- Avengers: Endgame’s “Portals” scene was not the original version of the sequence, which initially only featured a long panning shot of the actors.
- The scene was changed to include the portals, creating a more powerful and emotional moment for the audience to welcome back their favorite heroes.
- The addition of portals in the final battle of Avengers: Endgame added to the grandeur of the Infinity Saga’s conclusion and allowed each major hero to have their moment to shine.
Avengers: Endgame served as the perfect payoff to all the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies that came before it, though the film’s original plan for its best scene would have been underwhelming. All the MCU movies in the Infinity Saga culminated in Avengers: Endgame, which was the perfect victory lap over the MCU for those that had stuck around with the universe since 2008’s Iron Man or dropped in along the way. The movie had many cheer-worthy moments, though the “Portals” scene might have been its best, and it could have been totally different.
Speaking with ComicBook.com, Marvel VFX supervisor Dan Deleeuw revealed that Avengers: Endgame‘s “Portals” scene was not the first version of that sequence. According to Deleeuw, the original version of the scene only featured a “long panning shot across all the actors” with no portals. The scene was not working as well as Marvel intended, which is when Deleeuw and Avengers: Endgame editor Jeff Ford decided, “‘We have to go with the portals and just you picking who comes out when.’” The scene then made Avengers: Endgame‘s ending sing, as it gave “the audience a chance to welcome their heroes back.” Check out the full quote below:
“It was interesting because there was a lot of different ideas. There was a version of the cut, the day that we had all the actors together, and it was like this long panning shot across all the actors.
It was the day that everyone was there, and it was like this giant, expensive in essentiality you had all the actors there, but it just didn’t play as well as we wanted. And so it was something that I got with pre-viz and Jeff Ford, our editor, and we just said, ‘We have to go with the portals and just you picking who comes out when.’ It was just something that for I think originally it was like we knew who survived and when they were coming back, but we needed to slow it down and give the audience a chance to welcome their heroes back. And so it was so interesting in terms of like, ‘Okay, who comes from Titan first? Okay, you get the Guardians and then Star-Lord’s going to show up.’ And then just being in the theater that day, it’s like starting, okay, we got to do Spider-Man last because Spider-Man!. So it was very much crafted to be emotional, and I think it was amazing for all of us that opening weekend, how well the fans responded to it.”
Why Avengers: Endgame Needed The Portals Scene
As Deleeuw mentioned, Avengers: Endgame‘s “Portals” scene was the perfect moment for MCU fans to have the chance to celebrate and welcome the returning heroes that had died thanks to Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. After the previous Avengers movie ended things on such a dark note, with several MCU heroes dying as they turned to dust, the audience deserved a moment of utter joy to celebrate all the heroes in Avengers: Endgame‘s final battle.
The scene worked so well because it built upon not only Avengers: Infinity War‘s ending but also the MCU as a whole. Sam Wilson, the Falcon at that point, coming out of a portal after getting the chance to say, “On your left,” to Chris Evans’ Captain America, a callback to their time running together in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, was heartwarming.
Just getting the Avengers back and having the camera go from one to the other would not have elicited the same kind of primal reaction that Avengers: Endgame‘s “Portals” scene did from Marvel fans. The final version of the sequence gave every major returning hero their time to shine and be celebrated by the audience, with the portals adding to Doctor Strange’s role in the movie and making for a fantastical entrance that the Infinity Saga’s grand finale deserved. Thankfully, the original Avengers: Endgame plan changed, and the portals were added to the movie’s final battle.