'Avengers: Endgame' Brought Back One MCU Star With Recycled Footage

There are a lot of surprising (and not-so-surprising) cameos in Avengers: Endgame. While almost all of these involved the original actors returning to reprise their previous roles, there was one specific case that resorted to recycling unused footage. You probably could've guessed this while watching the scene in question play-out, but now it's been confirmed. See which MCU star was brought back with recycled footage below. Beware of major spoilers.

During Avengers: Endgame, Thor and Rocket take a trip through time and end up in Asgard, during the events of Thor: The Dark World. There, they encounter both Thor's mother Frigga (Rene Russo), and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), Thor's old flame. Portman hasn't appeared in a Marvel movie since The Dark World, and she reportedly wasn't happy working with Marvel. The actress surprised everyone by appearing at the Avengers: Endgame premiere, which lead to speculation that she might have a part in the film.

Sure enough, Portman's Jane Foster pops-up in the movie. Sort of. While Russo's Frigga has a lengthy, emotional heart-to-heart scene with Thor, Jane is glimpsed mostly at a distance. There's only one real close-up shot of her waking up from a nap, at which point she quickly walks off frame and we never see her again. Portman's fleeting appearance gave me the distinct impression that Endgame was using older footage of the actress, rather than new scenes. Sure enough, that was exactly the case.

Speaking with EWEndgame directors the Russo Brothers reveal that they used " leftover" footage from Thor: The Dark World for Portman's scenes. However, the actress did contribute something new for the film – her voice. According to Anthony Russo, the filmmakers brought Portman in to do "a little bit of voice-over when she's talking in the distance, that's it."

I suppose that if she wanted to, Portman could've given the Russos a firm "no" on even doing voice-work, but she was game enough to return to the MCU for that brief bit of voice acting. Portman is a gifted actress, but she always seemed ill at ease in the Thor films. It didn't help that her character was woefully underwritten, and not very interesting. With all this in mind, it's not surprising that she wanted out of the MCU entirely. And ultimately, having Thor share a bigger moment with his mother in Endgame, rather than Jane, resulted in a more rewarding scene overall.