Avengers: Endgame mania has abated in the weeks since the film was finally released, but it’s from from gone. Even its editors are getting media attention. In an interview with Business Insider, the two men who edited Endgame shared some insights into the process and reveal what could have been.
Jeffrey Ford and Matthew Schmidt have become the go-to editors for Marvel Studios. They spent two years assembling Infinity War and Endgame from over 900 hours of original footage along with both used and unused material from previous Marvel movies.
“We were cutting every day, we were refining, we were figuring out what we were going to reshoot, figuring out what we had to finish,” Ford said. “It was a constant state of preproduction, production, and postproduction all at the same time for almost a year straight.”
Before this intense effort, Ford had worked on seven and Schmidt on five other Marvel movies. There are few people in the world with more insight into what made its way into the movies and what didn’t.
The men talked about the scene in Endgame in which Black Widow and Hawkeye meet on Vormir, both searching for the Soul Stone. They struggle over who will sacrifice their life so that the other can obtain the Stone, with Natasha ultimately going over the edge.
That version of the scene is very different from how it was originally written.
“On script and what we first shot was an excellent scene,” Schmidt said. “Thanos and his soldiers show up on Vormir and a small battle ensues between them and Natasha and Clint. Natasha decides to run off the cliff. Clint tries to stop her while also fending off the attack.”
Test audiences liked this action sequence when they saw it, but ultimately the filmmakers opted for something with a much different feel.
“We just came up with a better idea, something that serviced Natasha a little bit more,” Schmidt said.