Avengers: Endgame's final battle is the biggest action sequence in the MCU, but there are several ways it was almost very different, with a number of scenes cut from the finale. Avengers: Endgame is now the highest-grossing movie of all-time, and provided a satisfying conclusion to Marvel's Infinity Saga.
After a time heist storyline that saw the Avengers time-travel via the Quantum Realm in order to retrieve the Infinity Stones and bring all of the blipped heroes back, Avengers: Endgame culminated with an epic battle that brought together just about every known MCU superhero to fight against Thanos and his minions. Covering much of the film's final third, and concluding with Iron Man's own snap and death, it's an action scene worthy of the fourth Avengers film.
While some of the moments in Avengers: Endgame's final battle were instantly iconic - the A-Force team-up, Captain America wielding Mjolnir, and Tony's Snap, for example - there are a number of scenes that could've played out differently, and some that were cut altogether.
Thanos Throws Captain America's Decapitated Head
Thanos is a man who knows how to make an entrance, but even by his standards his original entry onto the battlefield in Avengers: Endgame was quite something. The initial idea was to have Thanos find and kill the Avengers in 2014, and then the Mad Titan would arrive in 2023 and throw Captain America's decapitated head at the feet of the present-day Avengers. Joe Russo said: "We had most of the script working except for the third act, because Anthony and I were clinging to this concept that we wanted Thanos to walk up to the Avengers and throw Captain America’s head on the ground."
Kevin Feige went further with the idea, describing a scene of Thanos sitting atop a throne of skulls and bones when the Avengers return to the present day, with the Mad Titan having already conquered the world, and throwing Captain America's head at Cap like a bowling ball. Either way, it would've been incredibly dark for a film that is supposed to be child-friendly, although the idea was scrapped mostly to find a way of getting Thanos from 2014 to 2023 in a fashion that flowed better, and so it instead begins with his attack on the Avengers Compound. The scene was never shot, but hopefully some concept art will see the light of day eventually.
Valkyrie & Okoye Swap Weapons
Valkyrie and Okoye both got to play their part in Avengers: Endgame's final battle, with the Asgardian and Wakandan forming part of the A-Force team-up, but there was almost another scene just for the two of them. As seen in unused concept art, Valkyrie and Okoye would've swapped weapons in Avengers: Endgame, so Okoye would've wielded Valkyrie's sword, and in turn she would've used the former's vibranium-tipped spear. The scene was designed to show that the two are so skilled in combat it doesn't matter what or whose weapon they're using, but it's not too hard to see why it was cut. The scene involving Cap and Thor, with the former lifting Mjolnir, needed to seem special, and this weapon-swapping might've been a bit too repetitive to work.
An Aerial Battle, With Kraglin Involved
Much of the action in the final battle of Avengers: Endgame takes place on the ground, which makes sense since that's where most of the superheroes typically prefer to do their fighting. Nonetheless, Marvel movies were once known for big aerial fight sequences, so it's not too much of a surprise to hear that Avengers: Endgame did shoot one that ultimately went unused. Sean Gunn told Screen Rant an aerial battle was shot for Avengers: Endgame, and that he had Yondu's arrow with him, although it didn't get used. It's likely that this sequence would've taken place relatively early on in the final Endgame battle, with the Ravagers and Wakandan ships going up against enemies such as the Chitauri. It would've distracted from the action on the ground though, and aside from Kraglin wouldn't have featured many recognizable heroes, so it makes sense that it was scrapped.
Captain America Unsure He Can Lift Mjolnir
Captain America wielding Mjolnir isn't just a highlight of Avengers: Endgame's final battle, but one of the most fan-pleasing moments in the entire MCU - yet it could've gone down in a rather different manner. Unused Avengers: Endgame concept art shows Captain America unsure he can actually lift Mjolnir, with Thor's hammer lying on the ground in front of him, rather than flying straight into his hand. This fits with the common belief of Steve Rogers not being worthy as seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and works with his own belief that he might not be. However, the Russos have said Captain America was always worthy, and their presentation of the scene works better with that idea, and gives a more epic presentation of it. This still would've been great, but given the finished version elicited cheers in cinemas around the world, it's safe to say they made the right choice.
The Superheroes Plan From The Trenches
The final battle in Avengers: Endgame is already very long, but it was almost even longer, and would've included a scene where many of the superheroes involved pause for breath and begin to strategize what their next moves will be. As the BTS photo from Avengers: Endgame shows, it would've included many of the biggest characters, including Captain America, Spider-Man, Star-Lord, and Iron Man. The scene ran for approximately three minutes, which is quite a long time to pause the action for a break in the trenches, and that's ultimately why it was cut. Writer Stephen McFeely said: "It didn't play well... When you have that many people, it invariably is, one line, one line, one line. And that’s not a natural conversation."
Tony Sees Morgan Stark (Played By Katherine Langford)
13 Reasons Why star Katherine Langford's role in Avengers: Endgame was cut, and it's one of the biggest scenes the Russos decided not to include in the film. Langford's role was the subject of much speculation heading into Avengers: Endgame, and there was a lot of surprise when she never appeared. It's since been confirmed that she would've played an older version of Morgan Stark, appearing to Tony in a metaphysical realm after he performs his snap. It would've been a parallel of a young Gamora appearing to Thanos in the Soul World at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, but the Russos decided it didn't work in the context of the movie, especially as audiences didn't have an emotional connection to an adult version of Morgan. Still, it remains a major deleted scene, and one that's yet to surface.
Marvel Heroes Pay Tribute To Tony Stark (& Gamora Leaves)
"Where is Gamora?" may be an Infinity War gag, but it is one of Avengers: Endgame's biggest questions, and one that it leaves behind at the end of the film, likely setting up Guardians of the Galaxy 3. But while audiences simply had to assume she'd left the battlefield at some point, this Avengers: Endgame deleted scene confirmed it - and had a poignant tribute to Tony Stark to boot. Coming at the point when Tony dies because of the snap, it sees every MCU hero assembled there taking a knee one-by-one in tribute to Iron Man, before cutting to Gamora, who quietly walks away. It fills in a key mystery and is touching, but at the same time it performs the same function as the even better funeral scene that comes not long afterwards, so it's easy to see why it was cut from Avengers: Endgame.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022