Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo were forced to excise reunion beats between Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) and superhero partners Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) from the originally "bloated" climactic battle scene against Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his army.
"There's always more beats to the battle, battles traditionally of this scale tend to be bloated. And then we try to pull them down to the very essential elements," Joe Russo told the Happy Sad Confused podcast.
"Sometimes when you get in the edit room and start playing around with it, the structure doesn't sustain — or you find a better structure, and a better path through it. And some beats you think are gonna work don't work quite as well as others, and then there's sort of battle fatigue."
Added Anthony, "We had a lot of people on that battlefield."
"There were other beats," Joe said.
"I think there was like a Rocket and Groot reunion moment, there might have been an Ant-Man and the Wasp reunion moment, but it just started to feel like an endless series of reunions where there are future movies coming, and those moments can be had in a different time."
Scribes Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely earlier explained to the Los Angeles Times they had to trim down the battle sequence, which sees Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and other vanished superheroes return after a five-year period.
"When everyone comes back, we had a little section in the big action battle set piece we called Team Ups and Reunions," McFeely said. "So that was people from different franchises fighting alongside each other. And more importantly, people who hadn't seen each other in five years getting to hug and embrace."
A beat between lifelong best friends Captain America (Chris Evans) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) "would've been good," McFeely added. "Rocket and Groot could've had another moment. [Black] Panther and Okoye, even Hope and Scott Lang. Lang in many ways is the driving force of this story. He didn't get time to really have a moment with Hope."
The writers also revealed a dialogue-heavy cut scene that that "didn't play well."
"We had a scene in a trench where, for reasons, the battle got paused for about three minutes and now there's 18 people all going, 'What are we going to do?' 'I'm going to do this.' 'I'm going to do this,'" McFeely said.
"Just bouncing around this completely fake, fraudulent scene. When you have that many people, it invariably is, one line, one line, one line. And that's not a natural conversation."
Added Markus, "It also required them to find enough shelter to have a conversation in the middle of the biggest battle. It wasn't a polite World War I battle where you have a moment."
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