Avengers: Endgame has plenty of thoughtful lines written in the script — take Robert Downey Jr’s last line in his final scene as Tony Stark/Iron Man for instance — but one, in particular, almost didn’t make the final cut of the movie.
Keep reading to learn which line, a joke made at the expense of the superhero who got the most screen time in the blockbuster, has been a hot topic for fans. Plus, learn why the film’s writers felt they had to include the joke.
What’s the joke?
Scott Lang or Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) defended Captain America or Steve Rogers played by Chris Evans and, in the process, delivered one of the film’s most popular jokes. Ant-Man referred to Captain America’s derrière as “America’s a—” after Iron Man playfully made fun of the less-than-forgiving suit Captain America wore in The Avengers (2012).
The joke got a callback later in the film when Captain America won a fight with his past self during which he takes a look at his behind, saying, “That IS America’s a—.”
‘Most controversial joke in the whole movie’
In the commentary on the digital release of Avengers: Endgame (learn how to get a DVD and Blu-Ray copy here) Anthony Russo, the film’s director, revealed what happened behind the scenes regarding the joke.
Russo described Ant-Man’s joke about Captain America as “probably the most controversial joke in the whole movie,” according to Digital Spy. He continued, saying the quip about the character’s backside proved to be “controversial for all of us,” and that it “was hotly debated.”
Joke almost left out of ‘Avengers: Endgame’
During a viewing party of Avengers: Endgame, Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios explained the line got cut from the script then put back, according to SyFy Wire.
“Ant-Man’s line was not in [the film] for quite a while,” Feige said. They decided to put it back in the script to see how it would do with test audiences. “It killed. It killed instantly. Every time, without question,” he said, explaining how the line ended up in the film.
Why writers of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ felt they had to include the joke
Also in the commentary on the digital release, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely justified their decision for including the joke.
“How often does a man have the opportunity to admire his own a— from that perspective? You have to take it,” Markus said. “You can’t not do it,” McFeely added.
Russo agreed, saying, “Exactly. Coincidence smiled upon him.”
Line more than just a joke for Captain America
Feige explained there was more to the line than a funny bit about Captain America’s butt. He explained it signaled growth for the character but that they did really think about the line before they included it in the film.
“Let’s be honest, we questioned, ‘Is it in the character of Steve Rogers to make a comment on his own a—?’” Feige said. “And the thought was, ‘Yes it works, and the audience likes it,’ but also, we were building a version of Steve who was growing, who was loosening up. It was part of a character shift to get to the decision he makes at the end of the movie to stay with Peggy [Hayley Atwell], and get some of that life Tony was always telling him to get.”
Find out what the future may hold for Captain America, Steve Rogers, and Chris Evans here.
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