Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige's first idea for Avengers: Endgame would have seen every member of the original superhero team die.
"Kevin's initial pitch was that it was Toy Story 3 – a 'they're all gonna jump into a furnace together' concept,'" director Joe Russo is quoted in new MCU book The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
As for why the idea never made it to screen, the book explains: "The [Russo] brothers' pushback was that there was no possible way for the story to be able to take the time to celebrate each one of them. And that, for the fans, it was an impossible scenario to walk out of the theater and process." (H/T Screen Rant)
Ultimately, Endgame had two major deaths: Iron Man sacrificed himself to wipe away Thanos and his army, and Black Widow died so Hawkeye could get the Soul Stone. Thor now has a fourth movie, Thor: Love and Thunder, in the works, while Chris Evans could be returning to the MCU, so it's probably for the best that Feige's idea didn't work out.
The Story of Marvel Studios has unveiled plenty of new behind-the-scenes tales about the MCU, revealing that the Russo brothers almost walked away from Captain America: Civil War over a dispute surrounding the movie's ending, as well as an insight into the meeting between Feige and Sony chairperson Amy Pascal over Spider-Man.
The next Marvel movie to arrive is Eternals, which lands exclusively in theaters this November 5. It will be followed on the small screen by Hawkeye, which streams on Disney Plus from November 24.
While you wait for more Marvel, check out our complete guide to Marvel Phase 4 for everything else the MCU has in store for us.