AVENGERS: ENDGAME Writers Talk Movie Spoilers


There are plenty of spoilers ahead.

Seriously... lots of spoilers.

You have been warned.

Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely spoke about AVENGERS: ENDGAME to The New York Times and here's some of the most interesting parts of their interview.

On Thanos' death early in the movie:

McFEELY We always had this problem. The guy has the ultimate weapon. He can see it coming. It’s ridiculous. We were just banging our heads for weeks, and at some point, [the executive producer] Trinh Tran went, “Can’t we just kill him?” And we all went, “What happens if you just kill him? Why would you kill him? Why would he let you kill him?” 
MARKUS It reinforced Thanos’s agenda. He was done. Not to make him too Christ-like, but it was like, “If I’ve got to die, I can die now.”

On why they had Thor as he is in Endgame:

MARKUS ... When we were spitballing for “Endgame,” we started with, Thor’s on a mission of vengeance. And then we were like, he was on a mission of vengeance in the last movie. This is all this guy ever does! And fails, all the time. Let’s drive him into a wall and see what happens.
McFEELY He just got drunk and fat.

On using time travel in the film:

MARKUS We looked at a lot of time-travel stories and went, it doesn’t work that way.
McFEELY It was by necessity. If you have six MacGuffins and every time you go back it changes something, you’ve got Biff’s casino, exponentially. So we just couldn’t do that. We had physicists come in — more than one — who said, basically, “Back to the Future” is [wrong].
MARKUS Basically said what the Hulk says in that scene, which is, if you go to the past, then the present becomes your past and the past becomes your future. So there’s absolutely no reason it would change. 

McFEELY In the first draft, we didn’t go back to the [original] “Avengers” movie. We went back to Asgard. But there’s a moment in the M.C.U., if you’re paying very close attention, where the Aether is there and the Tesseract is in the vault. In that iteration, we were interested in Tony going to Asgard. He had a stealth suit, so he was invisible, and he fought Heimdall, who could see him.
MARKUS Thor had long scenes with Natalie Portman. And Morag [the planet where Peter Quill finds the Orb] was hugely complicated.
McFEELY It was underwater! That was clever but it was just too big a set piece. What that didn’t do is allow for Thanos and his daughters to get on the trail at the right moment. So we went back to when Peter Quill was there. And we realized that when you can punch Quill in the face, it’s hilarious. I still think it’s hilarious.
MARKUS There were entirely other trips taken. They went to the Triskelion at one point to get the [Tesseract], and then somebody was going to get into a car and drive to Doctor Strange’s house.
McFEELY Just saying it out loud, it’s like, what are we doing?
MARKUS It was when we were trying to avoid going to “Avengers” because it seemed pander-y.
McFEELY We’re not always right.
MARKUS The obvious ones seemed so obvious that it’s too obvious.
McFEELY Eventually, Joe Russo went, why are we going to this movie when we can go to “Avengers?” Let’s make it work.

On that female Avengers moment:

McFEELY There was much conversation. Is that delightful or is it pandering? We went around and around on that. Ultimately we went, we like it too much.
MARKUS Part of the fun of the “Avengers” movies has always been team-ups. Marvel has been amassing this huge roster of characters. You’ve got crazy aliens. You’ve got that many badass women. You’ve got three or four people in Iron Man suits.

On why Black Widow died, but didn't get a funeral:

McFEELY Her journey, in our minds, had come to an end if she could get the Avengers back. She comes from such an abusive, terrible, mind-control background, so when she gets to Vormir and she has a chance to get the family back, that’s a thing she would trade for. The toughest thing for us was we were always worried that people weren’t going to have time to be sad enough. The stakes are still out there and they haven’t solved the problem. But we lost a big character — a female character — how do we honor it? We have this male lens and it’s a lot of guys being sad that a woman died.
MARKUS Tony gets a funeral. Natasha doesn’t. That’s partly because Tony’s this massive public figure and she’s been a cipher the whole time. It wasn’t necessarily honest to the character to give her a funeral. The biggest question about it is what Thor raises there on the dock. “We have the Infinity Stones. Why don’t we just bring her back?”
McFEELY But that’s the everlasting exchange. You bring her back, you lose the stone.

On how it was almost Hawkeye who made the ultimate sacrifice instead of Black Widow:

McFEELY There was, for sure. Jen Underdahl, our visual effects producer, read an outline or draft where Hawkeye goes over. And she goes, “Don’t you take this away from her.” I actually get emotional thinking about it.
MARKUS And it was true, it was him taking the hit for her. It was melodramatic to have him die and not get his family back. And it is only right and proper that she’s done.

On why Tony Stark had to die:

McFEELY Everyone knew this was going to be the end of Tony Stark.
MARKUS I don’t think there were any mandates. If we had a good reason to not do it, certainly people would have entertained it.
McFEELY The watchword was, end this chapter, and he started the chapter.
MARKUS In a way, he has been the mirror of Steve Rogers the entire time. Steve is moving toward some sort of enlightened self-interest, and Tony’s moving to selflessness. They both get to their endpoints.
MARKUS ... Because we had the opportunity to give him the perfect retirement life, within the movie.
McFEELY He got that already.
MARKUS That’s the life he’s been striving for. Are he and Pepper going to get together? Yes. They got married, they had a kid, it was great. It’s a good death. It doesn’t feel like a tragedy. It feels like a heroic, finished life.

There is a lot more in the interview The New York Times did with Markus and McFeely and you can read all of it here.