The Avengers: Endgame first draft originally included a very different hero vs. hero battle

Avengers: Endgame
Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios

Avengers: Endgame (opens in new tab) pretty much had everything you could have wanted from a comic book movie But, to get to the version that we were all mesmerised by on the big screen, stabs in the dark were made and rough drafts had to be scrapped.

The Avengers: Endgame writers, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, have decided to freely share some of the more, let’s just say, interesting ideas that were left on the cutting-room floor, including an Avenger going toe-to-toe with another MCU fan favourite. In case you’re one of the 12 people in the world who hasn’t seen it yet, spoilers for Avengers: Endgame follow.

Speaking to the New York Times (opens in new tab), Markus and McFeely reveal that while time travel was always a thread running through earlier drafts of the movie, the locations and team-ups differed dramatically. In one such first draft, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes went all-in on an Asgard heist, with the idea being that the Space and Reality Stones were in the same place and were easier to grab.

“We were interested in Tony going to Asgard,” state the pair, perhaps mindful of some of the wise-cracks Robert Downey Jr. could have made in the land of gods and goblins. Of course, this meant some hilarious (and hard-hitting) interactions – not unlike the brilliant Cap vs. Cap scrap we got as part of the team’s trip back to 2012. In this instance, we missed out on Iron Man vs. Idris Elba’s Heimdall (!) in what could have been a battle for the ages.

Other plans that eventually ended up being chopped included S.H.I.E.L.D HQ, an underwater Morag, and, uhh, driving to Doctor Strange’s house (no, seriously). Eventually, though, co-director Joe Russo stepped in and pointed out the obvious: “Why are we going to this movie when we could go to [2012’s] Avengers?”

Things, presumably, snowballed from there into the extended sequences we got during the Battle of New York in Avengers: Endgame. No Tony trip to Asgard, no S.H.I.E.L.D HQ sequence, and no Iron Man vs. Heimdall war. Oh, what could have been. I think we’ll have to settle with what we got, I suppose. 

Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.