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Marvel Fans Spot Back To The Future Easter Egg In Avengers: Endgame

Great Scott! How did it take us so long to spot this sly little wink to Back to the Future Part II in Avengers: Endgame?

Ever since the release of the epic conclusion to the Infinity Saga, Marvel's fevered fan base has been busy sussing out the seemingly endless bounty of Easter eggs sprinkled throughout. Dozens of those cleverly hidden, fan-service treats have already been discovered by the MCU faithful, but it seems there was a fairly glaring nod to Robert Zemeckis' 1989 classic hidden in plain sight this whole time.

The latest Endgame Easter egg was uncovered by a particularly eagle-eyed Redditor who noticed that the Chitauri Leviathan that tries to get its chompers on Rocket in Endgame's climactic battle scene attacks in a fashion suspiciously similar to the holographic Jaws 19 advertisement that scares the bejeezus out of Marty McFly as he wanders the far-flung future of 2015. 

While nobody from Mighty Marvel has offered a comment on the stark (sorry) similarities between the scenes in question, one look at the split-screen video comparison posted to Reddit leaves little room for argument that the Endgame moment is a pretty clear call back to Back to the Future Part II's holo-shark attack. Of particular note is the bending trajectory of both McFly's hologram and Rocket's Leviathan, which match almost to a T, right down to the timing of the jaws opening; the nod is even more obvious when you watch both the shark and the Leviathan turn to dust, whether digital or physical, right as they chomp down on their would-be prey.  

As strong as the visual similarity is, it's hilarious to note how different the two scenes are from one another, with one centered on a gun-toting, anthropomorphic raccoon enmeshed in a full on superhero battle, and the other comedically playing as part of Marty McFly's wondrous vision of a future less written in stone than he thinks. Still, as far as Marvel Easter eggs go, this surprisingly blatant hat tip to the second chapter of the classic, time-traveling Back to the Future trilogy certainly ranks as one of the better catches among Marvel fandom.

That's not all Endgame has in common with the Back to the Future franchise

There may be a little more to this shout-out than meets the eye, particularly when you consider the fact that scribes Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely directly refer to the Back to the Future franchise in their screenplay. That moment comes when the Avengers are debating the potential dangers of reversing Thanos' infamous snap through time travel; in the course of the conversation, it's noted that in terms of current theories about quantum causality, Back to the Future did, in fact, get a lot of things wrong. As you likely recall, that admission leads Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) to infamously quip, "So Back to the Future is a bunch of bulls**t?"

That line certainly got its share of laughs, but it's also worth noting that Endgame really does follow a similar narrative track. First and foremost, Back to the Future Part II is itself centered around a "time-heist" that finds its central characters desperately attempting to set the future right by traveling to specific moments in the past. Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty (Michael J. Fox) are also out to retrieve an artifact which ultimately altered the fates of not just the central characters, but presumably untold numbers of others. While Endgame adds the wrinkle of having multiple heists in action at the same time, one could make a convincing argument (and at least one YouTuber has) that the plots are essentially the same.

For further examples, both films feature characters both hiding from themselves (Tony Stark, Thor) and encountering themselves (Steve Rogers). They even both utilize footage from a previous film in the course of their narratives, and they both feature a time-displaced son encountering his father. 

While it's quite clear that Markus, McFeely, and Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo had dramatically different goals in mind with all of those narrative elements, one can't help but assume that they're all quite familiar with the Back to the Future films — which means that those loving, winking nods to the franchise, for our money, may as well be open admissions of its conceptual influence over Endgame.

In an intriguing bit of serendipity, it also just so happens that the Back to the Future films and the Avengers franchise also share a composer: Alan Silvestri, who composed the scores for all three BttF flicks and three out of four Avengers movies (he opted out of Avengers: Age of Ultron). Of course, Silvestri is a true Hollywood legend who's basically spent his entire career scoring blockbusters — but hey, as long as we're drawing parallels here, we might as well go all the way.

At any rate, it's extremely cool to realize that Endgame's creative minds saw fit to... well, travel 30 years into the past to pay homage to a beloved franchise. Who knows, if that long-rumored Back to the Future Part 4 flick ever materializes, we might even see the folks involved cleverly tipping their own hats back at Endgame.