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The New Avengers: Endgame Re-Release Footage Explained

Whether the point of it is to reward fans, to finally steam past Avatar in ticket sales, to act as an advertisement for the eventual home release, or all of the above, the Avengers: Endgame re-release is here with new footage. 

Endgame director Anthony Russo introduces the film briefly, warning fans to stay after the credits. During the credits themselves, the only change is that during the sequence with the original Avengers cast's autographs, the lighting is altered to make the actors' faces easier to see. The credits end on the Marvel logo with the sound of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) hammering away on his first crack at the Iron Man armor, and finally we get to the extra stuff we've been waiting for. 

The new footage includes a touching tribute to the late Stan Lee, a scene that would have — had it made the cut — introduced Professor Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and finally a preview clip from the upcoming Spider-Man: Far from Home

For a closer look, here's our explanation of the new footage in the re-release of Avengers: Endgame.

Saying goodbye to Stan

After the credits, you might want to keep your tissues ready for a tribute to one of the men who built the Marvel Universe — the late Stan "The Man" Lee.

Most of the footage comes from the sets of the various MCU films Lee appeared in with his wonderful cameos. We catch snippets of interviews, including one Lee gives while dressed as Hugh Hefner for his cameo in 2008's Iron Man. James Gunn proudly declares Stan's greatness as Lee prepares to shoot his cameo hanging out with the Watchers in 2017's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The casts and crews are all charmed by the charismatic old writer. Chris Evans belts out big laughs as the two sit at nearby tables in an outdoor patio in a deleted scene from 2012's Avengers. Lee forces Chris Hemsworth to break character after the actor delivers the line about his drink coming from barrels made "from the wreck of Grunhill's fleet" in Age of Ultron (which was apparently Lee's favorite cameo) by responding with "What the hell did you just say?" When Brie Larson hugs him on the set of 2018's Captain Marvel, if you didn't know who he was beforehand and you could only judge by the look on Larson's face, you'd think it was her own grandpa. 

And if you still haven't teared up, the words appearing at the end of the tribute — "Stan, We Love You 3000" — should do the trick.

Hulk saves Nakatomi

This deleted scene opens on what should remind you of 1988's game-changing action classic Die Hard. An office building is on fire, and below, emergency crews struggle to save the few people left inside. Reginald VelJohnson — who plays LAPD Sergeant Al Powell in Die Hard – calls urgently for "more choppers" and in the sky we see something leap from one building to another, crushing walls as it goes. Eventually, the Hulk bursts from the building and lands on the ground near the emergency workers, with the endangered citizens safely cradled in the bowl of a satellite dish Hulk holds over his head. After setting the dish down and giving the crowd the same kind of casual, gracious wave you'd expect from Superman after saving a handful of civilians, the Hulk gets a call, presumably from Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). After picking up, Hulk walks offscreen, saying "Steve who?"

This last line tells us this was meant to be an early scene — between the Avengers' first failed attempt to get Stark to help them figure out time travel and the hilarious scene in the diner when they all meet Professor Hulk.

Unfortunately, because the scene didn't make the final cut, we don't get a fully realized Hulk as far as effects are concerned. The Hulk we get is a pre-visualized, physically less distinct character than we would expect. Still, it's entertaining and a little interesting. 

Hulk: The last Avenger?

Professor Hulk is much more like a traditional superhero than past versions. The more savage Hulk would never find himself in this scene. He might save office workers from a fire, but only if he was already out — and he wouldn't be out unless there was a fight. And there's no battle in the deleted scene; just people who need help.  

Ironically, as far the post-Snap Marvel Universe is concerned, he seems to be the only Avenger acting like an Avenger. All we see Cap do is attend a support group and hang out with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) at the Avengers compound. We get the impression Widow doesn't see the outside of the compound all that much. Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) has gone rogue and is slaughtering crime cartel members across the globe. It's only the usually destructive Hulk we see acting like a superhero.

It also brings up a question we've asked before – why is Bruce Banner free and not on the run? Before his return to Earth in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, the Hulk is wanted for his rampage in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Now that he's back, has all been forgiven? Did he work something out with the government? In the wake of Thanos' snap, do the governments of the world simply not care? Or is he technically still wanted, it's just that for obvious reasons no one wants to be the one to try to slap cuffs on him? 

The preview

After the tribute and the deleted scene, we get something much more like the post-credits and mid-credits scenes we're used to. In this case — like the mid-credits scene of 2016's Doctor Strange and the post-credits scene of 2015's Ant-Man — what we get at the end of the Endgame re-release seems to be part of a scene pulled directly from the upcoming Spider-Man: Far from Home. Anyone who's been paying attention will recognize shots and lines of dialogue from trailers and TV spots. 

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) drive to the devastated town of Ixtenco, Mexico. We don't know exactly what happened, but Fury mentions a "cyclone" that locals said "had a face." Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) appears in a column of green smoke and is confused when he sees the S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives pointing their guns at him. One of the destructive elementals appears — possibly Sandman — and Fury and Hill turn to face it. Warning them that "You don't want any part of this," Mysterio blasts green energy at the creature, and the scene cuts away to the Spider-Man: Far from Home logo. 

Like the deleted scene, this preview feels like it goes by almost too quickly, but nevertheless raises a couple of questions.

Far from Home

One of the more interesting aspects of the Far from Home preview is that it's set in Mexico. It seems strange that Fury and Hill's first encounter with both Mysterio and one of the elementals would be set in North America while presumably the rest of the action will be in Europe.

There's also the question of exactly why Fury and Hill are in Mexico. When they leave the car, Hill seems annoyed. She tells Fury that the devastation we see in Ixtenco is tragic, but that "it's not why we're here." So why are they there? What are they investigating? Will it turn out that Hill is wrong, and that Ixtenco's destruction directly relates to their mission? Or is it completely unrelated? In perfect MCU fashion, will their undisclosed mission in Mexico lead to a tease for another movie?

One of the great things about the MCU is that when it comes to questions like this, there's room to be surprised. In any other type of film, we could assume that Fury and Hill's unnamed mission will be related to that film's story, otherwise it wouldn't even be mentioned. But in a Marvel movie? You never know. With the long game they play and how they love to tease us, Fury and Hill's Mexico mission could be about Far from Home. It could also be about Eternals or Black Panther 2 — or a movie five years in the future we haven't even heard rumors about yet.