Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely considered against revisiting 2012's The Avengers during the events of Avengers: Endgame after Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) makes quantum time-travel possible when given Pym Particles by the returned Scott Lang (Paul Rudd).
"We were initially hesitant to go back to the first Avengers because it seemed like we were just pandering and playing the greatest hits," Markus told Fandango. "You like that movie? We're going right back to that movie! And then it really became clear we were overthinking it in terms of what would be the most fun."
The scene finds Stark, Captain America (Chris Evans), and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) — this time with Ant-Man in tow — back in New York on the tail end of Loki's (Tom Hiddleston) assault on the city, as he led an army of invading Chitauri aliens at the command of the then-unseen Thanos (Josh Brolin).
When returning to the events of 2012, audiences again see the heroic one-shot borrowed from the Joss Whedon-directed Avengers that swirls around the newly assembled team of Earth's mightiest heroes, including Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth).
But that shot proved too iconic not to reincorporate in Endgame, the culmination of the first 11-year chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"That shot, the shot of all the Avengers assembling for the first time, was so much spectacle, so many visual effects," Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige told Rotten Tomatoes.
"It was filmed in an open air warehouse in New Mexico, not in New York. There was nothing but green screen behind them. Hulk wasn't in the shot. Iron Man wasn't in the shot because they were CG and put in later, but it looked pretty cool and Joss had a great vision for it."
"Many months later," Feige added, the effects came together and the shot became more fully formed.
"It's starting to look cool, Iron Man's now landing, Hulk's there. But the moment when I realized that this could be an iconic moment not just for the MCU, but for these kinds of films, was on the mix stage," Feige said.
"You get the experience of watching the final playback on the mix stage with [Alan] Silvestri's amazing score building to that moment and I got chills. And I realized Joss had pulled it off."
During the events of Endgame, the desperate Avengers also travel back to Asgard circa 2013 and Morag circa 2014 to retrieve the Reality and Power Stones, respectively. It allowed a brief revisit to 2013's Thor: The Dark World, also penned by Markus and McFeely.
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