Avengers: Endgame Writers Explain How The MCU’s Time Travel Works


Now that Avengers: Endgame has been seen by an insanely huge number of people, co-writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely apparently feel at liberty to discuss the more spoiler-y details of the latest MCU movie.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, for instance, the scribes shared their thoughts on a wide range of topics related to the Avengers: Infinity War sequel, including the matter of the film’s time travel plot. In recent days, the story has been the subject of much speculation and debate, with many fans trying to pick apart the unique logic by which Earth’s Mightiest Heroes journey between different periods.

As those who’ve seen the movie will know, when the team changes the past, this doesn’t directly affect their present. And according to Markus, the pair decided on this measure after observing how time travel worked in various fiction:

“We looked at a lot of time-travel stories and went, it doesn’t work that way.”

McFeely then recalled how they consulted with physicists, who dismissed the “butterfly effect” logic employed in other time travel films:

“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, meanwhile, went on to summarize the logic that was explained to them:

“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.”

The pair then recalled how they considered a range of time travel scenarios for the film. One idea, for example, was sending Tony Stark to Asgard at a time when the Aether and the Tesseract are there simultaneously. The sequence would’ve involved Iron Man sneaking around in an invisibility suit, only to be spotted by the all-seeing Heimdall.

Eventually, however, Markus and McFeely decided on a sequence set during the Battle of New York, despite some worries that it was a little too “obvious” and “pander-y.” We’ll leave you to be the judge of that, but either way, Avengers: Endgame’s time travel plot has opened up some mind-bending avenues that future MCU projects might do well to explore.

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