Now that Avengers: Endgame has hit digital platforms, fans are starting to peel back the many layers of MCU movie number #22, and they’re finding quite a bit to get excited about.
Among many other interesting reveals we’ve been learning of thanks to the various special features included with the release is something that pertains to the team’s first encounter with a visibly wounded Thanos. You remember the moment, right? We all expected a big showdown between the Mad Titan and the remaining heroes right near the start but instead, Thor Odinson aims for the head and shockingly, knocks it clean off.
And just like that, within the opening 30 minutes or so of the film, the MCU’s greatest ever antagonist is dead. It’s a clever bait-and-switch that was successfully kept under wraps, but according to writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and co-director Joe Russo, Thanos actually let the God of Thunder kill him.
Here’s what they had to say about the moment in question:
McFeely: “So at one point in the room, everyone’s getting real frustrated saying, ‘What is the story here?’ And I think Trinh Tran, our executive producer just said, ‘God I really wish we could just kill him.’ And we all went, ‘Wait a second. Could you? What does that mean?'” And it sent us down this whole road, where we solve the issue in the first, what, 12 minutes? I don’t know when this happens.”
Joe: “Yeah, very very quickly, but what’s great about it, is that it allows for a very different kind of movie to unfold. One that’s reflective and pensive, and character-oriented rather than plot-oriented.”
Markus: “And they only accomplish what Thanos lets them accomplish. He has finished his job and he lets them kill him.”
What the filmmakers are saying here makes perfect sense. After all, the Mad Titan knew he had accomplished his goal of bringing balance to the universe and may have also known that his past self would, if need be, give the Avengers another run for their money.
Still, this is certainly some interesting insight from the writers and Russo into one of Avengers: Endgame‘s most surprising moments and with the digital release now out there for fans to dig into, you can be sure it won’t be the last tidbit we get pertaining to some of the key storytelling decisions in the film and how they came to be.