SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for "The Avengers: Age of Ultron." If you haven't seen the movie and don't wish to know details about the final scene, do not read ahead.
Those who saw Joss Whedon's "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" this past week know that the film ends rather abruptly. While standing in front of the new Avengers line-up, Captain America proclaims, "Avengers..." but before the word "Assemble" can escape his lips, the movie cuts to the credits' first title card. So why was the line cut short? Apparently Joss Whedon just really didn't want to include it - and actually took some extra steps to make sure that it wouldn't be put into the movie.
The filmmaker was recently a guest on the Empire Film Podcast, and at one point the conversation turned to the cut-short final line of "The Avengers: Age of Ultron." Apparently, Whedon was adamant about not including the line "Avengers Assemble" in the film, and actually took an extra bit of precaution to make sure that he didn't get strong-armed into including it: he never filmed Chris Evans saying the full line. Whedon explained, "I made sure that we never shot Chris Evans saying it, because I was positive that some executive was gonna go, 'You forgot to put in the last word!' I was like, 'With my dying breath...' I don’t have to say that a lot, but on occasion I’ll turn to [Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige] and say, 'With my dying breath...'"
Going further, Joss Whedon stressed that the "Avengers..." line was written in the script exactly as we see it in the movie, and that it wasn't just something that he thought up on the day of shooting. He also shared the story of how he first explained the scene to Chris Evans, and the actor evidently lost it. Said Whedon, "To know that we landed exactly where I wanted to go, however many stumbles along the way, was extremely gratifying. As was Chris Evans’ reaction when I told him what we were going to do in the second movie at the MTV movie awards when we won for the first movie. He lost his s--t. It was great."
Now that Joss Whedon has actually made it a point for the Avengers to never actually say "Avengers Assemble" in the "Avengers" movies, I actually must wonder if this will be a thing with Marvel from now on - a sort of running gag. Ultimately, the decision will probably go to directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who are attached to helm "The Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1" and 2. One can definitely see them winding up honoring Whedon's time with the franchise by keeping that phrase out of the proceedings (similar to how George Romero movies shy away from the word 'zombie').
More "Avengers" news: Can the Avengers assemble and stop the 'Age of Ultron?'