In a quick twist of fate, Thanos (Josh Brolin) found himself without a head in the opening moments of Avengers: Endgame. Sure, the character — or at least one version of him — returns thanks to the wonders of time travel, it was still a bit of a risky move. As per the Endgame commentary track, that risk can be narrowed down to executive producer Trinh Tran, the one to first suggest the out-of-the-box scenario.
In the lead up to the home media release of Avengers: Endgame, we caught up with Tran and asked her where the idea first originated from. After explaining the creatives had started pulling their hair out trying to figure what to do, she blurted it out to see if it'd stick.
"He defeated the Avengers in Infinity War," Tran explains. "Where does he go from there? How do we continue a story where audiences are going to go, 'Oh, this is new, this is different,' rather than just tell the same story again?And we wanted our heroes to be able to go back in time, like that's the fun of it, right? So I just went, 'Okay, this is a crazy idea. They're probably going to think I'm nuts for saying it, but let's talk about it.'"
After first mentioning the idea, Tran admits the initial reception wasn't all too warm — though it did manage to start a conversation where they fleshed out both Thanos' initial killing and the time-traveling intricacies that ended up making the final cut.
"It started a conversation and I think that was key. It was that we were able to take that and whether or not we ended up with that, I wanted that conversation to go, 'What if this can happen? What if this crazy idea can happen and what happens with the Avengers if we do that?'" the producer recounts. "And that actually kind of just took a role of its own and we made that happen. I'm like, 'Oh my God, we're going to kill him off in the beginning. Now, how are we going to fix this all?'"
Were you surprised to see Thanos killed off so easily initially? Share your thoughts in the comments below or by tweeting me at @AdamBarnhardt to chat all things MCU! Avengers: Endgame is now available digitally ahead of a home media release on August 13th.
Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in spring 2021, Loki in spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If? In summer 2021, Hawkeye in fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.