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The Avengers: Endgame Scenes You Didn't Get To See

After more than 20 films — including three other superhero team-ups — and a previous installment that left half of its cast literally reduced to dust, the Marvel Cinematic Universe saga of the Avengers and their quest to defeat Infinity Stone-powered supervillain Thanos has reached its conclusion. Avengers: Endgame hit theaters around the world in April 2019, instantly shattering numerous box office records. While superhero movies (particularly Marvel's) are quite popular in general, that unprecedented success (a $357 million opening weekend) was a virtual guarantee

But this is no typical popcorn movie here — Avengers: Endgame boasts an audaciously long runtime of just over three hours. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely had a lot of character arcs and plot threads to resolve, so that time commitment makes sense. But the movie is so long it's hard to imagine that anything got left on the cutting room floor or tossed into the writers' room wastebasket. Yet there's plenty of stuff that didn't make it on screen — here's what didn't end up in Avengers: Endgame.

Tony Stark's other daughter

In October 2018, Marvel announced that Katherine Langford — star of the controversial Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why — shot some scenes for the final Avengers installment. Who exactly she portrayed was kept secret so as to reveal as little about the plot of the movie as possible. Langford fans, along with Marvel aficionados curious to see just what new hero or vital figure she might play, were left hanging when they actually saw Endgame, because Langford was nowhere to be found.

Only after half of the world saw Avengers: Endgame did directors Anthony and Joe Russo reveal Langford's non-purpose. During the five years between Thanos' "snap" and its subsequent reversal, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) settled down and had a daughter named Morgan, portrayed in the film as school-age by actress Lexi Rabe. Of course, Tony heartbreakingly has to part with his family and sacrifice himself to defeat Thanos. The Russos shot a dreamlike scene in which Tony would meet the young adult version of Morgan — portrayed by Langford. "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," Joe Russo told the Happy Sad Confused podcast (via Gamespot). The scene got cut because it was among "too many ideas in an overly complicated movie."

Even more fighting

The climactic battle of Avengers: Endgame is one of the most complicated ever put to film. After Thanos violently confronts the Avengers to reclaim his Infinity Stones, nearly every living hero in the vast Marvel universe comes together to defeat the Mad Titan once and for all. The sequence is as long as it is ambitious, taking up most of the final third of the movie. But if the screenwriters' initial plans had come to fruition, that fight for the ages could've been bigger. 

"We wrote and shot an even much longer battle, with its own three-act structure," co-writer Christopher Markus told the New York Times. Among the cuts was a scene-within-the-scene, falling during a three-minute ceasefire. "It didn't play well, but we had a scene in a trench," co-writer Stephen McFeely said. "And now there's 18 people all going, 'What are we going to do?' 'I'm going to do this.'" In the end, it all seemed forced and contrived. "When you have that many people, it invariably is, one line, one line, one line. And that's not a natural conversation," McFeely added. Markus also thought it would prove tough for the heroes to "find enough shelter to have a conversation in the middle of the biggest battle."

Black Widow prepares for battle, Captain America suffers

Avengers: Endgame was a highly anticipated movie, which left Marvel Studios in a tricky predicament. How could it promote the movie with trailers and not give away anything that hinted at a spoiler? "We use all the materials that we have at our disposal to create a trailer," co-director Joe Russo told the Happy Sad Confused podcast (via ComicBook.com). "Audiences are so predictive now that you have to be very smart about how you craft a trailer because an audience can watch a trailer and basically tell you what's gonna happen in the film." That meant using whatever non-offending footage they had, which included shots the Russos knew would not appear in the theatrical cut of Endgame.

The best trailers get an audience pumped up and convey a feel of the movie to come, and some of the stuff in the Endgame trailer but not Endgame itself do that. Among the "missing" footage is a sequence of Black Widow / Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) training for a big fight by rapidly unloading a firearm at a shooting range. If that's the "before" shot, there's a corresponding "after" bit in the trailer depicting a bloody and beaten Captain America (Chris Evans) mid-battle, heading once more into the fray as he boldly straps his mighty shield to his arm. That one made it to the finished cut, but there's a key difference in the footage — the trailer shows the shield whole, despite the fact that it's been split by Thanos' vicious assault in the film itself.

The trip to Vormir could've gone differently

While Avengers: Endgame scored high marks with critics and audiences, one of the major qualms fans have is the seemingly nonchalant way in which Black Widow, a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), makes her final exit. 

In Endgame, Black Widow and Hawkeye head to the planet Vormir to nab the Soul Stone, part of the plan to reverse Thanos' killing spree. But one of the two must die for the scheme to work, and it's Natasha who makes the ultimate sacrifice, diving off a cliff to her demise. According to screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely in the New York Times, they first wrote the scene the other way. "Jen Underdahl, our visual effects producer, read an outline or draft where Hawkeye goes over," McFeely said. "And she goes, 'Don't you take this away from her.'" It was Natasha's heroic moment, in other words, and to have Hawkeye die wouldn't have been as impactful.

And then there's the lack of a sendoff for Natasha — hard to ignore when Tony Stark gets a big funeral scene while she doesn't get one at all. "That's partly because Tony's this massive public figure and she's been a cipher the whole time," Markus said. "It wasn't necessarily honest to the character to give her a funeral."

More Thor!

With so much plot to get through and so many characters' journeys to complete, Avengers: Endgame didn't even have enough room in its three-hour runtime to fully address all of the old-school, first-generation Avengers — namely Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely put pen to paper for a lot of stuff about the hammer-wielding Asgardian that directors Anthony and Joe Russo didn't commit to film.

The time travel element of Endgame sends some characters back to the events surrounding the first Avengers film, but that decision was made in rewrites. "We went back to Asgard," McFeely said of an earlier draft. The sequence in question involved Tony Stark hitting up the home of the Norse gods wearing an invisibility-granting stealth suit, where he'd fight Heimdall, "who could see him." Also, fans hoping for a reunion between Thor and his true, mere mortal love Jane Foster almost got what they wanted. Markus said they wrote "long scenes with Natalie Portman" that wound up excised from the shooting script.

Hulk explain

Avengers: Endgame is, in parts, a very sad movie, an often meditative film about personal grief and feelings of collective loss, what with the world dealing with Thanos erasing half the world's population. Among the necessary palate-cleansing elements of the film are the delightful scenes with a brand-new iteration of the Incredible Hulk. Erudite scientist Bruce Banner has merged with his monstrous, smashing alter ego to live as one in the same body: a gigantic, green, glasses-wearing entity, nicknamed "Professor Hulk" because he wears glasses. 

Audiences don't see the convergence happen, nor is there much of an explanation — the new Hulk is just there, hanging out and eating diner pancakes. That isn't to say that Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely didn't consider trying to telegraph the transformation. Markus told the New York Times that he wondered how to "smash right into" the diner scene "without scenes of him in a lab." McFeely says that he even wrote some laboratory-set exposition scenes that never went in front of a camera.