 Captain America was always planned.
Speaking to The New York Times about Cap’s ending, McFeely said:
From the very first outline, we knew [Cap] was going to get his dance.
On a separate subject, I started to lose my barometer on what was just fan service and what was good for the character. Because I think it’s good for the characters. But we also just gave you what you wanted. Is that good? I don’t know. But I’ll tell you, it’s satisfying.
He’s postponed a life in order to fulfill his duty. That’s why I didn’t think we were ever going to kill him. Because that’s not the arc. The arc is, I finally get to put my shield down because I’ve earned that.
Seeing Cap’s decapitated head fly through the air would’ve been weird to say the least, but at least he was always destined to get his dance.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.