The writers of Avengers: Endgame have explained why Captain Marvel only had a limited role in the movie, as her presence had the potential to overshadow the story of the original members of the team. Captain Marvel is one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is one of the few people with a shot at being able to take Thanos down in a fight, which meant that she had the potential to resolve many of the conflicts in Avengers: Endgame on her own.
The reveal of Captain Marvel happened during the post-credits sequence of the Captain Marvel solo movie, setting her up to join the Avengers for Avengers: Endgame, but Captain Marvel's role in Endgame was more limited than fans might have expected. Captain Marvel found Tony Stark in space (in an introduction that almost hid Captain Marvel's identity), after which she helped to slay the original Thanos, and was then gone from the movie until the final battle. It was explained that Captain Marvel was helping other worlds that had been affected by the Snap, which is why she was unable to assist during the time travel adventure to find the Infinity Stones.
There has been speculation as to why Captain Marvel was given a limited role in Avengers: Endgame and the writers of the movie have finally set the record straight. Marvel writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus spoke to Vanity Fair about their time working on the MCU and the build-up to Avengers: Endgame. According to Markus, the character of Captain Marvel presented problems for their plans for several reasons.
"Well, she was always going to be in it but we didn't have much to go on. They had cast her and that was it. It is a tough balance to strike when you have a character that powerful who you're going to bring in, and you don't want it to seem like, well we just brought in this person who can clean the house that we couldn't clean in the previous movie. So, we had to decide on a balance between not making it feel like a cameo but not having her around so much that she solved all of the problems for everybody"
McFeely also pointed out that Captain Marvel's powers had the potential to fix all of the problems in the movie, and the purpose of the story was to focus on the original members of the team.
"It also wasn't the point of the movie, the point of the second movie was saying goodbye to the original six Avengers, so their stories were gonna be way up here. (...) It was not fair to the other six Avengers to have Captain Marvel come in and solve all their problems, it didn't seem like good storytelling"
It seems that there were still discussions regarding Captain Marvel even as the film entered production, as behind-the-scenes photos of Avengers: Endgame shows Captain Marvel wearing her original outfit, which must have been changed in post-production. The fact that Brie Larson filmed her scenes in Avengers: Endgame before Captain Marvel shows how tumultuous the production schedule was and how it must have been difficult to make any last-minute changes in regards to the story or visuals of either film.
Captain Marvel was introduced at a late point during Phase Three, so it makes sense that her role in the final movie was not solidified when pre-production on Avengers: Endgame began. It's likely that the same thing won't happen in the future, as Captain Marvel 2 has been announced and Captain Marvel will be a big part of Phase Four of the MCU. The next crossover movie won't be able to ignore her existence so easily.
Source: Vanity Fair
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