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Captain Marvel's Endgame fight with Thanos was changed at the last minute

Apparently, no one hero should have too much power. 

Avengers: Endgame was released eight months ago, yet with so much happening in the three hour-plus movie, it makes sense that the team behind the film is still answering some of our biggest burning questions about why and how the story unfolded the way it did. Among the many things still on fans' minds is that short but intense fight between Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), one of the MCU's mightiest heroes, and Thanos (Josh Brolin), one of its mightiest villains. 

As part of an oral history of Endgame's epic final battle, Slashfilm spoke to the movie's editor Jeff Ford, who revealed how the sequence featuring Thanos and Captain Marvel, real name Carol Danvers, evolved after Larson took on her role. According to Ford, the first part of the scene, as Captain Marvel arrives to join the fight, went exactly as planned. Danvers showing up to draw hostile fire and plow through the atmosphere — and then Thanos' ship — was written into the script "from day one," according to Ford.

But that's where things started to shift. Ford says that the team "loved what Brie was doing with the character" so much that they made the choice to alter and expand the moments leading up to Thanos defeating the intergalactic hero. It was a choice that didn't happen during initial filming, but instead came during reshoots. 

"[Endgame co-director] Anthony [Russo] came up with the great idea — this was a reshoot, by the way, at the last minute — he had the great idea that Thanos pulls the power stone out of the gauntlet, and then he punches her with the raw power stone. That is a fantastic use of that prop and that story point, [and] that's what you want," Ford told the film site.  

It's heartening, if not exactly surprising, to hear that Larson owned the character of Danvers so thoroughly that the filmmakers conceived a slightly more involved scene for the hero. But is also raises the question: why tease the emergence of the MCU's most powerful hero if she's not going to be the one to put a stop to the Mad Titan's wrath?

Fighting power with power

One of the most common fan criticisms around Captain Marvel's appearance in Endgame is how little she appears in the film, especially considering that she seemed to have been set up to be a major factor in the final battle. 

In an Avengers: Infinity War post-credits scene, Nick Fury's "page" to Danvers in the midst of the fallout from Thanos' infamous snap helped build a powerful image of Danvers' potential in the MCU. For that matter, so did her solo movie, which not only introduced audiences to her cosmically impressive powers, but was the last film released before Avengers: Endgame. In some ways, Danvers' solo flick felt like a bridge between the admittedly vague potential Infinity War teased viewers with, and her impending emergence in the larger hero-filled universe — and of course, long before Danvers' introduction to the MCU, we also had Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige promising us that she was "as powerful a character as we've ever put in a movie."

While it's easy to see how fans could feel like perhaps Danvers' power wasn't quite as formidable as had been teased, Ford insisted that just the opposite was true. Rather than her tussle with Thanos taking away from her insane level of power, he said, her loss to Evil Grimace helped to underscore it. 

"We had to find a way that [Thanos] could sideline Captain Marvel for a minute, because she's so powerful, there's no way to do it," Ford explained. "I think [Thanos' Power Stone tactic] sells the notion of how powerful she is, and then having Thanos take her out shows how powerful he is."

A good point — after all, Thanos didn't feel the need to pluck the Power Stone from the gauntlet and punch someone right in the face with it until he came up against Captain Marvel. We submit, though, that whatever filmmakers eventually take on the task of bringing us Captain Marvel 2 will have their work cut out for them; they'll be working with a hero who has taken an Infinity Stone to the face and walked away, so it sure seems like it'll be tough to come up with a villain who is a believable threat.