Warning: Spoilers for Captain Marvel are below
We all knew that Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) would be joining the Avengers in Endgame, but the trick was finding a way for her to not be around between this 1990s origin story and the present-day(ish) timeline of Endgame. That all seemed to wrap up pretty easily at the close of Captain Marvel, though, when Carol — in full God Mode, essentially — takes off with Talos and his family to help them find a new home. It was a way for Carol to not only leave Earth in order to test her new powers, but it was also in line with her selfless desire to do good.
However, in an interview with ET, Captain Marvel Editor Debbie Berman (who also worked on Spider-Man: Homecoming and Black Panther) revealed how the movie initially ended before she suggested some important tweaks:
I remember reading about your work on Black Panther and how you offered input on the final scene, where T’Challa and Shuri travel to Oakland. Are there any similar scenes that stand out to you in Captain Marvel, where you offered input that shaped or changed things in a pivotal way?
I did actually suggest some tweaks to the ending of this film. It used to end with Carol flying off into space alone, and I found that a bit jarring. Like, where exactly was she going? And what was she doing? It felt like we needed a stronger visual to assert a more specific justification for her leaving and disappearing for so many years. So we added Talos and his family in their spaceship waiting for her, and they all fly off together. It gave her more of a sense of purpose and made it easier to believe that she left her newfound life on Earth because she was with a friend we knew she cared about, and for a more specific mission. It gave more resonance and closure to her final moment in the film.
That was a good call, because Carol connecting with Maria and Monica and then just effing off into space would have been jarring to say the least. Also, to Berman’s point, it would not have really made any sense. Where was she going? Why did she stay away for so long? And then smash-cut to “Celebrity Skin” … nah.
Thankfully Berman was there to set everything straight — the whole interview is really great and I highly suggest you read the entire thing. She shares a lot of insight, including this gem:
I remember when I came across the line where she says, “My name is Carol,” and there was a take where a tear runs down her cheek. I had a lot of other takes of that line where she just said it in a stoic, kick-ass fashion. And I was drawn to those other takes because that’s what I am used to seeing — and in a way, I’ve been programmed to feel that someone being strong and emotionless is the right play. And they were really great performances and you could feel her power. But then I thought, I have never seen a superhero cry while saying her most kick-ass of lines, and honestly, if I had gone through everything she had just gone through, no matter how strong I was feeling at that moment, I think I would be having a multitude of emotional experiences simultaneously.
So I went with the “kick-ass tear” take. And again, I was expecting pushback [on] it and was again surprised and delighted everyone loved it. It’s one of the most powerful moments of the movie. It’s something new and unexpected, and Brie really brought the performance in that moment, and I embraced it as something that felt real to me.