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False facts about Endgame you thought were true

When a movie is as culturally significant as Avengers: Endgame, now regarded as the highest-grossing film in history, it's safe to assume that every facet of its story and production has been meticulously examined by eagle-eyed fans after multiple viewings. Some comb the internet for Easter eggs and fan theories, while others stick to their own personal interpretations about plot points and how certain scenes were shot. Many MCU fanatics sound so sure of their Endgame opinions, it might feel as though Thanos and Tony Stark aren't the only ones cursed with knowledge ... but just how factual are their actual "facts?"

After copious post-release press junkets, Comic-Con appearances, and interviews, Endgame's now-legendary directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, as well as its prestigious screenwriters, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, have been open (comic) books, answering essentially any and every question thrown their way about the iconic film. Along the way, the two pairs have shed light on particular aspects of the movie, ranging from production secrets to controversial plot points. Perhaps even more importantly, they've debunked many popular fan theories. Here are some false facts about Endgame you possibly thought were true.

Skinny Stark in Avengers: Endgame

In Hollywood, it's not so uncommon for A-list actors and actresses to undergo insane weight fluctuations in order to take on various roles. For his part in 2004's The Machinist, Christian Bale dropped a jaw-dropping 63 pounds by heavily relying on a diet of apples, cigarettes, and coffee. On the other hand, Jared Leto packed on 60 pounds to play Mark David Chapman in 2007's Chapter 27. Talk about devotion to the craft!

In the opening minutes of Endgame, it's easy for audiences to believe that Robert Downey Jr., who'd already tacked on roughly 20 pounds of muscle to play Tony Stark in Iron Man 2, had yet again altered his body image for the role, this time slimming down in order to give the space-abandoned hero an emaciated appearance. However, it turns out that this was simply movie magic.

During the three-hour bonus audio commentary included on the film's Blu-Ray release, Joe Russo admits that RDJ's haggard look was actually a product of some nifty special effects, and that the Oscar-nominated actor didn't really lose weight for the movie's early scenes. "Our VFX team did an exceptional job of taking some weight off of him and making him look like he is on death's door." The Russos wanted audiences to believe that Tony Stark could actually die in the film's first act, which, to their credit, didn't seem so outlandish given his desperate situation and gaunt appearance.

The rise of Professor Hulk

One of the more controversial aspects of Endgame was the introduction of Professor Hulk, a version of the jade giant who had the combined brains of Bruce Banner with the strength and body of the Hulk. Although his transformation is a callback to comic lore, audiences didn't get to see Banner put the brains and brawn together on screen, instead learning of the strongest Avenger's new appearance in an expository scene over breakfast. As it turns out, this wasn't always how screenwriters Markus and McFeely had planned it.

When speaking at their "Writing Avengers: Endgame" panel at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, the writing team divulged that they'd originally planned for Banner and Hulk to merge in the third act of Infinity War, meaning that the character would've debuted before Endgame. "We wrote it. We shot it. He achieved union with the Hulk while inside the Hulkbuster. He burst out and kicked Cull Obsidian's space ass — and it didn't work." The scene was ultimately left on the cutting room floor.

To make matters even more complicated, Endgame had already been shot before they decided to amend the scene, and Professor Hulk was actually originally present when the Avengers kill Thanos in the film's first act. Although the Russos resolved the issue in reshoots by introducing the character's transformation after Endgame's five-year time jump, it's interesting that Smart Hulk was actually supposed to debut in the previous film, instead.

Putting old outtakes to use in Avengers: Endgame

Back in August of 2016, Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman made waves in the comic book community by stating that she would no longer be reprising her role of Jane Foster, Thor's longtime main squeeze, in the MCU. As she put it, "I don't know if maybe one day they'll ask for an Avengers 7 or whatever, I have no idea. But as far as I know, I'm done." But as it turned out, she didn't even have to wait for the seventh collaboration, popping up in Endgame, the fourth "official" Avengers installment, instead.

However, although her character did make an appearance, you'd actually be wrong if you thought that Portman had to shoot new scenes for the movie. When speaking to Business Insider, Jeffrey Ford, one of Endgame's editors, stated that the goal of the film's time-jumps was to use as much footage from the original MCU flicks as possible. Thus, the scene featuring Portman was actually an outtake from 2013's Thor: The Dark World, with Rocket Raccoon digitally added in. Aside from a little bit of voice-over work, the Black Swan actress didn't actually have to do anything new for her part in the movie. Doesn't the life of an A-list actress sound wonderful?

Goodbye, Bucky

The fraternal relationship of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes has been a longtime pillar in the MCU, spanning decades and overcoming conflicts along the way. Over the years, the dynamic duo has battled bullies, Nazis, each other, aliens, and even Team Iron Man in Civil War. Thus, when Cap decided to stay in the past during his final time-jump in Endgame, did you really think the two old BFFs wouldn't have said a proper goodbye first?

Although the film makes it look as though Cap didn't tell anyone about his secret agenda to stay in the past with his one true love, Peggy Carter, it turns out that at least one person was actually in the know. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Markus and McFeely confirmed that before he stepped on the time machine's platform, Steve had told Bucky about his plan. As McFeely asked, "Why would Bucky say, 'I'm going to miss you, pal,' if it was only going to be five seconds?" 

Although the writing team goes on to debunk the theory that Steve offered the Winter Soldier the mantle of Captain America before traveling back in time, it's clear that Cap and Bucky had a private, off-screen farewell honoring their brotherhood. With so many heartbreaking moments already in Endgame's third act, it's almost a relief that audiences didn't have to endure yet another touching goodbye!

New York or Asgard?

After Tony Stark discovers the successful formula for time travel, the remaining heroes put their heads together to determine where and when in history they can go in order to obtain the six Infinity Stones. With only a limited amount of remaining Pym Particles, Black Widow smartly realizes that during the Battle of New York in The Avengers, there were actually three stones in NYC at one time. Thus, the team could effectively kill three birds with one Infinity Stone.

Although New York felt like the obvious choice to maximize efficiency, there was actually another location in the MCU that once housed multiple stones at the same time. When speaking to The New York Times, Markus and McFeely disclosed that in Endgame's first draft, the heroes actually returned to Thor's legendary homeland of Asgard instead of NYC. "There's a moment in the MCU," McFeely said, "if you're paying very close attention, where the Aether is there, and the Tesseract is in the vault." McFeely went on to add that this version had an extremely interesting scene involving two fan favorites. "In that iteration, we were interested in Tony going to Asgard. He had a stealth suit, so he was invisible, and he fought Heimdall, who could see him." Although Joe Russo ultimately decided that going back to The Avengers was the best move, you have to admit that an Iron Man vs. Heimdall showdown sounds pretty entertaining.

Steve would be toast

It's no secret that Captain America has been the staunch morality compass in the MCU for the past decade, with an unyielding "can't quit" attitude and righteous outlook on the world as a whole. He's a man who knows right from wrong, and he defends his values with steadfast rigor. One of the most crowd-pleasing moments in Endgame is when Cap is deemed worthy of wielding Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, and uses it to briefly open a can of whoop-ass on the Mad Titan. Given that he could handle such a powerful legendary weapon, many people believed that Cap could've also wielded the Infinity Gauntlet without dying. However, this is actually untrue.

When speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Christopher Markus was pretty straightforward in what would've happened had the patriotic hero tried to snap everyone back to existence using the gauntlet. "I think Steve would be toast." Although Cap is able to momentarily hold his own against Thanos' hand in Infinity War, that scene wasn't intended to mean that he could wield the stones. As Marcus explained, "I think in that moment, Thanos is impressed by Steve's will. He's like, 'I can't believe this guy who apparently has no powers is trying this.'" Sounds like Cap should stick to hammers and shields.

No nod to Namor

During Black Widow's post-snap team meeting, Okoye, the loyal leader of Wakanda's Dora Milaje, made Marvel fans' ears perk up by reporting an underwater earthquake off of the African coast. The line seemed to be an obvious reference to Namor the Submariner, Marvel's version of Aquaman. In comic lore, Namor has had a particularly prickly relationship with Wakanda and Black Panther, even attacking the nation with his Atlantean army at one point. 

Given that a Black Panther sequel is officially in the pipeline, it made sense that Okoye's throwaway line could be foreshadowing for the character's introduction in the near future. However, it turns out that Endgame's screenwriters weren't planting a Namor Easter egg after all. "I wish we were that smart," Markus said to The Hollywood Reporter. Although it's still possible that Kevin Feige could retcon the line in a future installment, it appears as though Okoye's underwater earthquake was just nature, not Namor.

The unmentioned homing beacon

Upon first watch, you might find it a little too convenient that Captain Marvel is able to find the Benatar in Endgame just in the nick of time to save Tony and Nebula. After all, how did she know how to find them in outer space? Dumb luck? As it turns out, if you thought that Carol just randomly stumbled upon the spacebound heroes, you'd be wrong. In fact, Tony wasn't even the first Avenger that she came into contact with.

In Captain Marvel's mid-credits scene, Carol meets the Avengers when she returns to Earth after Thanos' snap. Although that moment wasn't really addressed in Endgame, director Joe Russo confirmed its importance in the commentary track of the film's digital release, saying, "The missing narrative of course is that she came to Earth, met the Avengers, was brought up to speed on what was happening, and there's some sort of homing beacon on that ship that she tracks and brings the two of them back to Earth." Russo explaining that the ship had a homing beacon avoided a potential plot hole that many fans had long wondered about.

That's not Talos in Endgame

In the waning moments of Endgame, Peter Parker returns to his high school and is reunited with his best friend and "man in the chair," Ned Leeds. While the scene seems pretty straight-forward to the untrained eye, some extremely detail-oriented fans noticed a potentially spoilery figure in the shot's background: Talos, the shape-shifting Skrull from Captain Marvel

The person in question certainly shares similarities to that of Ben Mendelsohn, who plays Talos, so the theory wasn't too outlandish. Then, when it's revealed that Mendelsohn's sneaky Skrull was in fact in Spider-Man: Far From Home, many fans were convinced of the character's appearance in Endgame. However, this actually isn't the case.

When speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Markus and McFeely stated that they don't even know if Ben Mendelsohn was in the film or not. Thus, they obviously didn't write the character's cameo into the script. Apparently, it's not uncommon for fans to falsely notice Easter eggs that aren't there. As Markus said, "There are things people have told me about these movies, which we have worked on for nearly five years, that I've never seen, so I should probably watch it again."

Quantum physicists lend some logic

Anytime a movie deals with time travel, it's inevitable that people are going to have strong opinions. The time travel logic applied in Endgame was a divisive topic for many fans, with some accepting it as sensible and others declaring it a big, confusing pile of balderdash. Regardless of where you stand on the subject, you probably assume that the writers, cleverly or not, made up the film's rules of time travel, and that there was no actual scientific evidence applied to it, right?

Wrong! When speaking to The New York Times, Markus and McFeely admitted that they actually brought quantum physicists into the writers' room to explain time travel and help define the logic applied in Endgame. As the duo explained, "We had physicists come in — more than one — who said, basically, Back to the Future is [wrong]." It turns out that Professor Hulk's confusing explanation wasn't a bunch of Hollywood mumbo-jumbo, after all.

No Nova in Avengers: Endgame

In August 2019, the Russo brothers had a little fun at the expense of the MCU's loyal fanboys. While appearing on a Q&A session for Wired, the directors were asked why no members of the Nova Corps, one of Marvel's most famous intergalactic peace forces, appeared in Endgame's final fight sequence. Joe Russo's surprising response caused quite a ruckus among the comic book community. "Look closely at that scene again ... and you will see Richard Rider in the background of the shot. Easter egg."

Richard Rider is most-known by his alter-ego, Nova, a human who gains the powers of the Nova Corps (and eventually becomes an Avenger). News of the character's rumored inclusion sent fans into a frenzy, spending hours scouring the backgrounds of Endgame's final battle and trying to find the helmeted hero. Thanks to Russo's apparent confirmation, most believed Nova secretly did make a cameo.

However, much to the disappointment of many now-convinced fans, the director later made a troubling confession about Nova's "confirmed" appearance to ComicBook.com: "That was actually a joke on our part." Talk about trolling the masses!

When Larson met Danvers

When Brie Larson's powerful heroine, Captain Marvel, appears to save Tony and Nebula in Endgame, it isn't exactly an Earth-shattering moment for the audience. After all, they'd already seen Larson headline her own movie, Captain Marvel, only a month earlier. However, the Oscar-winning actress remembers her Endgame appearance in a more personal light, and for good reason.

Most people seem to assume that the first time Larson played Carol Danvers was in her solo flick, which hit theaters before Endgame. However, as it turns out, Captain Marvel was actually the second time the actress played the role, with her first performance taking place in Endgame. "This film [Endgame] will always be personally dear to me because it was my first time playing Captain Marvel." Larson recalled that she shot her scenes for the film before she had even seen the script for Captain Marvel, which made it tough to understand what made Carol tick. As she explained, "We shot this first so I had to stumble and figure out who this character was with no script for this and no script for Captain Marvel, either, and perform for the first time in front of legends." Fortunately, Larson was up to the task.