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The real reason Captain Marvel had such a tiny role in Endgame

Avengers: Infinity War teased her arrival in a post-credits scene people talked about for weeks. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said she would be the most powerful character the Marvel Cinematic Universe had ever seen once she made her official debut in her own solo film. And people everywhere were convinced she would be hero to finally bring Thanos to his knees. After all this hype, why did Captain Marvel have such a tiny role in Avengers: Endgame

The film's co-screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus addressed the question in a recent deep-dive interview with The New York Timesrevealing the real reason behind Captain Marvel's limited appearance in the superhero ensemble. 

As it happens, the explanation is simple: Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson filmed her sequences for Avengers: Endgame before she shot Captain Marvel and evidently before that film even had a draft of a script. Understandably, it would be difficult to write into Endgame a bunch of dialogue and action for a character whose origin story hadn't yet been told in the MCU at the time of filming. Without that foundation there, the Endgame team just couldn't include much of Captain Marvel in the movie. 

McFeely explained, "We shot [Brie Larson] before she shot her movie. She's saying lines for a character 20 years after her origin story, which no one's written yet. It's just nuts."

Additionally, McFeely stated that the focus of Avengers: Endgame wasn't to bring this hotshot new hero into the mix, feature her in most of the movie's biggest scene, and have her miraculously save the day. Sure, she came to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Nebula's (Karen Gillan) rescue at the top of Endgame, claimed she was going to jet off to kill Thanos shortly after, and swooped in to aid the Avengers in the final battle against Thanos (Josh Brolin), but Captain Marvel wasn't a major player in the movie. The Avengers and co. got to shine — and in McFeely's eyes, that's the way it was meant to be. 

"Certainly, Captain Marvel is in [Endgame] a little less than you would have thought. But that's not the story we're trying to tell — it's the original Avengers dealing with loss and coming to a conclusion, and she's the new, fresh blood," he said. 

Markus added that Captain Marvel had responsibilities elsewhere as well, so of course she wouldn't be solely tied to the Avengers' mission in Avengers: Endgame. Help out where she can? Definitely. Overstep her bounds or abandon her other commitments? No way. 

"She's been in space nearly half her life," he noted. "She has obligations."

McFeely and Markus' comments here can really open one's eyes up to the reality of moviemaking at Marvel. The studio maps out its film slate years in advance and sticks to a tight schedule to ensure that each planned movie gets made and shipped out on time. It works, as Marvel fans can look forward to at least a couple MCU entries rolling out during a calendar year, but there's also a slight drawback — and the Endgame screenwriters hit it on the head during this interview. Writers, directors, and actors can be limited in what they're logistically able to do in a given movie based on Marvel's super-efficient schedule. This appears to be what happened with Captain Marvel, her solo film, and Avengers: Endgame

Though Larson's Captain Marvel wasn't in Avengers: Endgame much, she still made a splash with her scenes. Fans adored watching her interact with the Avengers, particularly Chris Hemsworth's Thor, who quipped that he liked her because she didn't flinch when he summoned Stormbreaker and sent the weapon whooshing past her face. They also loved the interplay between Captain Marvel and Tom Holland's Spider-Man, who shared a pretty adorable moment during the Avengers-versus-Thanos fight at the end of the film. 

Now that Captain Marvel is firmly in the MCU, there's a chance fans can look forward to seeing a lot more of her in future films. The internet has sizzled with chatter about whether Marvel will make a Captain Marvel sequel ever since the hero's standalone film touched down this March. Marvel head honcho Feige even teased that the studio may already have ideas for a second Captain Marvel movie when he told Screen Rant, "The making of a first film is in some ways a brainstorm on the future and on what can be. So what it will be again is not clear. But what it could be is pretty amazing." With Feige also confirming that the first few years of Marvel's five-year post-Endgame plan will be announced this summer, it won't be long before we find out whether a Captain Marvel follow-up is in the cards and how big a part she could play in the next phase of the MCU