Earth's Mightiest Show: How the Final Battle Scene in 'Avengers: Endgame' Was Assembled
Take a closer look inside the climactic battle of this year's blockbuster!
The battle that took place at the end of Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame was one of the biggest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, bringing together armies of allies to assist the Avengers against a horde of alien enemies. The women of the MCU assembled, Captain America wielded Mjolnir, Giant-Man punched a Leviathan... how in the world was it all brought to life? In this bonus clip from Earth's Mightiest Show, Ryan "Agent M" Penagos talked to Dan DeLeeuw, VFX Supervisor at Marvel Studios, to find out how the final battle was made.
The process begins with beats -- the list of things that are going to happen during this battle, such as the compound being destroyed, a crater being created, etc. From there, DeLeeuw says, is where "the dreams come true."
As a comic fan, DeLeeuw likened the experience to playing with "your action figures you had when you were a kid, now you're grown up, you're doing the same thing except with real people, and stunt [performers] and CG characters."
When it came to the sheer size and scale of the fight once the portals started opening for even more characters to enter the fray, DeLeeuw said the task was "astronomical." For the Avengers' side, there were days when many of the actors were actually on set, standing in a large group. From there, it would be determined where CGI would be needed. The portals themselves required their own effects, including the locations on the other sides of the portals. "We just didn't want to make it feel like they were coming from this flat space where you see the portal. You wanted it to feel like it's a dimensional space. With Marvel, it is a shared universe, everything is online, everything is in the archives. So if you need to go back and get Contraxia, you just go back and get Contraxia!"
Each world on the other sides of the portals came with everything from that world, making this battle something truly massive and all-encompassing.
When Cap called on his troops to "Assemble," it certainly looked like our beloved heroes were running head-on into an evil alien army. But the truth was that hardly anything was on the other side. "The before-and-afters in those are some of the best before-and-afters ever," said DeLeeuw. "In terms of the work that we did, and just the general comedy of what was actually happening on the set." In truth, there were only a handful of actors ("maybe six guys in motion-capture suits") on Thanos' side of the fight so they could provide an eyeline for the Avengers. Once the face-off began, the long shot went from CG to real, on-set stunt work seemlessly, resulting in an all-out fight between the Avengers and Thanos.
For the scene featuring all the female heroes, everyone was indeed on the set that day, though parts of them were created in post-production (Pepper's Rescue armor and Hope Van Dyne's embiggening entrance, for example). The scene kicked off with Peter Parker (Tom Holland) handing off the Infinity Gauntlet to Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), an action described by DeLeeuw as a "passing the torch... there was a lot of symbolism going on."
"It was a special thing to do, to bring all the women of Marvel together, so when we shot it, we had everybody there. Valkyrie we put in later as a different element because she came in on the back of a Pegasus."
In the end, it was a fight for the ages as every aspect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe came into play to defend itself from Thanos and his ill-mannered ilk!
Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame is now available on Digital and Blu-ray.
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