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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a well-oiled machine at this point, as the past decade and change of filmmaking have helped the studio consistently churn out successful blockbusters. One of the first challenges that comes with adapting comic book characters is design, as each movie finds its own visual language. Concept artists help to design options for superheroes' costumes and gear, and Avengers: Endgame was certainly no exception. And now we can see the jetpack that Don Cheadle's War Machine could have gotten in the blockbuster.
Avengers: Endgame was an absolutely massive project, with The Russo Brothers servicing a huge ensemble of actors, and putting them all into action during the final stand against Thanos. But the idea of the final battle being in space was tossed around, which is what inspired War Machine's scrapped jetpack. You can check out the concept art below.
As if War Machine's armor in the MCU wasn't cool enough, it turns out that he could have gotten a jetpack is the original plans for Avengers: Endgame came to fruition. But who knows? Maybe Rhodey could get an update whenever he returns to the cinematic universe.
These images come to us from concept artist Phil Saunders, who shared it on social media. Saunders has had a long history with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, dating back too the very first Iron Man movie. Saunders has worked on a variety of MCU blockbusters throughout the years, with his next project being Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, as well as Disney+'s WandaVision.
Given the stakes and scale of Avengers: Endgame, there were plenty of concepts, ideas, and filmed scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor. In the final version, the last battle against Thanos and his army occurred on Earth, in the ruins of the Avengers Compound. And after Rhodey, Rocket, and Hulk were saved by Ant-Man, War Machine made his grand entrance in the Iron Patriot suit. But he didn't get a brand new jetpack in the process.
One of the storytelling challenges that came with Avengers: Endgame was the handling of Josh Brolin's Thanos. The Russo Brothers immediately shocked audiences by having Thor decapitate the Mad Titan in the opening sequence. He was eventually brought back thanks to the Time Heist, but clearly there were a variety of ideas regarding how it might go down.
Marvel fans can re-watch Avengers: Endgame on Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.
The final battle of Avengers: Endgame was absolutely epic, as every single hero assembled alongside The Ravagers, The Asgardians, and The Masters of the Mystical Arts. But I have to wonder how epic the iconic portal scene would be if it were actually in space. Maybe other characters would have been fitted with jetpacks, like the ones the Guardians of the Galaxy used in Vol. 2.
It should be fascinating to see how the MCU continues to expand in Phase Four and Five. Kevin Feige has teased that the cosmic stories would continue to be important, so perhaps we'll end up getting another epic space battle soon. At least we know it'll definitely happen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
The next installment in the MCU is Black Widow on May 1st. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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