Deleted scenes from Avengers: Endgame featured on Disney+ reveal how reshoots for the film changed the time travel. After Thanos snapped away half of all life across the universe in Avengers: Infinity War, the remaining heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe had to figure out a way to undo this devastating act. This proved to be more difficult than they imagined, as it took them five years and Ant-Man luckily escaping the Quantum Realm to get the idea of going back in time to get the Infinity Stones for themselves.
The idea that Avengers: Endgame would use time travel became common among MCU fans the second that scenes from The Avengers were being reshot with new twists. But, this also brought some concern as time travel can be an incredibly difficult concept to properly pull off. For Avengers: Endgame, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and directors Anthony and Joe Russo defied Back to the Future and did rules of their own. While the time travel logic is mostly consistent throughout Avengers: Endgame, many have pointed out the flaws and inconsistencies. We previously chalked up the differences to reshoots, but thanks to Disney+ we actually know what was changed.
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There are six deleted scenes from Avengers: Endgame featured on the streaming service and two of them show how the explanation of time travel changed during reshoots. The most obvious difference comes with a previous version of Hulk and Ancient One discussing time travel. In the original version of the scene, the Ancient One explains what changes can be made to his reality with time travel - and what she says is quite familiar. She tells Hulk, "If you travel to the past from your present then that past becomes your future and your former present becomes your past, therefore you cannot be altered by your new future." This phrasing is almost exactly how Hulk explains the rules of time travel in the final cut of the movie.
Importantly, this deleted scene doesn't just change when the audience would learn about these time travel rules, but it also alters what the Avengers knew about their actions before going on the mission. Hulk mentions in this scene that if they take the Infinity Stones from the past, they will then change the timeline from where they originated from. This indicates that the Avengers went on their time travel missions with the possible belief that simply acquiring the Infinity Stones could prevent Thanos' actions. But, Ancient One's explanation of Avengers: Endgame's time travel rules shows why this is not accurate.
Once this Endgame scene was reshot, the Russo brothers stripped this explanation of time travel by Ancient One from it. She is still responsible for explaining that branched realities can be created if Infinity Stones are permanently taken away from the past. As for the explanation of Endgame's time travel rules, Hulk is the one who properly states it to the team while developing the Quantum Realm suits. This was also a reshot sequence based on another deleted scene on Disney+ showing Hulk, Nebula, and Ant-Man putting the final touches on the suits before Hawkeye takes it for a test run. Instead of this version, the scene was reshot to have Ant-Man in the suit and then leads to a reshot scene where Hulk explains how time travel actually works.
These deleted scenes confirm what many previously suspected but show us exactly how Avengers: Endgame's reshoots focused on clearing up this major element of the plot. Whether or not they were completely successful is up for debate, but the final versions of these scenes are superior to these deleted scenes.
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