Avengers: Endgame was very much the end of an era for millions of fans who invested 11 years into the star-studded franchise. While the blockbuster film had fans say goodbye to the superheroes who saved earth time and again, it also ushered in a new era of female empowerment and introduced the world to one of the most powerful, kick-ass scenes in cinematic history. Yes, we're talking about the scene in which all of the main women — Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Okoye (Danai Gurira), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), the Wasp (Evangeline Lily), Shuri (Letitia Wright), and Nebula (Karen Gillan) — team up to help Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) in her vital mission to get the Infinity Gauntlet away from Thanos.
The scene was pivotal for the film, and, as such, you might think that the cast would have filmed it at the beginning of production; however, co-director Anthony Russo admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that they didn't capture the iconic scene until they filmed reshoots.
"The number of ideas that we want to put into these movies is always far greater than the space available to realise them," Russo told THR.
Still, Russo said that they always knew they wanted to highlight the relationships of strong women and their abilities in the final version of the film. "That's one of the ideas that stayed with us for a long time, and maybe we had tried different versions of it here and there throughout the story, and this was the particular, specific version of it that ended up working for the narrative."
It's hard to imagine Endgame without that scene. For starters, the imagery wouldn't have been nearly as impactful if the men had come to Captain Marvel's aid; in fact, that may have cheapened the storyline (no one needs the tired damsel-in-distress trope). Not everyone thought the scene was necessary, though, and some have even argued that the film was "pandering" to its women audience. Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely recently told The New York Times they were fully aware some fans might view the scene this way while they were writing.
"There was much conversation," McFeely told the Times. "Is that delightful or is it pandering? We went around and around on that. Ultimately, we went, 'We like it too much.'"
"Part of the fun of the Avengers movies has always been team-ups," Markus added. "Marvel has been amassing this huge roster of characters. You've got crazy aliens. You've got that many badass women. You've got three or four people in Iron Man suits."
If we can believe that a talking raccoon and a man who can shrink himself to the size of an ant can team up to take on one of the largest and most powerful villains in the universe, we can sure as hell buy a squad of women supporting each other.