The average MCU movie clocks in at just over two hours, which comes as no surprise given the amount of world-building, exposition, and action that is like to take place. Marvel films are constantly up against the task of straddling the line between audience-friendly run-time and service to characters and worlds with a literal encyclopedic amount of information at their foundations.
It should come as no shocker that a lot gets left on the cutting-room floor when a Marvel movie enters its editing phase on the way to its final cut. Some scenes are worth cutting out. But sometimes, we wish the production process had held on to a certain few. Here are 10 deleted scenes from Marvel movies that should have made it into the movie.
A Final Moment Between Stane and Stark
Obadiah Stane functioned as a sort of father surrogate in Iron Man, and as such, his ultimate betrayal deserved at least one additional scene where he and Tony Stark came face to face in a nuanced, tender moment to confront their shattered union.
In an accessory scene to the final battle between Stane in the Iron Monger armor and Iron Man, the two share a climactic moment in which Stark tries to pull his proxy-father out of the armor as the roof of the Arc Reactor facility collapses. Stane, unwilling to yield, barks about how the two have played their roles and should resign themselves to death before Stark releases his armor’s glove and lets Stane tumble to his demise.
The scene would have gone a long way in offering some sort of bookend to their shattered relationship and painted Stane’s subversion in a far more tragic, emotional light than the final cut permitted.
Frigga and Loki’s Heart-to-heart
In Thor, Loki rises to his kingly status in the wake of Odin’s sleep and his brother’s exile. The hierarchical shift comes suddenly and without a scene of explanation or formal ceremony. A deleted scene not only fills this omission but also offers a tender moment between the petulant adopted son and his unfailingly caring mother, Frigga.
In the scene, Loki and Frigga sit at Odin’s bedside as he slumbers, mourning the King’s weakened state and parsing his decision to keep Loki’s true parentage a secret. Frigga delicately reassures an emotionally torn Loki that he is their son in every sense of the word before a royal guard enters the room and presents Loki with Gungnir, the King’s Weapon of Asgard.
The scene functions as a narrative push forward with Loki’s ascension to Kinghood but also serves as a character-building moment between Frigga and her troubled son. Having witnessed how truly heartbroken Loki becomes after the death of his mother in the Loki Disney+ series, it would have served the emotional resonance well to see this loving moment in the final cut.
Steve Rogers’ Haunted Past
The first Avengers film picks up the story of Steve Rogers after the events of Captain America, including his subsequent unfreezing. The super soldier has a ton of complicated baggage, only briefly acknowledged in a series of quick cuts as he beats a punching bag.
In a whole series of deleted scenes, Rogers’s demons are given their respectful due as he watches a documentary detailing the events of World War II and browses files indicating the status of Peggy Carter, the Howling Commandos, and his best friend, Bucky Barnes. Rogers then walks through the bustling metropolis of Manhattan, overwhelmed by the progress mankind has made in his absence, before heading to a gym to punch a bag.
The omitted scene would have bridged Rogers’ story in much more detail and given audiences an even better sense of the sheer magnitude of despair and confusion the “soldier out of time” is feeling during the events of the film.
Stan Lee in the Collector’s Museum
As the Guardians make their way through the Collector’s Museum on the way to sell the Power Stone to Taneleer Tivan, they pass various glass cages housing the exotic and rare creatures from across the galaxy. In a deleted scene, one of such cages contained a sitting Stan Lee, who cheekily flips Groot the finger as he passes by.
A little more Stan Lee in a Marvel feature is never a bad thing, but in Guardians of the Galaxy, the great creator’s cameo was cut from the film due to creative conflict. Director James Gunn stated the scene, shot with a body double, was cut because it both overlapped in tone with Quill flipping off the Nova Corps and potentially took the audience too far out of the world of the movie.
Regardless of the reasoning, we’re sad to see the late comic book writer’s scene pulled from the final film.
Thor & the Norn
In a rather clunky sequence featured in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor, and Erik Selvig travel to the Water of Sight, indulging the Asgardian’s pursuit of more knowledge about a vision he experienced under Wanda Maximoff’s spell.
An alternate, unused scene featured the pair encountering a Norn, an overseer of the fates of the Ten Realms, who possesses Thor and provides information to Selvig using Thor as a mouthpiece.
Not only does the discarded scene introduce fascinating Nordic lore, but given the nearly non-existent information we are given about the Water of Sight, it provides a far more engaging manner of granting Thor the insight he seeks. Even the deleted version sounds clunky, but anything is better than what made it to the big screen.
Steve Rogers & Sharon Carter Share a Moment
Captain America: Civil War introduced a budding relationship between Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter, Peggy’s niece. The distant affection spills over into a tender goodbye kiss shared between the two, but the romance ultimately seems rushed and unrealistic due in part to a deleted sequence that did not make it to theaters.
At a reception for Peggy’s funeral, Sharon and Steve share a drink away from the group in a quiet, intimate moment that, despite refraining from a lot of dialogue already featured in a scene that made the cut, better suits the romantic tone of their relationship. The scene ends in a charged goodbye at the hotel elevators and better foreshadows the culminating kiss that happens later in the movie.
Hela Kills Odin
Thor: Ragnarok is widely considered the best Thor movie and one of the best MCU features to date. The film originally had different plans for the fate of Odin, as an alternate, unused sequence depicts his death in a very different fashion.
The gentle, touching scene between the Asgardian brothers and their peacefully dying father was supposed to take place in an alley in New York City and feature Hela stabbing and killing Oden before breaking Thor’s hammer and chasing him and Loki across the Bifrost.
The scene sacrifices a very quiet, emotional moment on the cliff tops in favor of injecting more conflict into the narrative. Hela being directly responsible for Odin’s death raises the stakes for Thor and Loki, transforming their mission to stop her from the single note of defending their home world to a dark, bitter symphony of revenge and retribution. It’s a painful scene to watch, but one that could have heightened the intensity of all the characters’ motives.
Mantis Saves The Guardians of the Galaxy
The penultimate battle against Thanos in Avengers Infinity War features the Guardians of the Galaxy and the unlikely pairing of Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, and Iron Man battling on Titan. The sequence originally incorporated the criminally under-utilized Mantis saving her fellow Guardians.
In the unused scenes, Thanos tears Drax, Nebula, and Star-Lord from their physical bodies using the Soul Stone. After Spider-Man wrangles up their bodies – sent adrift from a moon crashing into the planet – Doctor Strange tells Mantis she is the only one capable of restoring their souls into their lifeless bodies. Mantis takes to the task and successfully reunites their souls with their corporeal forms.
In a franchise that makes every effort to promote strong depictions of women, the scene of Mantis saving her comrades toes the line to perfection. Not to mention Mantis is so likable and charming that any amount of additional screen time she gets is more than justified.
Taking a Knee for Iron Man
Tony Stark’s death sequence is already beyond emotional. It is the culmination of over a decade of films capped by a moment of sacrifice from the MCU’s originator. Amidst the rubble and blood and bruises, the remaining defenders of earth crowd around Stark’s dying body, mourning his loss.
In an unused scene, the reverence for Stark flows even deeper. After Pepper Potts plants one final kiss on Tony’s cheek, he gently slips away. Then, in a display of admiration and unmatched respect, every single person remaining (save for Gamora, who has no experience with Stark) slowly takes a knee in honor of their fallen hero.
Perhaps the action of taking a knee was deemed too perfunctory or out of place, given the emotional weight of the scene. Whatever the reason, we mourn the absence of the incredible display of gratitude in the film’s final version.
Loki & Frog Thor
The Loki series on Disney+ is one of the strongest television entries for the MCU. The incredibly unique world of the TVA and the hunt for the Time-Keepers revives the story of a character fans thought for sure had seen his last scenes.
A deleted scene in the very first episode robbed the audience of seeing a story we’ve laughed about ever since Thor: Ragnarok. As Loki and Morbius review Loki’s life via video footage, a moment is shown in which the God of Mischief turns his brother Thor into a frog. The comical scene, alluded to during Loki’s mock-play in Ragnarok, and actual canon in Marvel Comics, features Loki pretending to take the throne and getting beat up by the frog version of the God of Thunder.
Fans can slightly rejoice, however, as a shot in Loki’s fifth episode features a buried jar containing Frog Thor, replete with adorable armor and all. While it is a worthy consolation, we would have much rather seen the full sequence between Loki and the Frog Thor in all its hilarious glory.
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