Avengers: Endgame Writers Explain That First Major Death

Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios

*Spoilers ahead*

One of the scenes in the first half of Avengers: Endgame features a surprisingly anticlimactic end for the Mad Titan Thanos, one that almost seems too easy for the surviving superheroes. Their revenge is quickly won as they strike up a plan, set out for a garden in space, and tag-team Thanos into a chokehold in no time at all.

But they come out with Thor’s ego crushed, even after he abruptly chops Thanos’s head off after learning he had destroyed the Infinity Stones. So, the mission proves to be a failure.

While the scene is certainly a game-changer for the characters, as they defeat Thanos extremely early on in the film, it turns out, it was hard to put on paper. According to screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, it was one of the more difficult scenes in the movie to pen.

"We always had this problem. The guy has the ultimate weapon. He can see it coming," McFeely explained in an interview with The New York Times. "We were just banging our heads for weeks, and at some point, [the executive producer] Trinh Tran went, 'Can’t we just kill him?' And we all went, 'What happens if you just kill him? Why would you kill him? Why would he let you kill him?'”

Thanos puts up no fight in his execution because he believes his destiny has been fulfilled. He doesn't have the stones anymore, so what else could he accomplish? "It reinforced Thanos’s agenda. He was done," Markus continued. "Not to make him too Christ-like, but it was like, 'If I’ve got to die, I can die now.'"

Thanos’s death simply serves as temporary vengeance, but the loss of the stones gives the remaining heroes something to fight for throughout the movie. If Thanos never destroyed them, their fight would be over and there would be no conflict.

The scene ultimately served as a great way to introduce the problem in the film while giving the characters and fans the pleasure of seeing the villain killed early on.

[h/t CBR]

Mifflin Madness: Who Is the Greatest Character on The Office? It's Time to Vote

Steve Carell, as Michael Scott, hands out a well-deserved Dundie Award on The Office.
Steve Carell, as Michael Scott, hands out a well-deserved Dundie Award on The Office.
NBC

Your years of watching (and re-watching) The Office, which just celebrated its 15th anniversary, have all led up to this moment. Welcome to Mifflin Madness—Mental Floss's cutthroat competition to determine The Office's greatest character. Is Michael Scott the boss you most love to hate? Or did Kevin Malone suck you in with his giant pot of chili?

You have 24 hours to cast your vote for each round on Twitter before the bracket is updated and half of the chosen characters are eliminated.

The full bracket is below, followed by the round one and round two winners. You can cast your round three vote(s) here. Be sure to check back on Monday at 4 p.m. ET to see if your favorite Dunder Mifflin employee has advanced to the next round. 

Round One


Round Two


Round Three


The Office Planned to Break Up Jim and Pam in the Final Season—Then (Smartly) Thought Better of It

Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski star in The Office.
Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski star in The Office.
NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly's relationship in The Office was truly a romance for the ages. Fans were delighted when, in Season 3—after years of flirting—John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer’s characters finally got together. But an alternative plan for the show’s ninth and final season saw the couple going their separate ways.

Season 9 saw one of the most stressful storylines the show had to offer when Jim took a job in Philadelphia and Pam struggled to take care of their children on her own back in Scranton, putting intense strain on their otherwise seemingly perfect relationship. In one unforgettable scene, a particularly tense phone call between the couple ends with Pam in tears. Fischer’s character then turns to someone off camera named Brian for advice.

As Collider reports, Pam and Jim's relationship could have taken a turn for worse in the final season—and the writers had planned it that way. As recounted in Andy Greene's new book, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, series creator Greg Daniels sat down with each of the show's stars before starting the final season to discuss where their characters would go. John Krasinski, who played Jim, pitched the idea of putting Jim and Pam’s relationship on thin ice. According to Krasinski:

"My whole pitch to Greg was that we’ve done so much with Jim and Pam, and now, after marriage and kids, there was a bit of a lull there, I think, for them about what they wanted to do … And I said to Greg, ‘It would be really interesting to see how that split will affect two people that you know so well.'"

Several writers weighed in with ideas about how they might handle a split between Jim and Pam from a narrative standpoint—though not everyone was on the same page.

Warren Lieberstein, a writer on the series, remembered when the idea of bringing Brian—the documentary crew's boom operator—into the mix. “[This] was something that came up in Season 5, I think," Lieberstein said. "What if that character had been secretly there the entire time and predated the relationship with Jim and had been a shoulder that she cried on for years?’ It just seemed very intriguing." Apparently, the writers thought breaking the fourth wall would jeopardize the show, so they saved it for the last season.

Writer Owen Ellickson said there was even some talk of Pam and Brian “maybe hooking up a little bit," but the negative response to the storyline led the writers to "pull the ripcord on [Pam and Jim's separation] because it was so painful to fans of the show." Ellickson said that they backtracked so quickly, they even had to re-edit certain episodes that had already been shot to nix the idea of Jim and Pam splitting up. Which is something the show's millions of fans will be forever grateful for.

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