It’s safe to say that Avengers: Endgame is one of the biggest, most successful, and most anticipated films of all time. Ever since Marvel began its cinematic universe, the buildup towards this finale only grew with every new film. Then, when Avengers: Infinity War was released, everyone couldn’t wait to see the second of the two-parter. If you’re not worried about spoilers (yes, there are spoilers aplenty in here!), and you’re curious to learn more about what went into the making of this epic conclusion, find out more!
1. Feel the Hype!
Avengers: Endgame is the very first film to make over $1 billion within its opening weekend! As of this article’s publication, the film is set to surpass Avatar as either the first or second highest grossing films of all time, depending on whether you adjust for inflation or not.
2. Big Spenders
Incredible box office returns were necessary to make Avengers: Endgame a profit. Endgame has been listed as one of the most expensive films ever made. On top of an estimated budget of $356 million, more than $200 million was spent on the marketing campaign for this film. Frankly, we’re surprised it needed that big of a marketing campaign after all the hype that was already built up by the end of Avengers: Infinity War.
3. For Your Eyes Only
The story for Avengers: Endgame features several of the characters splitting up and going on different journeys through time to find the Infinity Stones. As a result, not everyone needed to read the full script—which also meant that it could be easier to suppress spoilers and leaks of plot points by having fewer eyes on the full script. Of the entire cast, only Robert Downey Jr. got to read the full script for the film.
4. Hi, Kids!
Joe Russo, one of the directors of Endgame, cast his daughters in small roles in the film. Ava portrays Clint Barton’s daughter, Lila, while Lia portrays one of the kids asking Bruce Banner for an autograph.
5. We Need Backup
Screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus began working on the screenplay for both Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War during the production of Captain America: Civil War. At one point, things got so hectic that Thor: Ragnarok screenwriter Eric Pearson was brought in to help the two primary screenwriters out with the monumental two-parter.
6. Brainstorming to the Max
Reportedly, 60 pages of ideas were crafted during the writing process of Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War.
7. Move Over, Wolverine
With Avengers: Endgame, Robert Downey Jr. has appeared as Tony Stark/Iron Man 10 times onscreen. This beats Hugh Jackman’s record for the most appearances as a superhero character, but while Jackman needed 17 years to set his record, Downey Jr. only did it in 11.
8. And Still No Solo Film??
Avengers: Endgame is the seventh film in which Scarlet Johansson plays Natasha Romanoff, AKA the Black Widow. Although if you count her cameo in Captain Marvel, it’s technically the eighth.
9. Oh, What’s in a Name?
It’s been a subject of debate as to whether “Endgame” was always meant to be that film’s title or whether it was a last-minute decision. What makes this more confusing is that Marvel Studios and the film’s directors have both said different things about the situation. Marvel has maintained that “Endgame” was always the choice for the title, while the directors have said that the original title was Infinity Gauntlet. Frankly, regardless of which version is true, we’re happy with the result.
10. Quite the Pay Jump!
Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans, who respectively play Thor and Captain America, each made $15 million for Endgame, just as they had for Avengers: Infinity War. How far they’ve come: Evans made just $300,000 for his work on Captain America: The First Avenger.
11. Something’s Missing!
Fans of Captain Marvel might remember the mid-credits scene which people believed to be a scene from the film Avengers: Endgame. However, that scene does not appear at all in the final version of Avengers: Endgame.
12. Where’s Quicksilver?
For all the people who reprised their Marvel characters for Endgame, one person who did not return was Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who played Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron. It was widely assumed that he would be in the film, but he is nowhere to be seen in the final version of the film. Was he left on the cutting room floor?
13. Live Long and Prosper
One of the main inspirations for the story of Avengers: Endgame was the finale for the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. We won’t go too deeply into the similarities in case someone who didn’t read the spoiler warning somehow managed to get this far!
14. Good as Gold
The massive cast of Avengers: Endgame boasts 19 Oscar-nominated or Oscar-winning actors. The full list includes Michael Douglas, Angela Bassett, Robert Downey Jr., Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Taika Watiti, William Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bradley Cooper, Don Cheadle, Brie Larson, Jeremy Renner, Josh Brolin, Natalie Portman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mark Ruffalo, and Marisa Tomei.
15. Farewell, Pepper
Gwyneth Paltrow has stated that her part in Endgame will be her final appearance in a Marvel film.
16. Heck of a Crossover!
In Avengers: Endgame, Clint Barton (Hawkeye) attacks a gangster in Japan. The gangster is portrayed by Hiroyuki Sanada, who you might remember played a supporting role in The Wolverine (2013). Somewhere, an X-Men fan is groaning in fury at the missed opportunity in the above sentence!
17. First Things First
Brie Larson, who plays Captain Marvel, filmed all her scenes for Avengers: Endgame before production on Captain Marvel had begun. Considering that Captain Marvel came out before Avengers: Endgame, can we call that a bit of time travel in and of itself?
18. Oh Snap!
Between Endgame and Infinity War, the completed Infinity Gauntlet with the Infinity stones are used for four different snaps. We won’t give away who makes those four snaps, though, just in case!
19. Let’s Save Jeremy Renner for Later
The opening scene of Avengers: Endgame, which features Clint Barton (Hawkeye) and his family, was originally meant to be part of the finale in Avengers: Infinity War. However, it was determined that since Hawkeye wasn’t in the film previously, it would serve better as a prologue to Endgame and as Hawkeye’s reintroduction.
20. We Interrupt This Production
Filming of Avengers: Endgame suffered a setback in September 2017 due to Hurricane Irma. Production was shut down until the worst of the storm passed.
21. Future Movies?
Two of Marvel’s other superheroes are vaguely hinted at during the runtime of Avengers: Endgame. In one case, a character discusses a man named “Braddock.” This is a reference to Brian Braddock, better known as Captain Britain. The other reference comes when someone brings up a seismic event under the Atlantic Ocean. Fittingly, the Atlantic Ocean happens to be the home of Namor, Marvel’s rough equivalent to Aquaman.
22. One Last Walk-On
Among the many people who reprise their Marvel characters for this film is Robert Redford. Fans will remember that he played one of the villains in Captain America: Winter Soldier. Since then, Redford had announced his intention to retire from acting, but he returned for Avengers: Endgame. As far as last films go, Redford chose well!
23. Let’s Try a Change of Hats
Arguably one of the most important characters in Avengers: Endgame was Nebula (Karen Gillan). However, headlining such a big film as this doesn’t mean that’s the limit of Gillan’s ambitions. While promoting the film, she’s made it clear that she would love to direct a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Frankly, we’d love to see how that turns out!
24. Let’s Hear It for the Ladies!
In Avengers: Endgame, Tony Stark and Pepper Potts are revealed to have had a daughter named Morgan together. This child is a reference to the son that Tony had in the comics. This makes for the fourth time that the Marvel films have changed the sex of a comics character from male to female. The previous examples were the Ancient One in Doctor Strange, Ghost from Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Mar-Vell in Captain Marvel.
25. Thank Goodness He’s Back!
Anyone interested in a remarkable Easter egg should pay attention to the Endgame scene during the third act when the Wasp appears for the first time. If you look next to her, you can see Howard the Duck standing with the rest of the Avengers!
26. The Captains You Know
Prior to Avengers: Endgame, Chris Evans (Captain America) and Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) had previously acted in the film Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World.
27. Third Time’s the Charm
Part of Avengers: Endgame takes place in the Norwegian city of Tønsberg. This is actually the third time that Tønsberg, known as the oldest city in Norway, makes an appearance in the series. It appears in the opening of both Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.
28. Here’s Looking at You, Internet!
When Thor: Ragnarok was first released, fans noted that its lighter tone and humor was very similar to the Guardians of the Galaxy series. As a result, a nickname given to that film by its fans was “Asgardians of the Galaxy.” At the end of Avengers: Endgame, Thor openly uses that term to describe his team-up with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
29. Great Scott!
Given that Endgame is all about time travel, there is the inevitable scene where several time travel movies get named by the characters. One of these is Back to the Future, but a subtler reference is also given to that movie in another scene. When Thor leaves New Asgard to join the Avengers again, he is wearing the same kind of sunglasses worn by Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part II.
30. What’s My Creation Done?!
Fans of Endgame will remember the scenes where humanity is grieving the billions wiped out by Thanos’ “snap” at the end of Infinity War. Two of these men happen to be high-profile cameos. One is the film’s co-director, Joe Russo, playing the first openly gay character in a Marvel film, while the other is Jim Starlin, the man behind the Marvel character Thanos.
31. RIP, Sir
During the scene in Endgame where Ant-Man is repeatedly sent back in time, only to emerge at wildly different ages, multiple actors were brought in to portray these various stages. Actor Lee Moore, aged 93 at the time, briefly portrayed a very old Ant-Man in the scene. It was the last film role in Moore’s career, as he died soon after.
32. The First to Break Through
Endgame marks the first time that a character who was exclusively from a Marvel television series has appeared in one of the films. That character is from Agent Carter—Howard Stark’s butler, Edwin Jarvis, played by James D’Arcy.
33. Remembering Greendale
Before their work with Marvel, the Russo brothers made their reputation as directors with the hit comedy series Community. The brothers have paid homage to their roots by placing former cast members of that show in MCU cameo appearances. Avengers: Endgame features not one but two such cameos, from Ken Jeong and Yvette Nicole Brown. Additionally, Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) appeared in several episodes of Community as a minor character.
34. Brain and Brawn Combined
Endgame marks the first time that Bruce Banner has completely merged his powers as the Incredible Hulk with his own personality and brain. This references the plot point in Avengers: Infinity War where Hulk refused to be summoned by Banner during the fight. While initial fan speculation was that the Hulk was afraid to fight after losing to Thanos, the truth was that Hulk was sick of being used as a pawn by Banner whenever he needed to beat someone up. This is also a reference to the “Professor Hulk” identity, which Banner adopts in a comics storyline.
35. Worth the Wait
Endgame marks the first time that the full phrase “Avengers Assemble” has been said in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While it was teased at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the full phrase was saved for this movie.
36. Try Out These Powers
In Endgame, Clint Barton (Hawkeye) becomes the first person apart from the Pym family and Scott Lang to test out the Pym particles. This is a reference to a storyline in the Marvel comics where Barton uses said particles to grow in size. He thus abandons his “Hawkeye” persona and becomes a new hero: Goliath. Maybe this is foreshadowing to a new sequel for Barton?
37. That Balancing Act
We’d be hard pressed to find anyone who didn’t like the final battle scene in Endgame where all our heroes unite to defeat the armies of Thanos. Naturally, it’s very difficult to get a film sequence like that exactly right, and the Russo brothers had to juggle all the footage that they’d filmed for the scene. Originally, several reunion scenes were filmed between certain characters, such as Ant-Man and the Wasp or Groot and Rocket. However, as emotional as those reunions were, the brothers decided that it would drag the battle down. You can decide whether you agree with them or not.
38. Who Will It Be?
One of the biggest twists in Endgame (SPOILERS, again), is the decision by Steve Rogers to stay in the past, living the life he always wanted. An elderly Rogers then gives his Captain America shield to his friend Sam Wilson, AKA Falcon. Comic book fans will know that there is a precedence for this, as Wilson became Captain America in the 2010 Shadowland series.
Of course, those fans will also point out that Bucky Barnes (who witnesses the exchange) could also have been a candidate for the job, since he was also the man behind the shield in the 2007 comic series The Death of Captain America.
39. When Heroes Prove Themselves
As you can tell by this list, Avengers: Endgame serves as a true finale for many of the film’s characters, with call-backs made to nearly all the previous films. One of the most powerful examples of these call-backs refers to the original argument between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers in the first Avengers film.
Rogers dismisses Stark as not being the guy to make a self-sacrifice, while Stark declares that everything special about Rogers “came out of a bottle.” In this film, they both prove the other wrong: Rogers’ personal character and morals are such that he can wield Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, while Stark makes the ultimate sacrifice to defeat Thanos.
40. Past, Present, and Future
According to one of the Russo brothers, Avengers: Endgame originally included a scene where Tony Stark gets a vision of his teenage daughter, Morgan. Katherine Langford was cast in the role and the scene was filmed, providing a sort of magical message to Tony that his sacrifice worked and everything would be okay. However, the scene was cut from the final version of the film.
41. Mama’s Boy
When Clint Barton (Hawkeye) and Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) journey to find the Soul Stone in Endgame, they come across the stone’s guardian, who greets Barton as “Clint, son of Edith.” This is a poignant reference to Barton’s origin story in the comics. Barton was very close to his mother, Edith, while despising his father, Harold. Harold’s alcoholism eventually led to him killing himself in a car accident, along with Edith.
42. That Neglected Bromance
While it’s hard to find anyone who would say that the writing in Avengers: Endgame was below par, the writers themselves didn’t walk away without misgivings about their own talent. Looking back on the film, Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus have expressed their remorse for not giving Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes more scenes together. Given how closely they’ve been tied together across the Marvel films, we can’t blame them for wanting more of Barnes and Rogers’ friendship!
43. Improvising Along
Tony Stark and his daughter, Morgan, share a line in Endgame which has become hailed as one of the most memorable by the fans. Interestingly, “I love you 3,000” wasn’t in the original screenplay. Robert Downey Jr. allegedly says that to his own children, and he couldn’t resist bringing it into the film.