WARNING: Spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 ahead
At this point, most of the world has seen Avengers: Infinity War and knows what happens to Earth’s mightiest heroes at the end of the film. If you haven’t, you deserve a medal for being able to dive and duck all of the spoilers and memes that have been shared online at this point.
A lot of stuff happened and there has been a lot to unpack in regards to the events of Infinity War, the whereabouts of certain characters, where Thanos ends up, and what it all means for the second part of the tale in Avengers 4. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, don’t read forward. If you’re saving yourself for Avengers 4, you might want to hang back too. Otherwise, there are spoilers ahead.
So here in spoiler-land, we know that Thanos succeeded in collecting all the Infinity stones (or gems if you’re a purist!) and snapped half of the universe out of existence. This led to a few shocking moments and deaths, including the tearjerker with Spider-Man and Tony Stark that left people kind of dazed when the credits started rolling. It’s perfect when you’ve seen the movie and you know there is another one coming next year. Thanos is sitting on his porch, sipping lemonade, armor on the scarecrow, and just smiling knowing he’s completed his life’s work.
But apparently, an early draft didn’t end like that. During a chat with The New York Times that ran over the weekend, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely shared that an early draft actually pushed the now iconic moment to the beginning of the second movie:
A two-part finale was always the plan. Mr. Markus said that in one draft, the Snap didn’t occur until the second film. “But what we realized is, it would feel more like a cliffhanger than we intended,” he continued, and they had always meant to make distinct movies.
Had the Snap been pushed to Part 2, “it would be a continuation of exactly what you were watching before,” he said, when, as the culmination of 10 years of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, it should “be as big as it wants to be, and as sprawling.”
Instead, they aimed for a first movie “that went all the way to a tragic ending. And then one where mysterious things happen that I can’t tell you about.”