Anticipation and expectations were sky-high for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. This was the sequel to the movie that solidified once and for all that Marvel Studios was not only a force to be reckoned with, they were changing the blockbuster game entirely. Writer/director Joss Whedon and his team worked tirelessly to craft a follow-up that was bold, ambitious, and very different from what came before, and while the filmmaker has been candid about creative struggles that permeated throughout the film’s development and post-production, the end result remains an admirably strange movie.
But just as The Avengers set the stage for Marvel’s Phase Two, the ending of Age of Ultron acts as the foundation for Marvel’s biggest slate yet, Phase Three. The movie culminates with an almost entirely different Avengers lineup, one that sees Chris Evans’ Captain America leading a team that includes Black Widow as his co-captain and newcomers Vision, Wanda, Falcon, and Rhodes filling out the new ensemble while the original Avengers are scattered into the wind.
However, this wasn’t always how Age of Ultron was intended to end. As revealed by executive producer and key Marvel Studios exec Jeremy Latcham at a recent Q&A touting the Blu-ray release of Age of Ultron, initial discussions about the movie’s ending had a host of brand new MCU characters making their debuts:
“In really early development there was a notion of there’d be a ton of new people. And then it was like, ‘Well we haven’t really introduced them, we don’t know where they’re gonna come from,’ and Joss kind of did not love that idea. It was an early discussion, and then that kind of became just Captain Marvel, and then that felt weird just to have one new person.”
We already knew that Captain Marvel was originally poised to make an appearance at the end, with Whedon going so far as to say that the shot of Wanda flying into frame was filmed with the intention of inserting Captain Marvel once the character was cast. But Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has explained in the past that he didn’t want to bring Captain Marvel into the MCU fully formed, opting instead to tell her origin story in the Captain Marvel movie. Speaking at the same Q&A event, Feige also pointed out subtextual issues with Age of Ultron dialogue that would’ve made her presence a bit awkward:
“And also the subtext was, what does Cap say, ‘They’re not the ’27 Yankees’—well if Captain Marvel is there, what are we saying about her? It needed to be [that] certainly Wanda and Vision, I think to a lesser extent Falcon and Rhodey need to learn what it means to be a team, even the most dysfunctional team in history.”
That line of dialogue is something that could’ve been replaced in ADR or fixed in reshoots, but the fact remains that Feige and his team clearly want to tell a team-building story with these new Avengers, and throwing in Captain Marvel—who we now know was simply a vestige from an earlier version of the ending—would’ve made matters too complicated.
Regardless, the ending as it stands has huge repercussions for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and we’ll get to see this new Avengers team assembled in next April’s Captain America: Civil War.
For more Marvel info from this Age of Ultron Blu-ray event, peruse the links below:
- Kevin Feige on Spider-Man, Marvel’s Contingency Plans for Using Characters They Don’t Own (Yet)
- ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Will Be the End of The Avengers as We Know Them
- Kevin Feige Says Crossover Between Marvel TV and Films Is “Inevitable”