WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, in theaters now.
Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo has opened up about a cameo that likely only the most eagle-eyed of moviegoers caught their first time seeing the film.
During the Endgame's climax, the superheroes who fell victim to Thanos' Decimation at the end of Avengers: Infinity War make their grand return, with a sizeable amount of backup, no less. Those who look closely will notice that among the crowd is none other than Howard the Duck. According to Russo, this cameo was added at the last possible minute.
"It was one of the last things we did," the director told ComicBook.com. "We were sitting at VFX, and I was watching that shot of everyone coming out of the portals, and I was like, god it would be so awesome to have a Howard the Duck cameo here. And I said to the VFX team, is there any way in hell you could pull this off?"
Howard the Duck has had an interesting on-screen history, to say the very least. The Marvel character made his cinematic debut 1986's Howard the Duck, a film that was infamously panned by fans and critics alike upon its release. Nearly three decades later, he made his return to the silver screen, appearing in the post-credits scene of Marvel Studios' critically-acclaimed 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy.
In 2017, Howard the Duck returned to make yet another cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Prior to his cameo in Endgame, the character also appeared in an early draft of Infinity War, but his prospective appearance in that film was ultimately left on the cutting room floor. Moreover, a Howard the Duck animated series is currently in the works at Hulu with Kevin Smith at the helm.
Still, with his appearance in Endgame, Howard the Duck is officially a part of the film that grossed over $2.3 billion to unseat Titanic as the second-highest grossing film of all time. In other words, he's certainly come a long way from his 1986 solo film, which only barely managed to make back its $37 million production budget.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos.