Set as the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Endgame ended up as a jam-packed, three-hour adventure for many fans that have followed along for the past ten years. The film was chock full of various nods to previous films in the MCU and had a few surprising cameos to boot. None of the cameos were more surprising than none other the Howard the Duck, fresh out of a portal from the pleasure planet of Contraxia.
Inserted into the film pretty late in the process, Weta Digital was tasked with taking the character from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and placing him into the biggest Marvel film to date. Leading the way at Weta was visual effects supervisor Matt Aitken, who tells ComicBook.com he was pleased to see the duck make the cut.
"If Howard the Duck's in there, then it's kind of like everybody's in there, right?" Aitken says. "Nobody's missed out. We got that call from Marvel that and we were well underway with that shot and we were kind of close to finishing some of them, so it was a little bit of a scramble. But it wasn't totally last minute."
"We said he had time to do it, and there was a nice little gap between a couple of the Ravagers that he would just drop right into," he continues. "It was nice that he wasn't so obvious in the middle of the frame that everybody was going to see him straight away. It was a little bit of a nice little Easter egg that people would have to hunt out to a degree."
All in all, Howard appears in a whopping 18 frames of the film or in layman's terms, in the blink of an eye. Despite being such a tiny cameo, Howard was modeled just like every other character in that final sequence.
"You can't skimp on these things, so he's a hero insert, he's got feathers, all the feathers are rigged," recounts Aitken. "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," the effects boss 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!'"
Did you catch Howard's cameo the first time around? What was your favorite part of Avengers: Endgame? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments below or by hitting me up on Twitter at @AdamBarnhardt to chat all things MCU!
Avengers: Endgame is now in theaters.