Chalk this one up to Marvel Studios being a victim of their own success.
Now less than $40 million dollars short of overtaking Avatar for king of the all-time hill in global box office, when it was reported from the Spider-Man: Far From Home press junket that Avengers: Endgame would be re-released in unprecedented fashion for an MCU film this weekend, it was hard not to assume a connection - that maybe Disney was going for a record.
When Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said it would include "a deleted scene, a little tribute, and a few surprises," it was hard not to read into what a "few surprises" meant for a studio famous for surprises about its future, especially considering how little we know about it.
It as hard not to think that this might be a pretty big deal.
But then a little oddly, Disney sat on the news for a while, and the “Bring Back event” wasn’t officially announced until this past Tuesday. And when it was, it didn’t seem to hint at the fireworks that maybe some fans (and media) assumed/hoped it would include, given Marvel Studios expertise in lighting fireworks.
So was Disney just keeping their cards close to their vest?
Nope. Turns out now, the new content is almost exactly as officially described earlier this week, doesn’t really add much to the bigger picture, and Avatar’s record appears safe.
What does the new edition deliver?
The opening new "introduction" to the film is a very short few seconds of co-director Anthony Russo telling moviegoers to stay until after the credits because they have “something special to share with you.”
The remaining additional content then comes at the very, very end - not at mid-credits as is now Marvel Studios standard operating procedure.
The first is a promised few minute tribute to the late Stan Lee, culled from candid, behind the scenes footage of his cameos in MCU films, which ends with the message “We Love You 3000.”
It’s a sentimental, nice touch and while you could make the argument it should have been included in the original edition of the film it’s understandable Marvel wanted to leave audiences focused on the fates of Captain America, Black Widow, and Iron Man the first time fans experienced the film.
The second scene is as promised a very brief, “unfinished deleted” scene which looks to have been cut immediately preceding the scene in which Cap, Widow, and Ant-Man meet the Hulk in the diner.
The scene features very raw Hulk special effects, with him appearing at a disaster scene acting as a full-on superhero saving civilians from a burning building. It ends after less 90 seconds with the Hulk receiving a phone call, saying “Steve who?”
While Russo called it a favorite scene they had to cut for length, interestingly it would have undercut the diner scene, which reveals the status of the Hulk in a more surprising and humorous way.
For you hardcore MCU fans who follow every clue, it does answer the question of where that gray-purple suit the Hulk sports in those Hasbro toys comes from.
The final new edition is the first minute or two of Spider-Man: Far From Home, which to be fair maybe didn’t play as well to me as it would others given I saw Far From Home Wednesday night.
Though that said it really just expands on and puts into context a moment from the trailers and doesn’t seem to pack too much of a wallop.
So no hints about the future (though Far From Home does that in spectacular fashion) and no surprise revelations from Endgame to make fans rethink the film or adds any fodder for speculation.
While one has to credit Marvel Studios for being honest and ultimately forthright for what this “Bring Back" event was, it also feels like less of an event and something of an underwhelming missed opportunity.