Avengers: Endgame Directors Explain Why Captain America Performed This Feat For the First Time

Captain America (Chris Evans) finally wielding Mjolnir, the mighty hammer once belonging to Thor (Chris Hemsworth), “goes all the way back to [Avengers: Age of] Ultron,” Avengers: Endgame director Joe Russo said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast.

A party scene set in Avengers Tower showed Earth’s mightiest heroes take turns attempting to lift the immovable hammer, which stirred only slightly when Steve Rogers tried his hand at picking up the Asgardian weapon.

Come Endgame, Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) are pit in battle against a particularly ferocious Thanos (Josh Brolin) — and the Asgardian Avenger is spared only when Cap successfully calls Mjolnir to him, using its power to fend off the Mad Titan.

“I think everyone who’s a Marvel fan in that moment where Cap tested the hammer, felt deep down in their heart that he was worthy and that he could potentially lift that and boy wouldn’t it be special if one day he did,” Joe said.

“And obviously if you create drama around the circumstances of him wielding the hammer and then kicking Thanos’ ass for 30 seconds after that, we felt like we could create a riseable moment for the audience.”

The long-awaited cheer-worthy moment is one the Russo brothers particularly enjoy. “We have to confess we have snuck into more than one theater over the past week and have taken great pleasure in witnessing the audience reaction to that moment,” Anthony said.

Asked why Cap’s worthiness wasn’t displayed until Endgame, Anthony answered, “In our heads, he was able to wield it.”

“He didn’t know that until that moment in Ultron when he tried to pick it up, but Cap’s sense of character and his sort of humility and sort of out of deference to Thor’s ego, Cap in that moment realizing he can move the hammer, decides not to,” Anthony said.

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Added Joe, “Thor says ‘I knew it,’ you know.”

“Which maybe you can’t hear yet in movie theaters [laughs],” Anthony said.