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Katherine Langford's cut role from Endgame revealed

It must have been a serious bummer to get aced out of one of the biggest films of all time.

13 Reasons Why star Katherine Langford, announced to have been cast in a small role in Avengers: Endgame late last year, was nowhere to be seen in the final cut — and, thanks to co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo's comments during a recent appearance on MTV's Happy Sad Confused podcast, we now know why. Fair warning: major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame follow.

You will remember (because, with all the tears and heartbreak, how could you forget) that Tony Stark made the ultimate sacrifice at the climax of the film, using his Infinity Gauntlet 2.0 to reduce Thanos and all of his invading minions to so much dust in the wind. As wrenching as it was, it was the perfect conclusion to Stark's character arc; during Endgame's five-year time jump, the "genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist" had retreated into private life and had a daughter, Morgan (portrayed by Lexi Rabe) with the love of his life, Pepper Potts. Realizing that his responsibility was not just to the universe he had long sought to protect, but to his own beloved family, Stark heroically gave his own life so that the threat of the Mad Titan's genocidal wrath would be defeated once and for all.

According to the Russos, Langford was cast as an older version of Morgan — one that would have appeared to Stark in the same ethereal, golden-tinged netherworld in which Thanos encountered a younger version of his adopted daughter Gamora in Avengers: Infinity War. If that seems just a touch confusing, well, the directors agree — which is why Langford's scene was ultimately cut.

"There was an idea that we had, that Tony was going to go into the metaphysical way station that Thanos [went into] when he snapped his fingers. And that there was going to be a future version of his daughter in that way station," Joe Russo explained. "The intention was that his future daughter, because these films are dealing with magic, his future daughter forgave him and sort of gave him peace to go. And the idea felt resonant. But it was just too many ideas in an overly complicated movie."

The directors wisely realized that, although the audience had been given the opportunity to observe the emotional bond between Stark and young Morgan (who, as we all know, loved her father 3,000), the same wouldn't be true of an inexplicably aged version of the character — robbing the sequence of the impact that the pair had intended for it to have. "What we realized about it was [that] we didn't feel an emotional association with the adult version of his daughter," Anthony Russo said. "So, it wasn't ringing to us and resonating with us on an emotional level."

At the end of the day, it was an appropriate choice — but try telling that to rising star Langford, whose appearance opposite the MCU's greatest hero in the moment before his final, universe-saving action ended up on the cutting room floor. There may, however, be a silver lining. Langford obviously impressed Marvel Studios' brass enough to be cast in the role in the first place, and it seems likely — although not certain — that Morgan Stark could return to the MCU in a future film. T

There's been speculation aplenty since Endgame's release that the movie may have been setting up the appearance of the Young Avengers, a superhero team that's been featured in the pages of Marvel comics since 2005. While the MCU's version of the team would differ wildly from that featured in the comics, there would be a couple of key players that the films could port directly from page to screen. Chief among these: Cassie Lang, the daughter of Ant-Man, who in the comics goes on to a crimefighting career as the hero Stature and who aged up during the events of Endgame thanks to that time jump. Also, although she was never a member of the team in the comics, Monica Rambeau — the young daughter of Maria Rambeau, the best friend of Carol Danvers who was featured in Captain Marvel — has taken on that mantle herself (among other code names), and has even led the main Avengers team.

Purely on the film side, we have Clint Barton's daughter Lila, whom Barton may possibly be grooming to take over as Hawkeye — and let's not forget Harley Keener, Stark's young buddy from Iron Man 3, who was gifted at the end of that film with some serious tech (and who popped up alongside Earth's Mightiest Heroes at Stark's funeral). But if indeed the Young Avengers play into Marvel's Phase 4, why not tap the daughter of Iron Man to lead them? Considering all of the youthful potential heroes who have already been slyly introduced, you can bet your bottom dollar that if the Marvel brain trust has designs on introducing the team, they've had them for quite some time — meaning that it's likely Langford was cast in Endgame with an eye toward the future.

Talented as she is, it would surprise us not at all if she were to receive a consolation prize for her dropped cameo in the form of a long-term tenure in history's biggest film franchise. We're hoping so, because otherwise… seriously, bummer.