Avengers: Endgame wasn't just a blockbuster or a sequel; it was the epic finale of a 22-movie saga; a historic feat never seen before in cinema. A single dud could have derailed the MCU. Endgame could have pulled a Game of Thrones and ended so disappointedly, it left fans with a sour taste in their mouths. Thankfully, the payoff of Endgame couldn't have been more perfect. Due to the series' track record, you would assume the Marvel bosses had everything planned out to a T.
And that mentality couldn't be further from the truth. Yes, Marvel Studios CEO, Kevin Feige, had an outline of the Avengers journey. But a lot of basic details were up in the air including what supervillains to use and what film certain characters would appear in.
That's not taken into account all the legal issues, studio disputes, disagreements from executives, writing back-up scripts in case certain actors were unavailable, and toy sales affecting casting. When you understand just how many problems and limitations Marvel Studios had to put up with, you appreciate the Marvel Cinematic Universe more. It's not just amazing the MCU turned out well; it's miraculous it exists in the first place.
Let's see how differently the MCU could have turned out.
20. Nick Fury Discusses The X-Men (Iron Man)
The post-credit scene of Iron Man shows Nick Fury infiltrating Tony Stark's mansion to discuss The Avengers Initiative. At the time, it seemed like a nice little Easter egg with the sole purpose of teasing die-hard fans. None of us could have anticipated we would have seen every Avenger under the sun battling the Mad Titan, Thanos, 21 films later.
Bizarrely, this iconic scene was devised and written one day before it was filmed. The writers were scrambling to find the right way to tease the future of The Avengers and asked Samuel L. Jackson to perform multiple versions of the scene.
The original set-up was the same; Tony Stark came home to find the director of SHIELD waiting for him so he could speak about setting up a superhero team. In the first take, Nick Fury said, “As if gamma accidents, radioactive bug bites, and assorted mutants weren’t enough, I have to deal with a spoiled brat who doesn’t play well with others and wants to keep his toys to himself."
This dialogue was probably changed since Marvel Studios didn't have the rights for X-Men or Spider-Man at the time. This clip was only publicly released on September 14th 2019.