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14 Removed Scenes In MCU That Could Have Changed Everything

Even though the Marvel Cinematic Universe has already produced a number of movies, TV shows, and other tie-in content, its devoted fan base is still starving for more. In fact, deleted MCU sequences are actively sought for and devoured. Like any mega-franchise, the MCU has hours’ worth of alternative, chopped, and conceptual sequences that were left on the cutting room floor. What’s even better is that a sizable chunk of these scenes has made it out to the public in some way.

Alternate line-takes, longer dialogue, or glorified bloopers make up a large portion of the most notable MCU deleted scenes. Some, though, signify a genuinely radical change in the narrative’s course. Don’t discount their potential significance: Those particular sequences would have drastically altered the outcome if they had remained in the corresponding movies.

1. Doctor Strange Ships Thanos To See The Living Tribunal

Source: Lucasfilm/Marvel Studios

Christopher Markus:

It was partly inspired by Kevin Feige… he came into the conference room in Atlanta, where we were trapped for years, and he had brought a bunch of comics panels with him… we were pretty far down the road… and he wanted to make sure we didn’t lose the [trippy] nature of the [Jim] Starlin universe… and so we stuck the Living Tribunal in the movie. So, as Thanos and Doctor Strange came to blows, Doctor Strange blew Thanos’s mind and sent him through the mindscape.

In the end, he would have been dumped in front of the Living Tribunal, who judged him guilty.

2. Thanos Kills All 2014 Avengers

Source: Lucasfilm/Marvel Studios

Joe Russo:

Anthony and I were clinging to this concept that we wanted Thanos to walk up to the Avengers and throw Captain America’s head on the ground. We couldn’t give up on it, and finally we said, “All right, what if we don’t do that? Can we find another way into the third act?” And that’s when it turned into what it is now.

3. ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Has An Alternate Ending In Which Quicksilver Is Still Alive

Source: Lucasfilm/Marvel Studios

As director Joss Whedon told the Empire Podcast:

We did actually shoot him in the last scene, in an outfit, with his sister. We also shot him, waking up, saying, “Ah, I didn’t really die from these 47 bullet wounds!” Actually, we shot something else with that, but… maybe I’ll let you know about that later. But the intent was to earn this, and then you have to stand by it.

4. Nick Fury Exposes Iron Man About ‘Radioactive Bug-Bites And Assorted Mutants’

Source: Lucasfilm/Marvel Studios

When Nick Fury appears at the conclusion of Iron Man to inform Tony Stark that he is not the “only superhero” and is a member of a “larger world,” before mentioning the “Avengers Initiative,” this is when the Marvel Cinematic Universe truly begins.

However, a previous version of the franchise’s first post-credits stinger was far more ambitious. Fury notably mentions “gamma accidents, radioactive bug-bites, and other mutants” in the variant dialogue, which was recorded before property rights had completely been understood.

Even while the fact that Peter Parker began his superhero career before Stark was an important development, it still pales in comparison to the introduction of mutants. Really, if the X-Men and their allies had been along for the journey all along, not a single long-term aspect of the MCU wouldn’t have been different. Fans are still waiting for the mutants to emerge from hiding four phases later.

5. Odin Allows Frigga To Perish

Source: Lucasfilm/Marvel Studios

In any interpretation, Frigga’s death in Thor: The Dark World is a terrible occurrence, but there is one non-canon version in particular that would have substantially increased the drama of the situation.

In a different interpretation, when Odin enters the fight between Kurse, Malekith, and Frigga, he is stopped by Malekith’s words and persuaded to down his spear while Frigga begs him to “kill them.” Ultimately, Kurse stabs Frigga in the back because Odin is unwilling to divulge the location of the Aether or utilize his powerful abilities to exterminate the Dark Elves.

Thor then shows up on the scene in an electric range, and things resume as usual. The father-son bond would have been irreparably harmed as a result of it, though. There is just no way that Thor could bear the memory of Odin seeing his mother’s murder and the two never spoke again before Loki took the All-position Father’s on the throne of Asgard.

6. In “Avengers: Endgame,” Black Widow and Hawkeye Nearly Face Off Against Thanos’s Forces On Vormir

Source: Lucasfilm/Marvel Studios

As editor Matthew Schmidt:

It was reshot to make it more intimate between Clint and Natasha, which fully worked in the end version of the movie. We just came up with a better idea, something that serviced Natasha a little bit more.

7. Howard Stark Has Noted On Projects P.E.G.A.S.U.S., E.X.O.D.U.S., And G.O.L.I.A.T.H.

Source: Lucasfilm/Marvel Studios

Typically, longer versions of canon MCU sequences only include a few more speech lines that weren’t judged important enough to make the final cut. Even then, though, it only takes a few strategically placed words to make a significant alteration in continuity, as is the case in a deleted scene from Iron Man 2 when Tony Stark asks his father for further information about Projects P.E.G.A.S.U.S., G.O.L.I.A.T.H., and E.X.O.D.U.S.

Later in the series, Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. and Project G.O.L.I.A.T.H. both appear; the former is Mar-clandestine Vell’s research of the Tesseract, and the latter is Hank Pym and Bill Foster’s attempt to become extremely well-known. Although Tony’s response to many future events is likely to differ as a result of knowing about Pym Particles or Infinity Stones so early in the plot, Project E.X.O.D.U.S. is the true game-changer.

E.X.O.D.U.S. was a covert S.H.I.E.L.D. investigation into the nature and genesis of mutant powers that appeared in Marvel Comics. It’s the second time in as many Iron Man movies that Marvel Studios has tried to drop a mutant-related clue but abandoned it, which raises some intriguing questions.

8. Captain Marvel Shows Her Knacks At The End Of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ To Enter The New Avengers

Source: Lucasfilm/Marvel Studios

According to Kevin Feige, it was a Joss Whedon idea that Feige turned down:

[Captain Marvel] was in a draft. But to me, it would have done that character a disservice, to meet her fully formed, in a costume and part of the Avengers already when 99% of the audience would go, “Who is that?” It’s just not the way we’ve done it before…

The way we reveal Scarlet Witch [in costume] at the end of the movie? Those were Captain Marvel plate shots. Joss said, “We’ll cast her later!” And I said, “Yeah, Joss, we’ll cast her later.” [Whispers to an invisible associate who isn’t Joss] “We’re not putting her in there!”

Finally, Joss was like, “Let’s use those plates to let Scarlet Witch fly into frame, give her a big entrance?” And that makes sense – she’s come to their side, and she deserves the cool intro, which will feed into another movie we start shooting in a few weeks

9. ‘The Incredible Hulk’ Is Originally The One Who Saw Steve Rogers In The Ice

Source: Lucasfilm/Marvel Studios

The Incredible Hulk’s disastrous plan for Bruce Banner to go to the Arctic and kill himself is ultimately removed, but Banner subsequently makes a reference to it in The Avengers when he states, “I placed a bullet in my mouth, and the other man spit it out!”

But in the disputed deleted scene, Captain America’s frozen form is upheaved by the Hulk’s hulking out amid the ice wastes—a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment that can’t possibly be included in the canon. As the Hulk unleashes his wrath, the famous shield of Steve Rogers and a section of his outfit can be seen soaring into the air along with a glacier’s worth of other pieces.

Naturally, it would be revealed in Captain America: The First Avenger that the frozen Rogers was later found still in charge of the Valkyrie skyship.

A little earlier in the franchise, The Hulk liberating Captain America from the ice would have had certain consequences for the plot, but it would also have been quite significant for the jade giant’s character growth. It may help Banner become recognized as a hero sooner, both by himself and the general public, and it would give the two founding members of the Avengers a strong bond that they haven’t really built otherwise.

10. In “Thor: Ragnarok,” Yondu Breaks the Fourth Wall and Goes in Search of Kevin Feige.

Source: Lucasfilm/Marvel Studios

As James Gunn explained on Twitter, the deleted scene was more a gag of convenience that a serious alternate take:

For those of you asking me how a Yondu deleted scene is on the Thor: Ragnarok extras – I believe Rooker was at the lot shooting his bit for the Guardians Mission Breakout ride/Halloweeen version, and he stopped by the Thor set to goof around.

11. In “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” Janet van Dyne Addresses Quantum Realm Civilizations

Source: Lucasfilm/Marvel Studios

After Ant-Man and the Wasp, the many years Janet van Dyne spent in the Quantum Realm are still mostly a mystery. However, there is an important deleted scene when she makes some significant discoveries that have severe implications. They are quite little in terms of size.

Janet informs Hank Pym about “worlds upon worlds” and “entire civilizations” as she rushes across the Quantum Realm. Then, as if on cue, a mysterious, amorphous glob of energy threatens the pair. They all simply carry on with their lives when Van Dyne uses a translator to declare, “Passing through, we lay no claim,” to ward it off.

However, the existence of tiny civilizations is more than simply a fanciful notion thrown into a script to spice up the dialogue. Even by the norms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is perhaps the greatest scientific discovery ever made and ought to serve as the starting point for numerous more adventures in the series.

Although Janet hasn’t revealed anything on-screen yet, it’s still completely plausible that she did come into these creatures in the Quantum Realm. The Microverse is still a possibility canonically.

12. Later revelations in “Black Widow” conflict with Natasha Romanoff’s deleted account of finding her parents’ graves in “Civil War.”

Source: Lucasfilm/Marvel Studios

In an extended scene from Captain America: Civil War, Natasha Romanoff and Steve Rogers talk about their search for her parents in Russia during their downtime with the Avengers and how they ended up finding “two small gravestones beside a chain-link fence.” Although it’s part of her larger advice to Steve to “enjoy the things you have while you have them,” Black Widow points out that this tale is implausible.

The Black Widow’s retrospective solo debut reveals that Romanoff believed her parents abandoned her on the streets for a significant portion of her existence, but that belief was only a beneficial fabrication created by General Dreykov and the Red Room. In actuality, Natasha’s mother had been killed and put in an unmarked grave after she had resisted being bought at a young age.

Sadly, after Dreykov’s own fiery death, Natasha had no way of ever locating the cemetery where her mother was interred. Additionally, she was presumably uninterested in the destiny of a father who had sold her.

13. In “Doctor Strange,” Kaecilius refutes the notion that there is an MCU afterlife.

Source: Lucasfilm/Marvel Studios

In a deleted scene from Doctor Strange, Kaecilius and his followers enter a church where the sorcerer engages the local priest in discussion regarding the truth of Christianity and the nonexistence of an afterlife, which Kaecilius claims he has previously demonstrated. He then fatally stabs the priest to illustrate his point.

It’s a very blatant assertion, even coming from a villain, for a franchise like the MCU that has carefully avoided the theological implications of things like the Asgardian gods being actual. But in the actual world, that is.

The existence of an afterlife is still hotly contested throughout the cosmos. Long after he sacrifices her, Gamora converses with her father in the Soul Stone, and Odin communicates with Thor from beyond the dead. Kaecilius claims that these interactions never actually occurred, but because this sequence has been securely wiped, it is best to conclude that he is mistaken.

14. A deleted scene from “Thor: Ragnarok” shows a woman leaving her bedroom, which supports Valkyrie’s bisexuality.

Source: Lucasfilm/Marvel Studios

Actress Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie is and has always been bisexual, even if that aspect of her identity has not yet been fully depicted on film. Thompson pushed director Taika Waititi to include Valkyrie’s canon homosexuality in Thor: Ragnarok after discovering it in the comics. He consented and filmed a brief scene in which a lady is seen leaving Valkyrie’s bedroom, but it was ultimately decided that the moment was too “distracting” to be used.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as Disney properties in general, have had trouble living up to their promise to be more inclusive of LGBTQ+ people, with the exception of a few relatively minor characters. The God of Mischief doesn’t actually confirm a plot point on-screen until Loki.