Oh, to be back at a time when Avengers Endgame was the big MCU movie to look forward to. The culmination of a decade’s work for the Infinity Saga was a truly special film, but one pivotal moment from the superhero flick was almost very different, and not for the better.
Since Infinity War and Endgame, the MCU has stuttered somewhat. That double bill is still the undeniable highlight when you’re watching the Marvel movies in order, even if we do have to watch our favorite Marvel characters die over and over again.
All that pain is worth it, though, largely thanks to the sheer joy of the portals sequence which brings all the Avengers back from the blip. It’s one of the most exciting and satisfying scenes in the whole franchise, but it almost played out very differently, and it would have ruined all the hard work Marvel did leading up to Endgame.
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Loki season 2 director Dan Deleeuw recalled his time working as second unit director on Avengers Endgame, and shared details of an alternate plan for that iconic portals scene.
“It was interesting because there was a lot of different ideas. There was a version of the cut, the day that we had all the actors together, and it was like this long panning shot across all the actors… but it just didn’t play as well as we wanted,” Deleeuw revealed.
Thankfully, that idea was put to one side, and the portals concept won the day. Deleeuw expands on that thought process: “It was something that I got with pre-viz and Jeff Ford, our editor, and we just said, ‘We have to go with the portals and just pick who comes out when.’ It was just something that… like we knew who survived and when they were coming back, but we needed to slow it down and give the audience a chance to welcome their heroes back.
“And so it was so interesting in terms of like, ‘OK, who comes from Titan first? Okay, you get the Guardians, and then Star-Lord’s going to show up.’ And then just being in the theater that day, it’s like starting, okay, we got to do Spider-Man last because Spider-Man! So it was very much crafted to be emotional, and I think it was amazing for all of us that opening weekend how well the fans responded to it.”
That moment still gives me goosebumps to this day and reminds me that the MCU is still responsible for some of the best superhero movies I’ve ever seen, regardless of the issues with Marvel Phase 5. The panning shot was successful for the first Avengers movie when we first see the core six heroes come together, but it would have completely underserved this huge moment in Endgame.
As it is, the portals scene truly feels like not only a magical cinematic moment but really evokes the spirit of a comic book, too. You can totally picture an Avengers graphic novel with this army of heroes returning from the dead and joining the fight, each given their own panel as they arrive at Captain America’s side.
If you want to see another Marvel villain taken down in spectacular fashion, I recommend reading the Secret Wars comic book arc from 2015. It’s an epic story that sees the multiverse collapse in on itself, and the Avengers assembling to defeat an all-powerful Doctor Doom. It even has a giant Groot blowing up a castle – what more could you ask for?
The Avengers 5 release date has a lot to live up to. If you’re done reminiscing about the past, you can learn about all the upcoming Marvel movies, like The Marvels and Spider-Man 4, or you could move away from this franchise and think about other new movies, like Avatar 3.