It turns out that hilarious post-credit Avengers scene where Earth’s mightiest heroes silently eat shawarma after the Battle of New York was actually inspired by another Joss Whedon project – Angel.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly at New York Comic-Con, the cast of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off series Angel reunited for the show’s 20th anniversary. Alexis Denisof, who played Wesley Wyndam-Pryce in the series, and Amy Acker, who played Winifred ‘Fred’ Burkle, revealed that Fred’s death on the show ended up influencing The Avengers.
“That was intense,” Denisof said of filming Acker’s heartbreaking death scene.
“I remember Joss particularly wanted to direct that. He gave us an amazing atmosphere. He more or less cleared the set to just him, the camera operator, and you and me,” he added.
Acker then made the Avengers reveal, “I just remember that at the end of the day we all went for a drink and were sitting in a bar and none of us spoke to each other,” she says.
“Apparently the shawarma scene at the end of Avengers was inspired by us just sitting there not talking.”
“Just shells, completely,” Denisoff jokingly added.
The scene shows Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye silently eating shawarma for about 30 seconds while the restaurant workers quietly clean up the debris from the battle. It’s a very awkward kind of funny.
Whedon had to assemble the cast after the world premiere in Europe to add the extra 30 seconds of footage onto the film.
“We used to talk about, as I was saying earlier, the fun of the characters. We used to talk about the Avengers riding a bus together, or the Avengers all sitting around at a dinner table together, and they are around a table on a helicarrier briefly in the movie but we never quite have done, something about these spectacular extraordinary people doing the most mundane thing possible.”
“I think Joss said ‘We should’ve had them eating shawarma at the end. Just all exhausted,’ and I said, ‘That’s the greatest idea I’ve ever heard in my entire life.’ I said, of course, we have to do that, and the thought was well you can’t get all of them together now. And then executive producer Jeremy Latch went to my then assistant Jonathan Schwartz and said… ‘The premiere is going to be at the El Capitan. Get a map and find every shawarma restaurant in a two-block radius of the El Capitan.’
“He went, ‘Okay’ and goes into his car. He takes all these pictures, comes back, and says ‘Joss, take a look and choose which location do you want,’, and he looks and goes, ‘For the shawarma scene?’ He said, ‘You guys are crazy! Can we actually do that?'”
He continued, “Well, we’re doing the premiere, then we’re doing the junkets, so this is the only time all the actors will be together again… Go get a van, take them from the junket, get in costume, take them to this shawarma restaurant. It’s only one shot, shoot it, and have it. I called Robert first and said, ‘Robert we have this idea. to go from the junket to shooting and you’re just there eating shawarma,’ and he goes, “Well that’s so crazy we have to do it.’
“So cut to a few weeks later and all the Avengers are sitting around this shawarma restaurant eating it. Chris Evans has a giant beard as he often grows for other films in between movies, he had a big beard. So we put this prosthetic face on him that looked horrific, which is why if you watch the scene again he’s covering his face.”
Chris Hemsworth had also lost all of his muscle because he was shooting Ron Howard’s In The Heart of the Sea at the time, so his costume didn’t fit him, which is why he’s hunching down in the suit and his wig covers the huge gap between his neck and armour.
They basically edited it straight away and sent it off for inclusion in the film.
Watch the scene here: