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'Avengers: Endgame' directors explain how secret screenings led them to change an important part of the film

'Avengers: Endgame' directors Joe and Anthony Russo said secret screenings of the film's original cut led them to learn that people wanted a better explanation of time travel.

Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) in a scene from Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame. he global box office has a new king in “Avengers: Endgame.” The superhero extravaganza the weekend of July 20 has usurped “Avatar” to become the highest grossing film
Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) in a scene from Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame. he global box office has a new king in “Avengers: Endgame.” The superhero extravaganza the weekend of July 20 has usurped “Avatar” to become the highest grossing film of all time, with an estimated $2.79 billion in worldwide grosses in just 13 weeks.(Film Frame/Marvel Studios 2019 via AP)
Film Frame, Marvel Studios via Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Secret screenings of “Avengers: Endgame” led to directors Joe and Anthony Russo adding new scenes explaining time travel, according to a new report on a Q&A session the directors had on Periscope.

The directors said secret screenings of the film’s original cut led them to learn that people wanted a better explanation of time travel. They then sought out to “explain it as simply as possible."

  • “We actually met with a few professors to talk about quantum physics, and — look, time travel’s not real. It doesn’t exist,” Joe Russo said during the Q&A session on Periscope, according to ComicBook.com.
  • “So you basically, in a genre film, you create rules around which your movie is going to work. ‘Back to the Future’ is such a ubiquitous film, that those rules have been used in a lot of other facets of pop culture. And we underestimated how ingrained they are into people’s brains, those rules, and when we wanted to take a quantum physics approach to the movie, it’s an alternate sort of concept about how time travel works.”
  • “We do these very secret screenings of the films early on with folks who work at Disney, and we started getting a lot of feedback, ‘With Nebula, (when she) kills herself, she would disappear.’ And sort of all the traditional tropes of 'Back to the Future,'” Russo said, according to ComicBook.com.
  • “We said, ‘No, we kind of explained it within two sentences right here.’ Everybody’s like, ‘I’m not getting what you’re talking about.’ So we actually had to go back and create those scenes with Smart Hulk, Scott Lang, and Rhodey, where they’re talking through (time travel).”

That said: There are still plenty of questions about the time travel rules of “Avengers: Endgame.” Yes, the movie does a good job of explaining the rules of time travel. But “Endgame” doesn’t stick too tightly to the rules, either, according to TheWrap. There are multiple scenarios in the film — from Thanos traveling through time to Captain America going backward in time at the end of the movie — that indicate time travel can create multiple timelines, which ignores the rules established earlier in the film.