Marvel cut an entire aerial action sequence from Avengers: Endgame. The climax of the MCU to date, Avengers: Endgame saw Earth's surviving heroes desperately attempt to rewrite history and undo the snap. They succeeded - but it all set up a stunning final battle, as the Thanos of 2014 traveled from the past and attempted to triumph once again.
What followed was probably the most impressive action sequence in the MCU to date, with the OG Avengers reinforced by every living MCU character - from Captain Marvel to Black Panther, from the Wasp to Doctor Strange. The armies of Wakanda marched behind King T'Challa, while the Ravagers worked alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy. It was easily the most complex fight scene Marvel has ever attempted to do - and it seems it could have been even more complicated.
Screen Rant had an opportunity to speak to Sean Gunn as part of the "I Love You 3,000" tour, and he revealed that Marvel actually cut an aerial action sequence.
"All I can tell you is really what we shot. Obviously, some of the fragment footage was cut from the final battle for good reason. From a narrative standpoint, they didn't want to cut to the Battle of the Sky, which makes sense, but I all I can say is that Kraglin was wearing his fin. He had the Yaka arrow on him, but it was sheathed and remained sheathed. So, I think all of that qualifies as canon, and the rest of it is up to anyone to speculate on that one."
Gunn's brief comment is fascinating, and suggests there's a whole different side to the final Avengers: Endgame battle that was shot, but ultimately cut because it distracted from the main story. It's safe to assume that this was during the initial melee, as the two armies clashed on the ravaged plains beside Avengers Compound, and it would perhaps have explained why Thanos' Sanctuary II ship took so long to participate in the battle. Chitauri gliders and Leviathans would have been presumably going up against the Ravager spaceships and the Wakandan combat vessels. It's safe to assume the heroes lost the Battle of the Sky, though; otherwise some of the Wakandans and Ravagers would surely have tried to run interference when Sanctuary II opened fire on the ground.
While this would have been thrilling, it's not hard to see why this was dropped. Most of Marvel's heroes are ground-based; only Captain Marvel, a former USAF pilot, is as comfortable in the air as she is on Terra Firma. What's more, Carol Danvers was late to the party, and was needed as part of the Infinity Gauntlet narrative. That means the aerial battle wouldn't have featured many recognizable characters, and Marvel ultimately decided to sacrifice it in order to explore how heroes like Drax, Giant-Man, and Black Panther handled themselves in the all-out war against Thanos and his forces. The interesting question, though, is just how many other shots were cut from the final fight? If Marvel cut Kraglin, they could conceivably have done the same for other parts of Avengers: Endgame's battle as well.
- 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