Summary

  • An alternate ending for
    The Marvels
    was filmed, which would have shown Captain Marvel and Dar-Benn dying together.
  • The Marvels’
    original ending nearly copied early plans for
    Avengers: Endgame
    , as Kevin Feige wanted all six original Avengers to sacrifice themselves.
  • Marvel Studios has almost killed off several important MCU characters, including Loki, Nick Fury, Hawkeye and the Scarlet Witch.



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Captain Marvel almost paid the ultimate price in 2023’s The Marvels, which would have copied Marvel Studios’ original plan for the ending of Avengers: Endgame, changing the shape of the MCU forever. Despite becoming the MCU’s lowest-grossing project of all time, Nia DaCosta’s The Marvels has been fairly positively received among audiences. The Phase 5 project brought together Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers, Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau and Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan in a fast-paced battle against Kree revolutionary Dar-Benn, portrayed by Zawe Ashton, but while the new all-female superhero team eventually saved the day, their fates were almost very different.


The Marvels continued Carol Danvers’ story as Captain Marvel following her MCU debut in 2019’s eponymous Captain Marvel and her appearance alongside other MCU heroes in Avengers: Endgame. The project also marked the first theatrical appearances of Parris’ Photon and Vellani’s Ms. Marvel after they were introduced in WandaVision and Ms. Marvel, respectively, on Disney+. After fighting to protect several worlds close to Carol Danvers, The Marvels’ dramatic ending saw Dar-Benn defeated and Monica Rambeau trapped in an alternate reality, but early plans for the Phase 5 project have now been revealed, showing that Captain Marvel almost didn’t escape unscathed.

The Marvels Movie Poster

The Marvels

The Marvels sees the long-awaited team-up of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) as the trio work together to find out how their powers have become inextricably linked. Acting as a sequel to both Captain Marvel (2019) and the Ms. Marvel television show, The Marvels is the 33rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Director
Nia DaCosta

Release Date
November 10, 2023

Runtime
105 Minutes


Related

10 Unanswered Questions We Still Have After The Marvels

The Marvels released in November 2023 as the sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel, but it failed to address several loose ends and unanswered questions.


Captain Marvel Was Doomed In An Early The Marvels Draft

Captain Marvel using her power to save the Kree in The Marvels

In the lead up to The Marvels’ final moments, Captain Marvel, Photon and Ms. Marvel battle Dar-Benn, using their new entanglement to disorientate the Kree villain. Nevertheless, Dar-Benn still manages to acquire Kamala Khan’s Quantum Band, increasing her power significantly. While attempting to use both Quantum Bands to siphon energy from Earth’s sun, however, Dar-Benn is destroyed, but this opens a rupture in the fabric of reality. Monica Rambeau’s actions fix this mistake, leaving her trapped on the other side, but the details of this scene almost went very differently, as early drafts for The Marvels featured Captain Marvel’s death.


Speaking on Comicbook.com’s Phase Zero podcast, Dar-Benn actor Zawe Ashton revealed that an alternate ending had been filmed which saw Captain Marvel and Dar-Benn continue their battle after the latter acquired the Quantum Bands. Ashton revealed that they “combust together” in The Marvels’ original plan, suggesting Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers was almost removed from the MCU in Phase 5. This may have repeated an unused pitch from Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige for 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, which would have had major implications on the future of the MCU, especially since Monica Rambeau already made the sacrifice play in The Marvels.

There was another ending that we did film where Brie and myself are kind of in space still having it out, and they kind of combust together, which was really amazing. And that was just a day on wires hanging out with Brie, which is surreal and fun. But yeah, there were a few different plans, I think.


Endgame Almost Ended With The Original Avengers Dying

Just as the ending of The Marvels almost marked Carol Danvers’ death in the MCU, Avengers: Endgame nearly sacrificed all the original members of the MCU’s Avengers. According to Joe and Anthony Russo, who directed Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige initially pitched an idea that all the original Avengers could sacrifice themselves for the fate of the universe in Endgame (via Twitter). Thankfully, this didn’t get past the brainstorming phase, but this would’ve had major repercussions as Marvel Studios head into the MCU’s Multiverse Saga, just as Captain Marvel’s death would have in The Marvels.


Kevin did actually pitch at one point taking all the OG’s off the board, we thought it was way too aggressive and that the audience wouldn’t be able to process, and that in fact picking one or two characters to make sacrifices throughout the movie might give you moments throughout the film where, you know, the action could stop, and you could have emotional catharsis and then continue with the narrative, and then have more emotional catharsis.

Indeed, both Tony Stark’s Iron Man and Natasha Romanoff’s Black Widow did perish in Avengers: Endgame, and Steve Rogers retired as Captain America, but Thor, Clint Barton’s Hawkeye and Bruce Banner’s Hulk have had key roles in the Multiverse Saga. This wouldn’t have been possible had they been taken “off the board” in Endgame. Conversely, this brave swing may have allowed the MCU to have something of a clean slate when heading into Phase 4, but it’s probably for the best that at least some of the original Avengers are still around, as it provides a much-needed sense of consistency.


The MCU Has Almost Killed Multiple Heroes

The original Avengers lined up in New York in The Avengers

The original Avengers and Captain Marvel aren’t the first heroes that Marvel Studios has almost killed off before their time. Some minor characters, such as Happy Hogan, Baron Mordo and Hank Pym, almost didn’t survive, but even some of the MCU’s most notable fixtures nearly saw this same treatment. Loki was almost killed in Thor: The Dark World, Nick Fury almost lost his life in Endgame, the Scarlet Witch almost didn’t return after Infinity War, and Hawkeye could have disappeared as early as The Avengers. Luckily, Captain Marvel survived The Marvels, meaning she could still return in the MCU’s future.


Brie Larson’s future as Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel, hasn’t yet been confirmed.

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