Remember when Avengers: Infinity War came out and promised to unite every hero in the MCU… and then it didn’t feature Hawkeye? You know, one of the founding members of the Avengers? Some were pretty annoyed about this at the time but his absence was later corrected in Avengers: Endgame, which opened with a tragic sequence that revealed Clint Barton’s family were dusted in the Snap.
As has been revealed before, this scene was originally shot for Infinity War‘s big emotional climax but was ultimately removed and held back for Endgame. In the commentary track for the latter movie (which is available on Digital HD from today, remember), the creative team discussed what led them to make this decision.
“Now, this scene was supposed to be in Avengers: Infinity War,” said co-directer Joe Russo. “After Thanos snapped his fingers. We thought it might be interesting to cut to a verite scene between Hawkeye and his family. I believe we tried it one cut of the film, and looked at it and said ‘Oh, that’s never gonna work. It’s too disorienting.'”
Co-writer Stephen McFeely, meanwhile, felt that it made the scene too “busy.” He opined that adding “a third place” amongst the cuts between Titan and Wakanda would’ve been too much. Fellow writer Christopher Markus agreed, stating that moving the Hawkeye scene to Endgame “reinstate[s] the finality of what happened in Infinity War.”
“I think so,” Joe Russo concurred. “It brings you back emotionally very quickly. There’s a year between these films, and this movie helps to reset, and re-remind the audience of what happened in that movie and how you felt at the end of that film.”
“But through a brand new perspective,” added Anthony Russo.
On the power of the sequence itself, Joe believes that it’s “basically like a scene from a horror film that opens the movie.”
“And also sort of draws people in,” McFeely said. “I mean presumably everyone who goes to this movie, by and large, saw the previous movie. So this is one of those instances where the entire audience is ahead of the character and filled with dread.”
“Which is an unusual move,” according to Anthony Russo. “Usually we never let the audience be ahead of the character.”
“No, this is playing for suspense and not for surprise,” summed up McFeely.
This was certainly a traumatic way to kick off Avengers: Endgame. And things only get darker from there for poor Clint, what with him becoming a Punisher-like vigilante and losing Black Widow as well. Thankfully then, by the end, his family are resurrected. Plus, Jeremy Renner’s set to return again for Disney Plus’ Hawkeye TV series, which should be with us in late 2021.