The decision to move the Marvel Cinematic Universe five years into the future after Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) snap allowed Avengers: Endgame screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely to skip directly into the treasured domestic life found by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and wife Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow).
“We wanted to see the long-term effects. I don’t think anybody needed to see the proposal and the wedding and the pregnancy of Pepper Potts. What we want to see is that family unit as a functioning whole,” Markus explained to Backstory Magazine.
“I want to see the world depleted by the loss [of the snap]. The time jump allowed us to get to the meat of the matter pretty quickly. We couldn’t go any further, because then you get into a whole CG makeup situation where you’ve got to age people. Five years you can do just looking haggard.”
The five-year time jump also allowed the writers to dramatically reinvent characters like Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and explore different versions of characters already familiar to audiences, which meant revealing a new status quo for Smart Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and sending family man Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) on a murderous path of vengeance after the deaths of his family.
“And remember the five years is meant to do big swings, almost like a What If? comic. What if Thor got depressed and let himself go? That seems like fun,” McFeely said.
“On a side note, we wanted the five years to affect everyone differently so they’re not all in the same place. Tony and Hulk are pretty well off — like, the five years have been good to them in some ways. It’s been pretty bad for Thor and pretty bad for Natasha and Steve.”
Added Markus, “And really bad for Clint.”
“Clint — good God, yeah,” McFeely said. “We wanted to explore different versions of these characters.”
Buy or Pre-order Avengers: Endgame:
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