The following post contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame
Many surprising faces make appearances in Avengers: Endgame, including legendary stars such as Robert Redford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tilda Swinton, Natalie Portman, Rene Russo, and Michael Douglas. But one announced cast member was left on the cutting room floor: 13 Reasons Why star Katherine Langford.
While Marvel never officially confirmed the Australian actress' role or presence in Avengers: Endgame, her involvement with the project was widely established by numerous legitimate outlets in October 2018. But despite those headlines, Langford is nowhere to be seen in Endgame -- not even as part of a post-credits sequence.
Speaking to MTV's Josh Horowitz for his Happy Sad Confused podcast, directors Joe and Anthony Russo revealed Langford was cast as an older version of Tony Stark's daughter in a scene that would have echoed Thanos' conversation with young Gamora in Avengers: Infinity War -- but her sequence was cut to avoid audience confusion.
"There was an idea that we had that Tony was going to go into the metaphysical weigh station that Thanos goes into when he snapped his fingers," Joe Russo said. "And that there was going to be a future version of his daughter in that weigh station. [...] We showed it to a test audience and it was really confusing for them."
"What we realized about it was we didn't feel an emotional association with the adult version of his daughter," Anthony Russo said. "It wasn't ringing to us and resonating with us on an emotional level, which is why we moved away from it."
Joe Russo added, "The intention was that his future daughter, because these are [Infinity] stones we're dealing with, so it's 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."
At the end of Avengers: Endgame, Tony uses the Infinity Stones to snap Thanos' past-present army out of existence; the strain of the snap, however, kills Tony. Later, during a memorial service for the fallen Avenger, Tony returns for a pre-recorded message of hope he left for his daughter, Morgan (played by youngster Alexandra Rabe in the film).
Previously, it was unclear what role Langford played in the film (TheWrap, which broke the news of her casting, had originally reported Langford already shot her scenes when it first announced her Avengers involvement), but online speculation ran rampant in the weeks leading up to Endgame that Langford could fill a variety of parts, including:
-Scott Lang's daughter, Cassie (played by Emma Furhmann in the film)
-Kate Bishop, a member of the Young Avengers who takes up the Hawkeye mantle in the comics (Kate Bishop does not appear in Endgame)
-Death, the infatuation and obsession of Thanos (Death does not appear in Endgame)
-Moondragon, a Marvel character with connections to, among other characters, Thanos and Drax the Destroyer (Moondragon was not introduced in the film)
This is the first time anyone involved in Avengers: Endgame has commented on the cut Langford role. But the actress herself did address Avengers: Endgame in an Instagram Story last month. When a fan asked about her character, Langford responded with "..." and no further comment.
Fans, meanwhile, were disappointed in Langford's absence.
While her role in Avengers: Endgame failed to materialize, fans can watch Langford on Netflix in 13 Reasons Why (Season 1 and 2 are available now) and in the romantic comedy Love Simon (available to stream on HBO). The actress will next be seen in Cursed on Netflix, a re-imagining of the Lady in the Lake myth from Frank Miller.
Avengers: Endgame is out now.