Avengers: Infinity War ends with one of the grandest, bleakest setpieces in Marvel movie history—directly inspired by a moment right out of the comics. But that wasn’t always the case, according to the movie’s screenwriters. In fact, fans could’ve been kept waiting until Avengers 4 to see Thanos’ grand plan unfold.
As what feels like a majority of the planet is aware of at this point (if you’re not, again, why are you reading below the spoiler warning, shoo!), Avengers: Infinity War concludes with Thanos, having gathered all six Infinity Stones, snapping the snap heard ‘round the world, eradicating half of all life on Earth and in the cosmos at large in a single gesture. The snappening, the snapture, whatever snap-based pun you choose to call it, is destruction on a scale untold in prior Marvel films, and not even our beloved heroes are saved from its dusty wrath. It’s also the culmination of Thanos’ journey throughout the film, a bleak yet important step for his character.
And yet, in early versions of Infinity War’s script, the snap wasn’t always going to play out. That’s according to writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who recently spoke to the New York Times alongside other movie screenwriters about the craft of bringing audiences back for a “part 2.”
While Infinity War and its follow up were always considered to be a two-part saga, and the snap was always going to be a thing, audiences almost had to wait until part 2 to actually see it. But according to Markus, waiting that long wouldn’t have made Infinity War stand out alongside its fellow Marvel films, a bad idea especially given that its release marked the 10th anniversary of Marvel’s shared movie universe:
But what we realized is, it would feel more like a cliffhanger than we intended.
[If the Snap was in Avengers 4, Infinity War] would be a continuation of exactly what you were watching before. [It should] be as big as it wants to be, and as sprawling.
And so, the snap got bumped up to Infinity War, getting to serve as a year-long cliffhanger that will leave us all wondering just how the hell Earth’s mightiest heroes—or rather, what’s left of them—will bounce back and attempt to undo Thanos’ purging of the universe. McFeely added, “it’s really, I think, difficult to predict where we go next.”
While there’s been some rumors, we really don’t know just where Avengers 4 will go, but that’s a lot better than having to have to see the build-up to and fallout of Thanos’ snap occurring in a single movie. As painful as a year of waiting to see the follow up is!