For a lot of us, Avengers: Endgame ended in a poetic and emotionally resonant manner. The Russo Brothers took extra care in ensuring that the emotional arcs of all the characters played out in a meaningful and impactful way, and this includes leaving some scenes on the chopping room floor.
One such scene that has been discussed about in detail over the past week is Tony Stark’s journey to the Soul World, in which he meets an adult version of his daughter played by Katherine Langford of 13 Reasons Why. In a recent interview with Inverse, co-director of Avengers: Endgame, Joe Russo explained how they conceptualised the scene and why it was eventually removed.
Part of the process is we go through a long period of exploration when we make these films. That starts at the very beginning with [writers Chris] Markus and [Stephen] McFeely where we sit around and just talk about the story for months, what the possibilities are, where we can go. That sort of sense of exploration continues all the way through our shooting of the film and post-production. So there was a while where the idea was that when you use the Soul Stone there is sort of this moment that you have this kind of reckoning with something that may be left unresolved in your soul.
Russo then explained that they wanted to have a scene with Tony that mirrors Thanos’ in Avengers: Infinity War, where the Mad Titan sees his daughter after acquiring the Soul Stone.
Since Thanos had that poignant experience with his daughter in Infinity War, we started playing with the idea that there was something interesting and resonant in the symmetry with Tony and his daughter [in Avengers: Endgame]. The reason we ended up moving away from it is, once we shot it, we began to understand as we were actually shooting it, is that the audience didn’t have a relationship with his adult daughter in the film. They had a relationship with his young daughter but not with his adult daughter. It didn’t feel like it was as powerful as we may have thought so we began to move away from it.
While the idea is great on paper, I think the Russos made the right decision to cut it out of the film. Considering Avengers: Endgame was a huge nostalgic trip down 11 years of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, it would’ve been rather odd to have an unfamiliar face be a part of an arc that’s heavy on emotion.