During the climactic final battle in Avengers: Endgame, pretty much every single Marvel hero is on hand to battle Thanos to cap off a wild, decade-long experience that led to this crucial, epic moment. As the Avengers fight to gain control of the Infinity Gauntlet, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man finds himself in need of assistance, which results in Marvel’s female heroes coming together for an ultimate girl-power scene that has been a constant source of contention since Endgame dominated theaters in Summer 2019.
While some fans loved that the female moment — the “A-Force scene” as it is affectionally called — signaled a more inclusive future for the MCU that doesn’t focus on heroes played by Chrises, others felt the scene was “pandering,” which was a concern that Marvel Studios also had following test screening results.
According to the mammoth new book, The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, test audiences were not huge fans of the lady Avengers moment, so executive producer Trinh Tran got to work retooling the scene to make it feel more organic. Via CBR:
“In earlier cuts, Tran admits, ’When we started screen-testing it, there was a little concern for ‘Does it come off [as]pandering?’ Are we going to get people saying, ‘Oh you’re just putting that scene in there just to put the scene in there. Does it actually have a story to tell with the rest of the narrative?’ That was always a concern in the back of our heads.'”
Tran was adamant that the scene remain in the film, so cutting it was never an option. Instead, Marvel Studios shot additional scenes featuring the same female characters in smaller groups, so when the group shot occurred, it had already been set up, making it flow more naturally.
Of course, going by some online responses, Marvel still didn’t massage the scene enough to avoid feeling too on-the-nose, but then again, when does the internet agree on anything? Also, if we’re splitting hairs here, we’re talking about a film series where a raccoon shoots a machine gun next to a Norse god, so subtlety isn’t exactly on the menu. Nor should it be. Be big and loud and just do it all.