The following story contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame[hhmc]
Long ago, when the Marvel Cinematic Universe started, you could assume that the trailer for a given movie accurately represented the sequences in the blockbuster you were about to see. All that changed when the studio began to get a bit craftier, throwing spoiler-hungry viewers off the scent by stacking promos with digitally altered footage designed to hide important plot points. (Theres a shot in an Avengers: Infinity War trailer, for instance, that shows the Hulk running with Captain America across the fields of Wakanda; in the film, the Hulk isnt present for this charge.) Some trailers also include shots that end up not appearing in the finished product—as in a Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that shows Iron Man and Spider-Man swinging into action together, though its not in the film. (Moves like this may also be intended to prevent audiences from guessing plot points in advance—or they could be remnants of older cuts of the films.)
The Russo brothers—directors of many a Marvel movie, most recently the two-part Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame saga—have proven themselves to be particularly adept at keeping audiences on their toes by employing cleverly edited trailers, as is clear to anyone whos both studied Endgames promos and actually seen the movie, now out in theaters. After comparing four Endgame teasers and watching the film itself—three times!—Ive identified trailer shots apparently designed to hide spoilers. (Though, of course, this analysis itself contains spoilers aplenty.) Well begin with the first official trailer for Endgame, released December 7.
The final version of Endgame digitally alters Tony Stark, reducing his muscle mass so he looks like hes been stranded in space for 22 days. The trailer, however, shows him unaltered.
In the film, this is the moment when Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) shows up—and it happens after a five-year time jump. In the trailer, Scarlett Johanssons Black Widow has been digitally altered to hide the time jump; the movie shows her looking more disheveled, and sporting red hair.
Lets move on to another official full-length trailer, released March 14.
By the time we reach this sequence in Endgame—when Hawkeye is being chased through a series of tunnels—the hero played by Jeremy Renner possesses a gauntlet sporting all six Infinity Stones. But this particular shot shows no gauntlet and does not appear in the movie.
This shot of Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and Rhodey (Don Cheadle) does appear in the movie—but the big version of Ant-Man is in the background, not smoke.
This shot does not appear in the movie—most of which instead features a much different-looking Thor (Chris Hemsworth).
Black Widows target practice sequence does not appear in the movie.
This trailer shot digitally repairs Captain Americas (Chris Evans) shield, which is broken in half when this image appears in the movie.
Next up: the “To the End” trailer, released April 16.