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Spoiler warning: reveals from Avengers Infinity War and Endgame ahead.

San Diego Comic-Con always has the headline-making trailers and new releases. But this year’s iteration gave Marvel Fans the chance to revisit the past, when Infinity War and Endgame writers and directors Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Joe Russo, and Anthony Russo took the stage yesterday to reveal some of their earlier ideas for the two-parter’s ending. Sharing images of their writer’s room, Markus and McFeely revealed their initial plans for the film series.

Browse below to see some of the wildest takeaways from the Vanity Fair report.

Captain America dies.

In an earlier draft of the film, Chris Evan’s Steve Rogers didn’t live happily ever after with the love of his life, Peggy Carter. Instead, Thanos traveled back to 2012 to take out every single Avenger and then drop the decapitated head of past Captain America at the feet of Steve Rogers in 2023.

What did Steve Rogers do for all that time?

Markus and McFeely claim Captain America returned to the main timeline, marrying Peggy and starting a family. According to Joe Anthony Russo, he went to an alternate timeline, a theory that would avoid continuity problems.

Robert Downey Jr. flipped the script on Tony Stark

Markus and McFeely had reportedly scripted a more verbose final speech for Tony Stark. Downey Jr., however, thought it would be more poignant for Stark to go out quietly. According to the screenwriters, his delivery of the line “I am Iron Man” was one of the most emotional moments in the franchise’s history.

Smart Hulk’s late entry.

We were actually meant to get a more psychologically integrated “Smart Hulk” character back in Infinity War. The writers, however, felt that this nuanced character didn’t gel with the utter destruction of the penultimate installment.

A Captain America/ Red Skull team up

Given Red Skull’s extensive knowledge of the Infinity Stones, it seemed to make sense to have him come along for the ride. There was speculation that this was axed in part because Hugo Weaving declined to reprise the role.

Where was Dr. Strange?

Benedict Cumberbatch was conspicuously absent from the final film. Early drafts saw Strange banishing Thanos into a surreal dimension of time and space involving the Living Tribunal character. Here, Strange would have played a pivotal role in bringing Thanos to justice. Markus reportedly clarified that “We were in the middle of a really fast-paced fight, so to stop it for an LSD trip kind of sucked the air out of it.”

A Battle of New York wasn’t part of the plan.

Comic Con attendees were treated to screenshots of their writer’s room which revealed locations and characters. Notably missing was the narratively crucial Battle of New York sequence.

Words by Sarah Osei
Staff Writer
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