Warning: SPOILERS for Avengers: Endgame are ahead!
It’s safe to say that the final battle in Avengers: Endgame, where 2014 Thanos and his forces clashed with all the MCU heroes and their accompanying allies, is the biggest action packed sequence of the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far. Among the notable moments was when all the Marvel heroines (except for Black Widow, who died earlier) came together to ensure that the Infinity Gauntlet reached the quantum tunnel inside Scott Lang’s van.
Ironically, it turns out that the one male hero who was around for this sequence, Spider-Man, was digitally inserted into this Women-Of-Marvel sequence after the main shoot. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Weta Digital visual effects supervisor Matt Aiken, and here’s what he had to say about Tom Holland’s absence:
The only person who wasn’t able to be there on that day was Tom Holland, and Spidey has to hand the Gauntlet off to Captain Marvel at the start of that shot, so we had a stand-in for Spidey and we ended up filming him with a kind of faux-motion control rig a couple of weeks later when Tom Holland became available, and we tracked him into that shot and popped him in.
It’s a wonder that so much of Avengers: Endgame’s climactic conflict managed to have all the actors together on stage, but this is one instance where schedules weren’t 100% able to mesh together. Peter Parker was shown interacting with Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel and watching as all these heroines teamed up on the battlefield, but in reality, Tom Holland had to participate in this sequence on his own. At least Matt Aiken and his VFX team at WETA made Holland inclusion as seamless as possible.
Like everyone else who was dusted at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man didn’t show up until after the battle over the destroyed Avengers base had already unfolded. Despite his limited screen time, he managed to stand out not just as the catalyst for the Women-Of-Marvel sequence, but also through the touching reunion with his mentor and father figure, Tony Stark, although their time together was tragically short as Tony would later sacrifice his life to stop Thanos’ forces.
While ultimately the Marvel heroines’ efforts in this portion of Avengers: Endgame were for naught since Thanos destroyed the van containing the Quantum Realm technology, the Women-Of-Marvel sequence as a whole was still exciting to watch. In the last couple years, various MCU actresses have talked about wanting the franchise to deliver a movie starring a female-led team, and this Endgame sequence provided a good case for such a project.
Be sure to read CinemaBlend’s review of Avengers: Endgame and stay tuned for more coverage about the latest Marvel movie. If you’re already looking to the future of the MCU, Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters on July 2, and you can look through our Marvel movies guide to learn what’s coming after that.