Judging from all the art recently published online for Avengers: Endgame, the already epic saga could have been even more epic. A lot had to be cut to fit the movie into the already long three-hour released version. (And we’ve written about some of the concepts that didn’t make it into the film HERE and HERE!)
Artist Ryan Meinerding, Visual Department Head at Marvel Studios, has led the online posting with two pieces featuring the film’s villain, Thanos.
The first are models of Thanos as he ages. No doubt some of this was used when the years younger Thanos came forward in time to try to stop the Avengers from undoing everything that the older, and by then dead, Thanos had already done. But these models were probably designed to further explore the backstory of Thanos and his home planet of Titan, a storyboarded sequence that is included in the recent book Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame – The Art of the Movie. Due to time and other constraints, that sequence and these models were never used.
The second is a confrontation between Dr. Strange and Thanos, perhaps slated for their initial battle in Infinity War. “Dr. Strange tries to send Thanos on a magical mystery tour just like the Ancient One did to him,” Meinerding explained on Instagram. Again, for the sake of pacing and time constraints, this doubtless fascinating would-be sequence had to be dropped.
Another Marvel Studios artist also joined the posting parade with original concepts for the suits the Avengers needed to don to travel the quantum realm back through time. Artist Aleksi Briclot posted concept pieces of the suits, all of which included the distinctive Stark technology arc reactor that Stark used for his Iron Man suit.
Of course, the film went with the gray, black and red versions of the Ant-Man suit instead. But the reason for this change seemed a bit ludicrous, as according to Briclot “the Russo’s noticed some similitude with silly t-shirts….” Apparently, the Avenger’s KRONOS logo Briclot had designed (which can be seen in the Instagram post as well) too closely resembled the classic I’m With Stupid t-shirt.
Still, the filmmakers’ desire to have this scene echo the heroic, space-uniformed march in The Right Stuff did make it into the film. The use of music and slow-mo made this one of the most rousing scenes of the movie as the Avengers set out to risk travel through time on a longshot chance to recover the Infinity Stones and undo what Thanos had done.
Will even more concept art be forthcoming and keep the internet buzzing about Avengers: Endgame? We’ll just have to wait and see. Until then, the three art books about Infinity War and Endgame are available for fans to peruse and gleefully or wistfully consider what could have been.