The moment Avengers: Endgame hit theaters, fans were quick to point out that Howard the Duck made a super quick cameo appearance in just a split second. When we spoke to Weta Digital's Matt Aitken earlier this week, the visual effects supervisor was quick to shoot down the inclusion of any other secret heroes in that massive third-act shot.
"No. I could tease it out and say 'I couldn't possibly say!'" Aitken tells ComicBook.com "I think Howard is the big Easter egg that people have seen."
Aitken and his team at Weta oversaw the effects on nearly the entire third-act, including the massive sequence when the heroes arrived through sling rings to help Captain America (Chris Evans) and company take on Thanos (Josh Brolin). Earlier in our chat, Aitken had confirmed Howard ended up appearing in just 18 frames, a quick blink of the eye to the regular movie-goer.
"You can't skimp on these things, so he's a hero insert, he's got feathers, all the feathers are rigged," the VFX guru says of the duck. "He's got hero pictures and he had to be animated. There's no corner-cutting in lots of this work, you just have to do it. But we did it all, and just delighted that he could be in there."
"People started noticing him straight away, I was watching online," he mentions. "It wasn't long before somebody piped up and said, I think it was in response to somebody saying, 'Oh, it would have been great if Howard the Duck could have been in there!" and somebody piped up and said, 'I saw him!'"
Through its three-hour runtime, Avengers: Endgame was stuffed with callbacks to various movies throughout the 10-year history of Marvel, including cameos, mentions, and Easter eggs of all shapes and sizes.
Avengers: Endgame is now showing. Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters July 2nd while Captain Marvel will be released digitally May 28th.
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