The Russo brothers thought the idea was "way too aggressive."
Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo have revealed that Kevin Feige originally suggested killing off three huge MCU characters to take all of “the OGs off the board.”
During an appearance on Josh Horowitz's Happy Sad Confused podcast, the Russo brothers reflected on Endgame's climactic showdown with Thanos and those who lost their lives in the battle. They revealed that the ending could have resulted in even more character deaths because MCU architect Kevin Feige originally toyed with the idea of wiping out three main superheroes from the original Avengers team.
In this clip from A SECOND LOOK, we dive into the climactic showdown with Thanos from ENDGAME and the @Russo_Brothers reveal at one point Kevin Feige contemplated killing off the big 3, Iron Man, Thor, AND Cap!
Full episode at https://t.co/e84WokCDhq pic.twitter.com/MsNCgVMObi— Josh Horowitz (@joshuahorowitz) August 3, 2022
“Kevin did actually pitch at one point taking all the OGs off the board,” Joe explained. “We thought it was way too aggressive and that the audience wouldn't be able to process it, and that in fact picking one or two characters to make sacrifices throughout the movie might give you moments throughout the film where the action could stop and you could have emotional catharsis and then continue with the narrative and then have more emotional catharsis.”
Every Dead MCU Character
Anthony said they discussed the fates of the main characters in the “early days” and that Feige's pitch never actually made it into any scripts, even though they were “acutely aware” that after Avengers: Infinity War, the audience “felt like nobody was safe.” They had to make careful decisions about which characters they should sacrifice for the sake of the storytelling.
“Kevin early on had pitched this idea that it was like 'Toy Story 3' where they should all actually jump into the fire in order to save the universe,” Joe said of the idea, which was discussed on a conceptual level. “We thought you have to step out storytelling on something of this scale, so we weren't quite sure how the math would add up to get to that.”
The next Avengers film, The Kang Dynasty, is slated for release in 2025, six years after Endgame hit theaters. Feige recently explained that the larger gap between Avengers films is partly due to the fact that big superhero team-up movies are now scattered throughout each MCU phase, changing the way that Avengers films are positioned in release schedules.
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty will be directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and will close out Phase 6 alongside Avengers: Secret Wars. The Kang Dynasty will hit the big screen on May 2, 2025, and Secret Wars will be released six months later on November 7, 2025. Phase 6 will also officially conclude the MCU's second saga, which is now known as The Multiverse Saga.
Secret Wars may well be Marvel's biggest superhero movie yet, one that can dwarf even Avengers: Endgame in scope and the sheer number of characters involved. If you're not familiar with this huge cosmic epic, then you might want to check out IGN's breakdown of everything you need to know about Secret Wars and why Phase 6 will be the biggest ever.
Adele Ankers-Range is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.