It was one of the most exciting moments in Avengers: Endgame. During the battle against 2014 Thanos and his forces, Captain America(Chris Evans) picked up Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, with ease and wielded it in the fight against the Mad Titan. For fans, it paid off on a tease from Avengers: Age of Ultron in which Steve is able to move the hammer ever so slightly. Now, in the recently-released Marvel's Avengers: Endgame - The Art of the Movie Marvel Studios executive Louis D'Esposito says Captain America was always worthy -- Age of Ultron just wasn't the right time.
In the book, D'Esposito explains that in the Age of Ultron scene Captain America could have easily picked up Mjolnir. He chose not to because he didn't want it, but he was worthy even then of being able to heft the mythic hammer.
"I think one of the most special moments in this film is when Captain America picks up Mjolnir," D'Esposito said. "If you remember from Ultron, they were all sitting around in the Avengers complex in Manhattan, and there's a party, and they're all a bit inebriated, and they're loose, and they're having fun, and they're all trying to pick up the hammer. It's Captain America's turn to try, and you look over to Thor's face, and he says, 'I think he might be able to do it,' but Cap doesn't pick it up. But Cap could've always picked it up. He didn't want to at that point because it would've not been right."
The idea that Steve Rogers/Captain America could lift the hammer back in Age of Ultron isn't a new one. Earlier this year, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige explained in an "Ask Me Anything" Q&A on Reddit something similar to what D'Esposito says in the book: that Cap always could have lifted the hammer but was just being polite when he didn't do it.
"We think he was always worthy and was being polite in Age of Ultron," Feige noted.
Still, even though Captain America has long been worthy, it doesn't diminish from the awesome moment in Endgame when fans actually see him fully wield it in the crucial battle.
"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," co-director Joe Russo said in an interview. "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."
Avengers: Endgame is available to own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital HD.