Avengers: Endgame director Joe Russo took part in a Q&A session in China, where he fielded a number of questions about the film and explained the end scene with Captain America.
Cosmic Book News translated the Q&A from Chinese and revealed just what happened during that final scene with Captain America when he hands the shield off to Sam Wilson.
Russo was asked if the Endgame’s plot was a parallel universe or a closed time loop.
“Nope, not a time loop. Both The Ancient One and Hulk were right. You can’t change the future by simply going back to the past, but it’s possible to create a different alternate future. It’s not a butterfly effect. Every decision you made in the past could potentially create a new timeline. For example, the old Cap at the end movie, he lived his married life in a different universe from the main one. He had to make another jump back to the main universe at the end to give the shield to Sam.”
In fact, earlier in the Q&A, Russo explains that the mouse that pushes the button on the Quantum machine is necessary in order for the Avengers to be victorious against Thanos.
“Yes, the MOUSE SAVED UNIVERSE. Among the many realities in those 14millions, possible futures Doctor Strange foresee, the mouse failed to press a button and thus the heroes failed in those futures.”
He would also elaborate on Captain America’s choice to live out his life with Peggy Carter in the new timeline. In fact, he confirms Captain America created an alternate reality by making that choice.
“To me, Captain America’s action, in the end, wasn’t the fact he wanted to change anything, it’s more like he has made a choice. He chose to go back to the past and lived with the one he loved for the rest of his life. The time travel in this movie created an alternate reality. He lived a completely different life in that world. We don’t know how exactly his life turned out, but I’d like to believe he still helped many others when they were needed in that world. Yes, there were two Captain Americas in that reality, it’s just like what Hulk said, what happened in the past has already happened. If you go back to the past, you simply created a new reality. The characters in this movie created a new timeline when they went back to the past, but it had no effect on the prime universe. What happened in the past 22 movies was still canon.”
Russo also indicated that Captain America more than likely did not just return to the 1970s in order to be with Peggy Carter given that in the 1970s she was more than likely already married. He obviously returned to 1970 to return the Tesseract, but it’s more than likely he also traveled further back in time to be with Peggy.
“We can’t answer it, for now, this is a story that happened in an alternate reality. Maybe it will be revealed in the future.”
The idea of multiple realities is not new in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was solidified in the Doctor Strange movie when Strange is trained by the Ancient One. During his training he learns the purpose of the Sorcerer Supreme is to safeguard the current reality from inter-dimensional threats. In fact, he is pivotal in stopping Dormammu and his Dark Dimension from consuming the prime universe.
It’s definitely more than likely that the Marvel Cinematic Universe will fully explore these alternative realities. In fact, the idea of alternate realities also opens up the possibility of bringing back actors and characters who were once thought dead and gone. Avengers: Endgame does just that with Loki whisking away with the Tesseract. Based on Russo’s explanation about Captain America, it’s quite possible Loki could end up creating a number of alternate realities.
Loki wasn’t the only character brought back via an alternate reality. Gamora returned to the Marvel Cinematic Universe after her untimely death in Avengers: Infinity War. It’s quite possible both Black Widow and Iron Man could also return.
What do you make of Joe Russo’s explanation that Captain America created an alternate reality?