Warning: Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame ahead!
Avengers: Endgame certainly doesn’t need us, or anyone, to rhetorically butter its bread any further, having just passed $2 billion worldwide at the box office in only its second week. – It’s the biggest movie ever… ‘nuff said. However, for former 13 Reasons Why star Katherine Langford, who played a role in the film, Endgame will likely stand as a bittersweet CV entry, since her performance was left on the cutting room floor by directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who just revealed what character she played.
In an interview on MTV’s Happy Sad Confused podcast, the Russo Brothers finally confirmed Katherine Langford’s mystery role in Avengers: Endgame as Tony Stark’s daughter, Morgan Stark, or more specifically, a version of her from the future, via some Infinity Stone timey-wimey. Indeed, while actress Lexi Rabe – in her onscreen debut – played the part of the pint-sized 4-ish year-old Morgan in the primary timeline, it seems that Tony was originally supposed to meet a young adult manifestation of Morgan, as played by Langford. As Joe Russo explains of the cut scene (via Slashfilm):
“There was an idea that we had that Tony was going to go into the metaphysical way station that Thanos goes in when he snapped his fingers. And that there was going to be a future version of his daughter in that way station.”
We saw this “metaphysical way station” in Avengers: Infinity War when Thanos completed the Infinity Gauntlet and – thanks to Thor not going for the head – initiated the fateful snap that cut the universe’s population in half, after which he experienced a vision of a purgatory-like, realm, where a young child manifestation of Gamora – whose adult version he sacrificed to obtain the Soul Stone – reminded him of everything that it personally cost.
Indeed, the climactic moment of Avengers: Endgame saw Tony utilize his own version of the Infinity Gauntlet to execute a snap that would – in a manner akin to the original move – reduce Thanos and his Earth-invading armies to dust. Pertinently, the original plan was to have Tony, like Thanos, experience a post-snap epiphany-induced vision of Langford’s Morgan. However, the Russos ultimately nixed the scene after it became clear that there wasn’t enough emotional investment involved. As Joe Russo further explains:
“The intention was that his future daughter, because these films are dealing with magic, his future daughter forgave him and sort of gave him peace to go. And the idea felt resonant. But it was just too many ideas in an overly complicated movie.”
As Anthony Russo adds:
“What we realized about it was we didn’t feel an emotional association with the adult version of his daughter. So, it wasn’t ringing to us and resonating with us on an emotional level.”
Additionally, for what it’s worth, Endgame had already effectively scooped a bucketful from the “hero reuniting with an older version of his young daughter” well when Scott Lang/Ant-Man – who emerged from the Quantum Realm after what was just a few hours for him, but was actually five years – experienced a major emotional moment upon meeting a teenage version of his daughter, Cassie; a move that handed the role from the Ant-Man films from Abby Ryder Fortson to Emma Fuhrmann.
Regardless, with a runtime of over three hours, the Russos clearly had critical choices to make with Avengers: Endgame; choices that, by most accounts, seemed to have worked out well enough for the film to end up as the record-breaking monster it has become.