Both creatively and financially, Avengers: Infinity War is one of Marvel’s most impressive success stories to date. The fact that the studio was able to squeeze dozens of characters into a single movie and still have it make sense is truly stunning, as is the fact that one of the movie’s defining moments almost got pushed to Avengers 4.
The rest of this post will contain major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, so if you have yet to see the movie, you might want to skip this piece until you do. This is your final warning before we spoil the end of the movie.
In an interview with The New York Times this weekend, Infinity War screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely revealed that while the Thanos snap that suddenly ended half of all life in the universe was always going to serve as the climax of the two films, the duo wasn’t always sure exactly when it would take place.
Apparently, the Thanos snap was originally set to happen in Avengers 4, “but what we realized is, it would feel more like a cliffhanger than we intended,” said Markus. Markus explained that if they decided to save the big moment for the sequel, “it would be a continuation of exactly what you were watching before.”
So instead of make audiences wait for arguably the most substantial moment in Marvel Cinematic Universe history, the writers decided to make a movie “that went all the way to a tragic ending. And then one where mysterious things happen that I can’t tell you about,” Markus added, referring to Avengers 4.
Having seen Avengers: Infinity War and discussed the impact of the finale with other people, it’s hard to imagine any other ending for the highly-anticipated team-up movie. McFeely seems to agree, as he believes that after ending with the snap, “it’s really, I think, difficult to predict where we go next.”