Avengers: Endgame was truly the end of an era for the MCU, both bringing to a close the Infinity Saga and marking the final time that we’ll see the original six Avengers together on screen. The credits were able to commemorate this emotional occasion by highlighting each of the founding members of the super-team. Following the long star-studded cast list, specially-created credits showcased Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans and, last but not least, the man who started it all, Robert Downey Jr.
It was the perfect way to cap off the grand conclusion to the first decade or so of the franchise, but as you’d expect, those credits didn’t arrive fully-formed. Design lab Exception Perception were hired to provide the sequence, following their work on many other MCU films, and they’ve now revealed some screenshots from their early designs for the Endgame credits, particularly how Downey’s showcase could’ve looked.
“The title sequence had three distinct sections, the Crew, the Cast, and the ‘Hero 6,'” writes Exception Perception on their website, describing how the credits sequence was created. “It was important to everyone involved that each section should feel unique but part of a greater whole. They decided to use film footage in a progressive way, beginning with abstract light rays and becoming more distinct as the sequence goes on.”
As you can see, these early designs still make use of footage from 2008’s Iron Man, so it’s clear that it was always the intention to hark back to the beginnings of the saga. The finished credits were definitely the way to go, though, as the choice to end with that clip of the first time Iron Man’s helmet closes helped aid the feeling of everything coming full circle, something started by Tony Stark repeating his iconic “I am Iron Man” line to Thanos in the movie’s conclusion.
Of course, Avengers: Endgame didn’t sport any real post-credits scenes, but these very special credits were definitely enough to make audiences feel like they’d just watched a momentous entry in the MCU.