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Kevin Feige Wanted To Kill Off An Eye-Opening Number Of Original Avengers Before The Russo Brothers Nixed It

"Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame" capped off a decade of intricately connected storytelling across 23 movies. Thanos (Josh Brolin) had been teased as the main villain behind multiple events in the MCU for years, but in "Infinity War," he finally fulfilled his infamous promise from the post-credit scene in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" to do things himself, collecting all six Infinity Stones spread across the galaxy, then wiping out half of all life in the universe with a snap of his fingers.

The so-called "snap" was certainly the most stunning thing ever to happen in the MCU. Audiences were stunned when "Avengers: Infinity War" concluded with the Mad Titan's plot succeeding. Theaters full of fans erupted in gasps as their favorite characters evaporated to dust on the screen, and some parents had to console their sobbing children with reassurances that things would turn out alright in the end (via Vice). And while most of the deaths were impermanent, with "Avengers: Endgame" restoring most of the heroes, that film killed off both Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), seemingly for good.

But according to "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame" directors Joe and Anthony Russo, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige had much more ruthless plans. In a clip from an upcoming interview, the sibling directorial team revealed how much further Feige wanted to go in killing off beloved members of the Avengers.

Feige pitched killing off all the original Avengers in Endgame

In a clip from a yet-unreleased episode of the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast, Joe and Anthony Russo revealed that, at one point, Kevin Feige wanted all six of the original Avengers to die in the process of saving the universe during the events of "Avengers: Endgame."

According to Joe Russo, "Kevin did actually pitch, at one point, taking all the OGs off the board." Such a scenario would have meant killing off not only Black Widow and Iron Man, but also Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and even Captain America (Chris Evans). However, the Russos claim they pushed back on the idea, with Joe continuing, "We thought it was too aggressive and that the audience wouldn't be able to process it."

In the end, the scope was narrowed to an end for only Natasha and Tony, with the rest of the team going their own way. In the released version of "Avengers: Endgame," Steve Rogers retires as Captain America, while Thor heads on adventures with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Last year, Hawkeye popped up in his eponymous, holiday-themed Disney+ show, while Hulk will feature in "She-Hulk" on that streaming platform later this month. Explaining their decision to keep the deaths minimal, Joe Russo said, "Picking one or two characters to make sacrifices throughout the movie might give you moments throughout the film where the action could stop and you could have emotional catharsis and then continue with the narrative."

However, the Russo Brothers emphasized that Feige's pitch happened before there was even a script ready for "Avengers: Endgame." Said Anthony Russo, "It was just on a conceptual level."