2014 Nebula (Karen Gillan) showing Thanos (Josh Brolin) his 2018 decapitation at the hands of the Avengers gave the Mad Titan "satisfaction," the Avengers: Endgame creative team says on the film's commentary track.
"This moment is one of my favorite moments in the movie, where Thanos gets nothing but satisfaction from seeing his head chopped off," said co-writer Christopher Markus.
Director Anthony Russo added the scene, which sees Thanos let slip the faintest smirk when watching his future counterpart tell the Avengers he is "inevitable," is Thanos' "vindication."
"Just confirmation that he is on the right track," added Markus.
"Well I think that's always what Thanos supporters online say, what is exciting to them about him as a character is his monastic dedication to his mission," said director Joe Russo. "And he is willing to die for the mission."
The creative team also admitted on the commentary track they were surprised when audiences would laugh at Thor (Chris Hemsworth) winning his revenge on Thanos and decapitating the villain during a confrontation on Titan II, where Earth's mightiest heroes were horrified to learn Thanos reduced the six Infinity Stones to atoms.
Co-writer Stephen McFeely described the reaction as a "nervous shock."
"But I think the [Alan] Silvestri score and the long slow walk here make you go, 'Oh, crap. Yeah, this is... We've got nothing now,'" McFeely added.
That scene, immediately preceding a five-year time jump, "allows for a very different kind of movie to unfold," Joe said elsewhere on the commentary track. "One that's reflective and pensive, and character-oriented rather than plot-oriented."
Added Markus, "And they only accomplish what Thanos lets them accomplish. He has finished his job and he lets them kill him."
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