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Endgame Originally Had Multiple Alternate Endings

It turns out there's a reason that none of the MCU's more spoiler-prone stars were able to spoil the finale of Avengers: Endgame.

In a recent interview, co-director Joe Russo revealed that multiple alternative, red-herring endings for Endgame were put to page — all meant to obscure the flick's true conclusion. (via ComicBook.com) Please be advised that spoilers for Endgame abound.

"So, we wrote alternate endings — obviously to throw people off the scent — or if you have to distribute scripts to people, you want to make sure the information is either redacted or not the true information," the director said. "So there are many multiple endings."

This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, considering that Endgame was bringing eleven years and 22 films worth of storytelling to a dramatic close. Also, considering the well-earned reputations of a couple of the franchise's loose-lipped stars — cough Mark Ruffalo cough cough Tom Holland — for spilling the beans on various plot points completely unprompted, a state of affairs which forced Russo and his brother Anthony to take extreme measures in regard to those two guys in particular.

When it came to Holland, the solution was simple: they just didn't let him see the entire script. Spidey was only given his pages and forced to shoot them with no context. "Tom Holland does not get the script. Tom Holland gets his lines and that's it," Russo said in the same interview. "He doesn't even know who he's acting opposite of. We'll just — we use like very vague terms to describe to him what is happening in the scene, because he has a very difficult time keeping his mouth shut."

Tough, but fair. As for Ruffalo, the Hulk claimed that he was given a script that contained some of those red herring scenes, with other crucial scenes missing entirely — although the Russos did not, as Ruffalo asserted, shoot five different endings just for the purpose of faking him out. "[We don't shoot] footage that is shot purposely for being fake footage," he said. "If there's something that works for a trailer, we'll do it for a trailer, but not, you know, like Ruffalo talking about [how] we shot five endings... we don't have the energy to shoot one ending... we're crawling to the finish line just to shoot one ending."

Russo understood the reason for his star's confusion, however. The director continued to say, "It gets complicated for him because he's in a motion capture suit, and sometimes we can throw him in a motion capture stage where he's not working with anybody, so it can get disorienting about, like, what's happening in the story."

Be that as it may, none of the directors' obfuscation — intentional or otherwise — could keep Ruffalo from, well, being Ruffalo. In the very same E! News interview in which the star made his comments about the fakeout endings, he wrapped up by blurting out, "He gets married in this!" while pointing to co-star Chris Evans, who presumably wished at that point that he was literally anywhere else. Captain America does indeed remain behind in the past to marry Peggy Carter at the conclusion of Endgame, and although it's quite possible that Ruffalo was totally convinced that the actual ending was just another fakeout, the fact remains that it was another spoiler-tastic moment from a man who couldn't keep from spewing plot points if his life depended on it. That is to say, it's quite likely that the Russos' plan for containing Ruffalo backfired spectacularly, which is pretty much what you would expect from the Hulk.

At any rate, it would be interesting to know just what kind of "What If?" scenarios the Russos and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely came up with, but all we can tell you for sure is that in the filmmakers' minds, none of the scripted alternate endings were ever actually on the table — up to and including the ultimate fates of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers. According to Russo, Stark's heroic, self-sacrificing snap and Rogers' decision to finally have that dance with Peggy were conceived long before the script for the film was even written.

Perhaps the creative minds behind Endgame will give us a few more details by way of commentary when the flick sees its Blu-Ray release, or when we're graced with the documentary that is surely already in the works about the historic film. Or maybe, Ruffalo will one day go public with a version of the script in which Captain Marvel simply drop-kicks Thanos into the Sun.