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Joe Russo Reveals The True Hero Of Endgame

In the battle against Thanos, the day was ultimately won by a tiny, unlikely hero. No, not that one, but you're close.

Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo let slip during an interview with a Chinese website the true hero of the film, and if you're anything like us, his revelation had probably already crossed your mind. (via We Got This Covered) As you may have guessed, major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame follow.

The key to the Avengers' eventual victory was Scott Lang, who was last seen in the post-credits scene for Ant-Man and the Wasp, stranded in the Quantum Realm after Hank Pym, Janet Van Dyne, and Hope Van Dyne — who were to pull him out once he was finished collecting "healing particles" for their new friend Ghost — were all dusted before they could throw the switch and bring Scott back. His escape was the result of a one-in-a-million shot (or rather, one in 14,000,605). The van in which the Quantum Tunnel was housed had been sitting in a rodent-infested storage during the five years since the Snappening, and one of those dirty mice just happened to crawl across the exact right spot on the Tunnel's control panel, zapping Scott back into the world (although, for him, only five hours had passed). This raises the question: if not for that mouse, would Thanos have won? If it would have crawled across a different portion of the panel, even, would the Avengers have been hosed? According to Russo, the answer is yes.

"The mouse saved the universe," the director stated flatly. "Among the many realities in those 14 million possible futures Doctor Strange [foresaw], the mouse failed to press button and thus the heroes failed in those futures."

That's... just insane. Yes, the Avengers' plan to reverse the Decimation was a convoluted one, with different teams traveling to different time periods in order to pre-emptively acquire all six Infinity Stones before Thanos could get his hands on them. It was also fraught with complications: Tony Stark and Steve Rogers failed to grab the Tesseract during the Battle of New York, necessitating a slight detour to 1970; Black Widow was forced to give her life in exchange for the Soul Stone; and 2014 Thanos figured out the whole plan due to Nebula's incursion into that period, almost managing to thwart our heroes by sending the still-villainous past version of Nebula to the present as a mole. But since we know that Doctor Strange saw the only outcome that resulted in victory during his future-viewing party on Titan during Avengers: Infinity War, we know that somehow, it all played out exactly like it was supposed to — and that included the contribution of that low-down, dirty mouse.

Think about what must have been going through Strange's mind after witnessing the bizarre, impossible series of events that it would take for the Avengers to prevail. Sure, he knew time travel was the only possible path to victory. He knew that Stark was critical to the plan, as he was the one to devise the method of time travel and the one to snap Thanos and his army out of existence (hence his insistence that Thanos spare Stark's life on Titan). And, he knew that none of it could happen without Lang and his supply of Pym Particles... and that in the one possible future in which Scott was freed from the Quantum Realm, it was a mouse that was responsible. No wonder he looked so utterly mind-blown when he informed Stark that there was only one outcome among 14,000,605 possible ones that would result in Thanos taking the loss... the Mad Titan, genocidal terror of the Universe, with all of his might and the power of all six Infinity Stones, was fated to have his whole plan undone by a freaking mouse.

We suppose that one could take it even a bit further, making the case that the universe was really saved by whatever anonymous towing company employee decided to move Scott's van to that crappy storage facility rather than a nicer, non-vermin-infested one. Or the security guard who let Scott out of the locked facility, rather than calling the cops on the wild-eyed stranger who had suddenly appeared in said facility out of nowhere. There were a lot of moving parts to the whole thing, but in the end, we've got to go with the word of Russo: a mouse was responsible for half of all life in the universe being restored, which we're sure has nothing to do with the fact that Marvel Studios is owned by Disney.

It's doubtful that Lang even knows exactly how he was freed, which is a real shame, because at the the very least, that mouse deserves a medal. Or perhaps a statue outside of Avengers HQ. An honorary membership in the Avengers?

Heck with it, that little critter deserves his own solo movie.