Summary

  • The original tragic ending was scrapped for Marvel’s Thunderbolts movie, which is a missed opportunity for a memorable conclusion.
  • Avengers: Infinity War’s grim ending set the stage for excitement and anticipation, a tactic that could’ve worked for Thunderbolts.
  • Major character deaths in Thunderbolts’ original ending could’ve established Sentry as a formidable MCU villain.



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Reports suggest that Marvel’s Thunderbolts will be abandoning its original bombshell of an ending, which is a shame because the MCU has already proved how well this type of ending could work. Reportedly, Thunderbolts was going to have a surprisingly tragic ending for an MCU movie. Since then, Marvel has seemingly decided to change some elements of the film’s script. While this will probably make Thunderbolts a cheerier viewing experience, it is also missing out on the opportunity to recreate one of the MCU’s best endings.


Previously, Avengers: Infinity War included some major deaths as well as a similarly tragic ending. At the time, this created a lot of excitement about what was going to happen in Avengers: Endgame, since it was the first time an MCU movie had ended tragically and forced fans to wait for the conclusion. Thunderbolts could have used a similar tactic with its original ending, which could’ve been good not only for that movie, but the MCU as a whole.

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Marvel’s Thunderbolts Ending Changes Explained

MCU Thunderbolts line-up reveal in promotional art


The original ending was reportedly going to include the deaths of many if not all the Thunderbolts cast of characters. This plot detail was revealed in an article from The Hollywood Reporter, detailing some of the changes Marvel is currently working on for upcoming MCU projects. One such project is Thunderbolts, which will reportedly be getting some changesto its original ending.

Marvel has brought on The Bear showrunner, Joanna Calo, to do rewrites for Thunderbolts. With filming for the movie not set to start until June, there is a good amount of time for some major changes to be made to the film’s script. Though the exact nature of Calo’s changes has not been disclosed, the assumption is that the movie’s original ending will be changed. This assumption is fueled by Bob Iger’s wish for the MCU to focus more heavily on sequels and known characters, as it’s unlikely he would want big draws like Bucky Barnes and Yelena Belova killed.


Avengers: Infinity War Proved A Sad Ending Could Work

Avengers: Infinity War was a hit for a lot of reasons, but one thing that really stuck out about the movie was its ending. The previous two Avengers movies ended with the villain defeated, and the world saved, so viewers who were unfamiliar with the Infinity Gauntlet story from the comics likely expected a similar ending to Infinity War. Instead, Avengers: Infinity War ends with half the universe getting erased, several major heroes dead, and Captain America simply saying “Oh God.”

Avengers Infinity War Poster

Avengers: Infinity War

Release Date
April 27, 2018

Writers
Stephen McFeely , Christopher Markus

Cast
Chris Hemsworth , Anthony Mackie , Elizabeth Olsen , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Mark Ruffalo , Sebastian Stan , Paul Rudd , Chadwick Boseman , Don Cheadle , Samuel L. Jackson , Josh Brolin , Tom Holland , Evangeline Lilly , Paul Bettany , Chris Evans , Jeremy Renner

Runtime
149 minutes


This ending left audiences with a huge sense of anticipation for Avengers: Endgame, especially with the “Thanos Will Return” text that appeared after the post-credits scene. By having the villain win, audiences wanted to know how the Avengers were going to bounce back and actually beat Thanos next time around. The movie also firmly established just how big a threat the Avengers were facing, and how dark things would get if they couldn’t succeed. Given the success of Avengers: Infinity War and its follow up, it’s safe to say this risky ending paid off for Marvel.

Marvel’s Thunderbolts Could Have Replicated Infinity War’s Success

Thunderbolts Logo

If Marvel had stuck with a similarly shocking ending for Thunderbolts, the movie could have been just as memorable and impactful as Avengers: Infinity War. If anything, it may have been even more surprising. After all, the Thunderbolts are a brand-new team, audiences would not be expecting them to die on their very first outing. Apart from being shocking, killing a character like Bucky Barnes would have sent a major ripple effect throughout the MCU, at the very least setting Captain America on a collision course with whoever was responsible.


If the Thunderbolts will be going up against Sentry, as is the current assumption, the movie’s original ending would have been a great way to set up Sentry as a major threat in the MCU. It would also have given characters with connections to the Thunderbolts a very personal reason to confront him, something that is often lacking in MCU conflicts. Still, there is a bright side to Thunderbolts not ending in the death of its principal cast, which is that characters like Yelena Belova and Bucky Barnes still being part of the MCU’s future.

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