Best of Summer 2019: Russo Bros Finally Reveal How Captain America was Able to [Spoiler Alert]
*As summer draws to a close, we’re looking back at some of our favorite interviews and stories.
With Avengers: Endgame headed for its digital HD release next week, lots of interesting, spoiler-riffic tidbits are finding their way online. Here’s one that just caught our attention.
Quick—what was the single most shocking moment in Avengers: Endgame? [Spoiler alert, obviously.] Very good arguments could be made for the film’s two major deaths—Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. These moments were, without a doubt, the most emotional, but you could argue that, at least in the case of Iron Man, you could have reasonably guessed it was coming. Yet for all the surprising twists and twists, for all the time-traveling, cameos, and call-backs, the moment that brought the loudest squeal of delight and shock at many screenings occurred when Captain America (Chris Evans) wielded Thor (Chris Hemsworth)’s hammer Mjolnir. When did Cap become worthy of Mjolnir? That’s a question many Marvel-heads have been asking since Endgame premiere on April 26. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo have given us their answer.
Speaking on Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast (h/t Collider) the Russo Brothers explained why Cap was suddenly able to wield Mjolnir at that crucial moment in the Battle of Upstate New York. Cap saves Thor’s life—and likely his own—by suddenly being able to summon Mjolnir and, for about 30 seconds at least, beat the living crap out of Thanos. Joe Russo says that the moment brings us back to Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, when a bunch of Avengers tried, and failed, to lift Thor’s mighty hammer:
“I think it goes all the way back to Ultron. I think everyone who’s a Marvel fan, in that moment where Cap tested the hammer, felt deep down in their heart that he was worthy and that he could potentially lift that, and boy wouldn’t it be special one day if he did. And obviously, if you create drama around the circumstances of him wielding the hammer, and then kicking Thanos’ ass for 30 seconds after that, we felt like we could create a risible moment for the audience.”
One very intriguing point Anthony Russo makes is that, to them, Cap was always able to lift Mjolnir, but, being Cap, he didn’t want to show up Thor in front of all his friends:
“In our heads, he was able to wield it, and he didn’t know that until that moment in Ultron when he tried to pick it up. But Cap’s sense of character and his sense of humility, sort of out of deference to Thor’s ego, you know Cap in that moment realizing he can move the hammer decides not to.”
Can you think of a move more Cap than being able to lift Thor’s special hammer but choosing not to out of humility? It’s a delicious little detail. We wonder what Joss Whedon might say about it—perhaps he’ll weigh in?
Endgame is available for digital download on July 30th.
Featured image: Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: ENDGAME. L to R: Captain America (Chris Evans) in b/g Hulk (Mark Ruffalo, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). Photo: Film Frame. ©Marvel Studios 2019