The snap of the Infinity Gauntlet, with all the stones in their proper places, was the most devastating blow Thanos dealt to the Avengers and the biggest win a villain has ever had in the MCU. And it almost wasn’t in Avengers: Infinity War at all. The snap — and all the devastation that came from it — was originally supposed to be at the start of Avengers: Endgame.
This information comes from Empire interviews with the films’ co-writer Stephen McFeely and MCU boss Kevin Feige.
“We had so much story in those early drafts of Infinity War that, if anything, we thought we maybe shouldn’t do The Snap until the end of act one of Endgame,” McFeely said. Infinity War still lasted for a runtime of 149 minutes: there was still a lot of story in the final draft. But putting that bold a move at the end of a film — especially the latest in a franchise built upon the marketability of its massive group of superheroes — was always going to be a risk.
Snapping them all during a movie where it was clearly still going to move forward and deal with the problem isn’t nearly as cool as leaving fans dangling without half their heroes. “We talked about that ending for years and years and years,” said Feige. “It was the reason to adapt Infinity Gauntlet. What was the most shocking thing we could do? End the movie with The Snap.”
That certainly would’ve been hard to conceal in the trailer for Endgame, especially depending on how exactly they would have ended Infinity War without getting to some kind of conclusion — like Thanos collecting all the stones. But The Snap certainly got the buzz Feige was after, even if jaded fans quickly moved on to how it could be reversed — using Marvel’s own theatrical schedule as evidence that these heroes couldn’t stay dusted. If they’d saved it for Endgame, it seems unlikely that fan anticipation would continue to be so high.
The Snap’s ramifications will become clear when Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26.