Why the DEFENDERS, X-MEN, and FANTASTIC FOUR Weren't in AVENGERS: ENDGAME

Defenders
Credit: Netflix/Marvel Television
Credit: Marvel Comics

Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame.

Avengers: Endgame screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley managed to cram dozens of Avengers into the final film, but there were even more characters the duo tried to fit into the script - including at least one that would have been brand new to the MCU.

"We did try to put the Living Tribunal in the first movie. We wrote a scene in which he appeared during the Titan fight. And everyone was like, what?" Markus told The New York Times.

"Whoa. He’s got three heads. It would indicate a whole different level of architecture to the universe and I think that was too much to just throw in," added McFeeley. 

In comic books, the Living Tribunal is a cosmic entity who oversees the balance of the multiverse. 

The duo also joked that the idea to bring the Living Tribunal to the big screen is "still in Kevin Feige's hands." 

Markus and McFeeley also answered two other burning questions about characters who weren't included in the film.

Credit: Netflix/Marvel Television

"We would have to introduce these five characters — or whatever many," McFeeley said of the possibility to include the Netflix Defenders characters, specifically mentioning Luke Cage. "We already are assuming people have seen a lot of the movies. Are we really going to assume they have bought a subscription to Netflix and watched those shows enough so that when they see them, they’re going to go 'yay?'"

"It also screws up the timelines," added Markus. "You would have to assume that they all got snapped away, or otherwise they might have shown up earlier. I think the only character who has come from TV to the movies is Jarvis, James D’Arcy [from Agent Carter]."

As for the other big Marvel properties many fans hoped might get a shout out in the film - the X-Men and Fantastic Four - the screenwriters have a succinct answer as to why they didn't appear - even in a mention or cameo.

"Legally, not allowed to," explained McFeely.

"I guess it’s done now but it wasn’t done then," Markus elaborated. "They still have an X-Men movie [Dark Phoenix]. You can’t reboot them before they’re done. 'Sorry to completely screw you.'"

Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now.

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