Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo altered some of the film’s already tight-lipped marketing materials to better conceal spoilers.
The trailers and TV spots, mostly contained to recycled or repurposed footage, did have numerous scenes that ultimately didn’t make the final cut, including a 2012-set handshake between Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) as well as a training sequence or sequences focused on Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).
“We use all the material that we have at our disposal to create a trailer,” Joe Russo said in May when explaining why a key shot highlighted in the Avengers: Infinity War marketing materials never made it into the film.
“We look at the trailer as a very different experience than the movie, and I think audiences are so predictive now that you have to be very smart about how you craft a trailer because an audience can watch a trailer and basically tell you what’s gonna happen in the film. We consume too much content. So at our disposal are lots of different shots that aren’t in the movie that we can manipulate through CG to tell a story that we want to tell specifically for the purpose of the trailer and not for the film.”
Ahead, a spoiler-filled look at the dropped or altered scenes of Endgame:
Scenes showing Natasha exhausting a clip while practicing at the shooting range and landing a heavy blow on a punching bag did not make it into the final cut, slivers of footage belonging to just a few minutes of deleted scenes.
“This is a weird one; we’ve been working on this movie for well over a year in editorial because we had finished it in 2018,” Joe said of the three-hour, two-minute picture. “And it literally hasn’t moved maybe more than two minutes from its original runtime of the directors’ cut. It’s just a tough one, there’s a lot of story in it. And we like emotional stakes that require screen time.”
One shot, belonging to the film’s spoiler-heavy climax, shows Captain America battered and bloodied and bracing for a second round. Pissed, he readies his star-spangled shield and straps it to his arm.
In the film, the near-invulnerable shield has been shattered by the sword wielded by Thanos (Josh Brolin) of the past, who ferociously attacks the super soldier atop the ruins of the Avengers’ destroyed headquarters. When Cap straps it to his arm, staring down the forces of Thanos and his army, the shield has been severed nearly in half.
Trailers showed an angry-looking Thor (Chris Hemsworth) flowing with electric energy while floating and wielding the Thanos-killing Stormbreaker, a shot not included in the final film. All advertising hid Thor’s post-time jump look, which finds the Asgardian as a long-haired, overweight slacker looking not too dissimilar from the Dude in The Big Lebowski.
One heavily altered exchange finds Tony and Steve in a city alleyway. When Tony asks if Steve trusts him, and Steve affirms he does, they shake hands. The exchange is mostly untouched in the film, save for the nonexistent handshake, with a key difference: Steve wears the suit he wore in 2012 during the events of The Avengers, a point in time in which Tony, Steve, and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) return to via time travel in hopes of retrieving the Mind Stone and the Space Stone.
Marketing material was altered to show Steve in the Winter Soldier stealth suit he wears for the first portion of the film set in the first three weeks after Infinity War, before Endgame jumps five years into the future.
The first Endgame trailer, released in December, ends with Steve and Natasha receiving a surprise visit from Scott Lang, who has somehow been freed from the Quantum Realm.
In the film, we learn Scott escapes when a rat presses the control panel within the abandoned X-Con van, reigniting the Quantum device used to access the inter-dimensional portal. Scott finds himself five years in the future, and meets with a Natasha who now has red hair, unlike the blond Infinity War look shown in the trailer.
Another altered shot comes when Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) readies himself for action on the shoulder of War Machine (Don Cheadle). In the film, this shot happens when the two Avengers are placed there by a Giant-Man during the final standoff against Thanos and his army, but the reveal of the skyscraper-sized superhero was removed for trailers. Also removed from that shot is a certain not-so-jolly Green Goliath.
Just glimpsed in trailers is a powered up Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), who soars into action while glowing with energy. In a shot taken from the final battle, Captain Marvel suits up with her helmet; in the film, no headpiece is ever worn. This shot was altered for trailers to conceal the superhero’s new haircut revealed after the five-year time jump.
Another key fakeout comes in the group shot that sees the team, led by Captain America, walk with purpose through Avengers headquarters.
Though mostly cast in shadow, we can see Thor and Black Widow appearing as they do in Infinity War; in the film, this gathering plays out much differently as the team walks towards what we now know is a time travel portal device. In the film, Widow at this point has different hair that’s again red and Thor is overweight.
Bruce Banner-slash-Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), who in the unseen five years transformed himself into Professor Hulk, is also erased from the setting. Banner-Hulk was also dropped from a shot included in trailers showing Rocket entering Thor’s house in New Asgard.
The scant seconds of dropped or altered footage delivers on Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige’s January promise marketing materials would mostly only use footage from the film’s first act.
“I’d call it somewhat accurate,” Feige told MTV News when asked if marketing would mostly be contained to the first 20-something minutes of the film.
“As was the case with a lot of our films, this one in particular, being able to generate a lot of excitement without giving away one of the many, many, many secrets. I think the Disney marketing team is the best in the world and we’ll be able to pull it off.”
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