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See how the Avengers honor a fallen superhero in exclusive 'Endgame' deleted scene

  • July 26, 2019

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Captain America (Chris Evans) and others salute Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) after his sacrifice in an ‘Avengers: Endgame” exclusive deleted scene.
USA TODAY

Spoiler alert! What follows reveals the ending of “Avengers: Endgame,” so stop reading now if you haven’t seen it.

“Avengers: Endgame” gave superhero movie fans one of the most epic action-packed finales ever – and a hugely emotional death.

The culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far – and officially the highest-grossing movie of all time – “Endgame” featured a final battle between cosmic villain Thanos (Josh Brolin) and the combined might of all Earth’s mightiest heroes (plus some Guardians of the Galaxy). However, there’s one heroic sequence you didn’t see, and that deleted scene from the home-video release (on digital HD Tuesday, Aug. 13 on Blu-ray/DVD) exclusively premieres at usatoday.com.

RIP: Our obituary for the Avenger who dies in ‘Endgame’ (spoilers!)

Phase 4: Marvel announces ‘Black Widow,’ fourth ‘Thor’ film, Mahershala Ali as ‘Blade’ at Comic-Con

Captain America (Chris Evans) wielded the magical hammer Mjolnir against Thanos, while Thor (Chris Hemsworth) brought thunder and lightning with Stormbreaker. Spider-Man (Tom Holland) did his best to keep the Infinity Gauntlet out of the bad guy’s clutches. Plus a major teamup with Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Wasp (Evangeline Lily), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), among other female heroes. It was a group effort all around.

But the real man of the moment, Tony Stark (Robert Downey), made the sacrifice play using the the all-powerful Infinity Stones to turn Thanos and his forces to ash. It was too much physically for Stark, who succumbed to his injuries on the battlefield after saying goodbye to Spidey and his beloved Pepper.

In the theatrical version of “Endgame,” the scene shifts to catching up with all the heroes getting back to their lives post-Thanos’ snap and a memorial for Stark. However, the deleted scene captures what happens right after Stark dies. Hawkeye’s the first to take a knee and bow his head to salute his fallen teammate, followed by Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Captain Marvel. One by one, silently, the heroes follow suit, including Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Captain America, who teeters a little out of sheer exhaustion.

“It’s a beautiful scene with moving performances, but we filmed it prior to Tony Stark’s funeral,” directors Joe and Anthony Russo tells USA TODAY by email. “The funeral scene ultimately became a more resonant and emotional reflection on Tony’s death for us.”

The lone holdout, interestingly, is Gamora (Zoe Saldana) – not the version whose father Thanos killed in “Avengers: Infinity War” but the space assassin from the past who turned against Dad to work with the heroes and now leaves for parts unknown.

Plotwise it makes sense because this Gamora wouldn’t have known who Stark was or his contributions to superheroing in general. The scene also answers a question some fans had after the finale of “Endgame” about what happened to Gamora and if she was dusted like Thanos, plus sets up a third “Guardians of the Galaxy” for Star-Lord and crew to go find her (assumably during or after Marvel’s upcoming Phase 4 of films).

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