- The MCU is filled with deleted scenes that didn’t make the final cut, often because they were too confusing, redundant, or not important enough to justify the runtime.
- Some of the deleted scenes, like Thanos facing The Living Tribunal in Avengers: Infinity War, could have drastically changed the direction of the films if included.
- Deleted scenes, such as Zeus giving Thor his Thunderbolt in Thor: Ragnarok, would have introduced conflicting elements and undermined the film’s future teases, like Hercules.
Throughout its storied run of over 30 interconnected films, the MCU has left a lot on the cutting room floor, including some bizarre scenes. With so many movies being the result of thousands of hours of production time, revisions, and teases for upcoming projects, its no wonder that Marvel Studios’ movies are rife with deleted scenes that didn’t make the final cut. Whether waived away as being too confusing, redundant, or not important enough to justify the runtime they’d add to the finished product, some of the MCU’s deleted scenes should’ve been reconsidered.
Many more moments across Marvel’s cinematic universe would’ve been incredibly distracting should they have made their way into their respective film’s finished products. Among the cut content lies some truly strange moments that are hard to imagine fitting within the overall narrative of the MCU, whether they too sharply differ in tone, introduce conflicting elements into the universe, or simply mischaracterize their subjects. It’s safe to say that Marvel’s editors made the right choice when it came to axing these weird scenes.
10 Thanos Faces The Living Tribunal
Avengers: Infinity War, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War is the third Avengers movie in the game-changing Marvel Cinematic Universe. This film is positioned as the beginning of the culmination of everything that has transpired in the franchise to date. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who previously helmed Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War, have assembled the largest ensemble in a superhero film to date. Nearly every living character in the MCU is included as the Avengers join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy to take down Thanos in a battle that has massive repercussions for the future of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. A sequel, Avengers: Endgame, was released in 2019 and marked the end of the Infinity Saga.
- Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
- Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Sebastian Stan, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman, Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, Josh Brolin, Tom Holland, Evangeline Lilly, Paul Bettany, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner
- 149 minutes
One of the most powerful deities in Marvel comics, it’s a shock that The Living Tribunal has never made his way into the MCU proper. Yet Avengers: Infinity War had Thanos meeting him after being hurtled through the cosmos by Doctor Strange. Thanos would’ve been judged for his crimes, being found guilty. Though this scene isn’t available to watch anywhere as of the time of writing, the possible inclusion of The Living Tribunal was revealed by writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely during their featured panel at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019. It’s hard to justify how the film would’ve continued after Thanos was indicted by such a powerful force.
9 Zeus Gives Thor His Lightning Bolt
Thor: Love And Thunder, 2022
Thor: Love and Thunder
Thor: Love & Thunder is the fourth Thor film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and director Taika Waititi’s second outing with the character. The movie finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on a journey to find inner piece. But when Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) goes on a killing rampage against the gods, Thor is thrown back into the action. Tessa Thompson returns as Valkyrie, as does Waititi’s Korg. Natalie Portman also returns to the franchise for the first time in nine years as Jane Foster, who transforms into the Mighty Thor to wield Mjolnir.
- Taika Waititi
- Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Tessa Thompson, Chris Pratt2, Natalie Portman, Karen Gillan, Chris Hemsworth
- 118 minutes
Mjolnir and Stormbreaker weren’t the only powerful, lightning-channeling weapons in the MCU with the introduction of Zeus’ Thunderbolt in Thor: Ragnarok. Thor and company’s retrieval of the weapon on Mount Olympus is a major plot point of the film, but the Blu-ray release teased an alternate, more friendly way in which Thor gains access to the weapon. Rather than stealing it, in the deleted scene, Zeus merely gives his mythical Thunderbolt to his Asgardian counterpart after a heartfelt conversation, explaining the object’s power as coming from the heart.
This depiction of a kinder, gentler Zeus is a far cry from the ultimate direction the film decided to go in, Russel Crowe’s King of the Greek Gods turning into more of a hedonistic, selfish party animal. It’s strange to think that the same character nearly served as a father figure to Thor, almost eclipsing Odin in that regard. However, the lack of conflict between the two thunder gods would’ve completely undermined the film’s tease of Hercules later on, giving the legendary Marvel hero no reason to come into the fold.
8 The Hulk Frees Captain America Early
The Incredible Hulk, 2008
The Incredible Hulk
The second film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is The Incredible Hulk, which was released in 2008. The film introduced a new backstory for the Hulk to differentiate it from the 2003 movie, Hulk. Actor Edward Norton played the role of the green hulk, and his alter ego Bruce Banner. He is joined by actress Liv Tyler who plays his love interest, Dr. Elizabeth “Betty” Ross. Betty’s father, General Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt), is hoping to recreate a World War II supersoldier program and, in the process, exposes Bruce to gamma radiation that transforms him into the Hulk. He flees to find a cure for himself but is eventually tracked down by Thunderbolt, who forms an alliance with Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth). After The Incredible Hulk, Mark Ruffalo took over the character for subsequent movies in the MCU.
- Louis Leterrier
- Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson, Ty Burrell, Lou Ferrigno
- 112 minutes
Aside from featuring the single appearance of Edward Norton’s Bruce Banner, The Incredible Hulk is an often-overlooked installment of the MCU epic with little tying it together with other entries in the series. But an alternate opening included within the DVD and Blu-ray release of the movie nearly changed this in a big way, featuring Banner Hulking out while wandering in the Arctic. As the neurotic scientist prepares to take his own life, The Hulk manifests before he gets the chance, tearing apart the ice.
This moment alludes to a later reference Banner makes in The Avengers, in which he briefly describes his attempted suicide to his new teammates. But what makes this moment even more significant is the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance of Captain America’s frozen body amid the falling ice chunks. The introduction of one of Marvel’s most important heroes as a background easter egg would’ve certainly been a strange choice, leaving little question as to why this scene was ultimately scrapped.
7 Odin Lets Frigga Die
Thor: The Dark World, 2013
Thor: The Dark World
Thor: The Dark World is the first sequel to Thor’s introductory MCU movie and the second release in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 2. Set after the events of The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World follows Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder as he tries to stop the villain Malekith with the help of his girlfriend Jane Foster, his brother Loki, and his father Odin.
- Alan Taylor
- Tom Hiddleston, Tadanobu Asano, Idris Elba, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Zachary Levi, Christopher Eccleston, Rene Russo, Chris Hemsworth, Ray Stevenson, Stellan Skarsgård, Jaimie Alexander, Kat Dennings
- 1h 52m
As Thor’s father, Odin has always been depicted as a kind, but strong leader who unerringly led the Asgardian people for millennia. Thor: Ragnarok shows some of the cracks in Thor’s image of his father by revealing the secrets he kept alongside Hela, but the Allfather’s dark side as almost shown a movie earlier. Included among the bonus features of the Thor: The Dark World Digital 3D and Digital HD Blu-ray combo pack is an alternate version of the death of Thor’s mother, Frigga.
After showing off a little bit of the goddess’ combat abilities, the deleted scene has Frigga captured by Malekith and the Dark Elves, held hostage to prompt Odin to unhand the Aether. In a dark display of commitment, Odin makes no effort to bargain or fight, allowing the Dark Elves to kill her freely rather than give them what they want. This scene would’ve irrevocably cast a shadow on Thor and Odin’s relationship, mischaracterizing the Asgardian King as far crueler and colder.
6 Yondu Breaks The Fourth Wall
Thor: Ragnarok, 2017
Thor: Ragnarok is the third Thor solo film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first directed by Taika Waititi. In the sequel, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself stranded on Sakaar, ruled by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). Soon he teams with Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to return to Asgard and defeat his sister Hela.
- Taika Waititi
- Cate Blanchett, Anthony Hopkins, Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth
- 2h 10m
Today, many Marvel fans point to Thor: Ragnarok as the beginning of comedy poisoning the stakes of Thor’s story, sacrificing drama for cheap laughs. But one deleted scene included in the bonus featurettes for the film when purchased on Vudu takes it to the next level, reintroducing a dead character just to break the fourth wall. The scrapped scene grants a stay of execution to a nameless god at the hands of Skurge thanks to the interruption of Yondu of all people, who demands to know where “Kevin and Lou’s” offices were, referencing Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito.
5 Kaecilius Disproves The Afterlife In The MCU
Doctor Strange, 2016
Enter the world of Dr. Stephen Vincent Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), a world-famous neurosurgeon whose car accident left him unable to use his hands. As he desperately tries to find a cure to enable his hands to perform operations again, he comes across a world that leads to another dimension. After being taught about the different dimensions and learning about the constant threat that looms on Earth, he began to embrace his role as the humble protector. Taking after the responsibilities of the Ancient One who trained him before her demise, Strange goes on to become the Sorcerer Supreme himself.
- Scott Derrickson
- Tilda Swinton, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mads Mikkelsen, Scott Adkins, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor
- 126 minutes
One of the more forgettable antagonists in Marvel’s already sparsely memorable villain lineup, Kaecilius was essentially an evil version of Doctor Strange, bent on using his mystical powers for nihilistic destruction at the hands of Dormammu. One small bit of characterization that escaped him in the final cut was revealed in the movie’s DVD and Blu-ray bonus features, showing Kaecilius and his Zealots enter a church only to kill the head priest, taunting him by disproving the existence of the afterlife. Not only does this moment serve no narrative purpose, but Kaecilius’ assertion has been distinctly disproven since, with multiple instances of beyond-the-grave communication displayed in the MCU.
4 Black Widow Provides A Different Ending To Her Parent’s Story
Captain America: Civil War, 2016
Captain America: Civil War
This third Captain America film adapts the “Civil War” storyline from Marvel Comics and sees Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) at an impasse over who governs superheroes and how. Captain America: Civil War pits two teams of Avengers against one another and introduces new superheroes Black Panther and Spider-Man. The divide between the two perceived leaders of the Avengers caused the other members to choose sides. It all started when the UN decided to take control of the superheroes’ involvement in fighting crimes. Steve disagreed with the UN’s proposal, while Tony supported the decision. Things turn for the worst when Steve’s friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), also known as the Winter Soldier, becomes the prime suspect in a terrorist bombing.
- Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
- Martin Freeman, Daniel Brühl, Robert Downey Jr., Sebastian Stan, Elizabeth Olsen, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Evans, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, Scarlett Johansson, William Hurt, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland
- 2h 28m
One of the more somber moments of Captain America: Civil War shows a mourning Captain America, lingering at the funeral of his old friend, Peggy Carter, long after the ceremony has concluded. The movie continues with Black Widow finding him there to give him an update on the status of the team regarding the Sokovia Accords, but the 3D Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release lengthened the two’s conversation, expanding Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff’s thoughts on loss. Hoping to comfort Steve, Natasha tells him a tale of how she tracked down her parents’ graves.
Hoping to explain the futility of holding on to the past, Black Widow emphasizes to the mourning Captain that all the search left her with was “two little gravestones by a chainlink fence“. Ever Captain America’s emotional anchor, this particular pep talk from the former assassin simply came across as heartless. Beyond that, the fate of Black Widow’s parents was described differently in Black Widow’s eponymous prequel, her father likely to still be alive somewhere.
3 Iron Man Vomites Uncontrollably Before Jumping Off A Plane
Iron Man 2, 2010
Iron Man 2
The third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man 2, is an action-superhero film that occurs six months after the original film’s events. After outing himself as the heavy metal superhero known as Iron Man, Tony Stark goes to great lengths to avoid demands from the government for his tech. But, unfortunately, the technology Tony used to save his life is beginning to impact his health inversely – just in time for a man named Ivan Vanko to arrive, who creates his version of the Iron Man tech to settle a decades-long score with Howard Stark’s son.
- Jon Favreau
- Robert Downey Jr., Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow
- 124 minutes
An alternate opening for Iron Man 2 unveiled by the film’s home release nearly re-introduced the founding Marvel hero with a less-than-dignified scene. The very first shot of the film might’ve been Tony losing his lunch in the cramped bathroom of the cargo plane taking him to the drop sight from which he was to arrive at the Stark Expo, having to be persuaded by Pepper to go through with the plunge. While the vomiting may have been caused by the Palladium poisoning resulting from Stark’s use of the first arc reactor as a pacemaker, the bickering between Pepper and Tony would’ve made this scene a sour note to open the film on.
2 Captain Marvel Assaults A Biker
Captain Marvel, 2019
Set in 1995, Captain Marvel follows Carol Danvers, a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, as she turns into one of the galaxy’s mightiest heroes and joins Starforce, an elite Kree military team, before returning home with new questions about her past and identity when the Earth is caught in the center of an intergalactic conflict between two alien worlds.
- Ryan Fleck, Anna Boden
- Lee Pace, Brie Larson, Rune Temte, Clark Gregg, Ben Mendelsohn, Algenis Perez Soto, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Gemma Chan, Lashana Lynch, Mckenna Grace
- 124 minutes
Captain Marvel broke ground as the MCU’s first female-led movie, hopefully opening the door for many more to come. But one strange deleted scene may have laid the importance of this aspect of the movie on a bit too thick. The cut content, introduced on the movie’s Blu-ray release, has Vers receive an unwanted proposition from a biker while minding her own business. After his offer to point Vers in the right direction isn’t responded to, the chauvinist motorcyclist repeatedly asks her to smile.
Annoyed, Captain Marvel’s response is to nearly break the man’s hand, burning it with cosmic energy, before channeling her inner T-800 and stealing his clothes and motorcycle. While the man’s comeuppance is satisfying, it could be argued that the force Captain Marvel uses in response to the sexist comment is overkill to the point of being unheroic, making this scene controversial even as cut content. Either way, the scene is certainly superfluous, and a strange break in the already-packed narrative of Captain Marvel.
1 Tony Meets An Older Morgan
Avengers: Endgame, 2019
The penultimate chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Endgame, marks the finale of the first three phases of the MCU and acts as part two of Avengers: Infinity War. With Earth’s Mightiest Heroes failing to stop Thanos from wiping out half of all existence, the heroes discover one final chance to make things right. Journeying back through space and time, the surviving Avengers attempt to stop Thanos before all is lost.
- Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
- Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Evangeline Lilly, Sebastian Stan, Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan, Brie Larson, Paul Bettany, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman
- 3Hours 2Minutes
The culmination of an 11-year arc for Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Tony’s snap in Avengers: Endgame may have been one of the most powerful moments in the entire franchise. For as triumphant, climactic, and bittersweet as the moment is, it was nearly punctuated by the baffling choice to have Tony meet an older version of his daughter, Morgan. Titled Tony At The Way Station, the scene was released on Disney+ as a standalone featurette to supplement the release of Avengers: Endgame on the platform.
The deleted scene sees Tony immediately transported to a strange, ethereal realm upon snapping, similar to the vision of a young Gamora Thanos is shown by the Soul Stone. Conversely, Tony gets to talk to a grown Morgan, played by Katherine Langford, telling her “I love you 3000″ one last time before passing away from the exertion of using the Infinity Stones. The scene confused audiences in test screenings of Avengers: Endgame(viaVulture), and it’s not hard to see why, as Tony’s last words being “I am Iron Man” served as a much better send-off to his chapter of the MCU than the post-mortem “Way Station” visit.