The Marvel Cinematic Universe has come a long way in the past decade. From its humble beginnings with the at-the-time-unknown Iron Man and the not-so-incredible Incredible Hulk, it’s grown into a complex web of developed storylines and heroes who fans across the world have grown to love.
The sixteen MCU movies have been of a generally high standard, with tight and fast-paced stories. But all of them at one point existed in longer versions, before certain scenes were removed. Marvel surely had good reasons for making these cuts; the scenes may not have added much to the plot, or they could have messed up the pacing of a film that may have been running too long.
Nevertheless, there are many deleted scenes that you can’t help but wish had made their way into the MCU. They may add depth to side characters, explain the motivation of villains, or just give us an extra bit of cool action – so who cares if they would have made us sit in theaters for a minute longer?
From a tender moment between Doctor Strange and a dog to the explanation of who that blonde waitress in The Avengers’ climactic battle actually was, not to mention a whole lotta Loki, here are fifteen deleted scenes that could have added a great deal to their respective films...
15 Asgardian Brotherly Love (Thor)
At their heart, the two Thor movies have a relationship between two brothers, Thor and Loki. But Thor’s original introduction of the Asgardian siblings as adults would have seriously fleshed out that relationship.
Set on the day of Thor’s planned ascension to the throne of Asgard, this sees Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder reminisce with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki about times gone by. The two of them share some brotherly banter, and Loki turns a glass of wine into snakes (well, why not?).
It’s a real shame that this was left out of the movie, as it convinces us that there once really was a brotherly bond between Thor and Loki. This would have made Loki’s later betrayal, as well as his self-sacrifice for Thor in The Dark World, all the more poignant.
14 Gamora Confronts Nebula (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Another pair of rival siblings, though this time they’re already sparring at the start of the movie; this scene cut from Guardians of the Galaxy sees Zoe Saldana’s Gamora having a tussle with her sis, Karen Gillan’s Nebula.
On Ronan’s ship, Nebula is annoyed that Gamora has alone been set the mission of retrieving the orb, and gets the impression that her sis is Ronan’s favorite. The two argue about this, ending with a brief physical tussle and Gamora pushing Nebula into a wall.
It’s sad that this got cut for similar reasons to the Thor scene; not only does it set up these two tough ladies, but it gives background to their relationship, one of the more underdeveloped elements of GotG. Still, at least we got similar scenes exploring their sisterly rivalry in Guardians 2.
13 Young Peter Parker Helping Cap? (The Avengers)
In this sequence cut from The Avengers’ climactic New York-set battle, a family’s car is attacked by a Chitauri. Captain America comes to the rescue, knocking the alien warrior out by throwing his shield. The kid in the car’s back seat then hands the shield back to Cap.
It’s a nice little sequence, reminding us that even in the heat of war, Captain America is all about helping people. What makes it particularly interesting, though, is that some people have speculated that the young glasses-wearing lad is meant to be Peter Parker.
It would be a neat connection between films, and the timelines do roughly add up, allowing this kid to grow into the Peter we met in Civil War and Homecoming. However, while Marvel haven’t confirmed that this is Peter, they have revealed that the young Spidey does actually appear in Iron Man 2.
12 Tony Saves Harley’s Bully (Iron Man 3)
Iron Man 3 saw Tony Stark go incognito in rural Tennessee and team up with ten-year-old Harley. An extra couple of scenes would have added the character of EJ, an older kid who bullies Harley, into that story.
This begins with a scene in which EJ splashes Harley with his quad bike and refuses to believe that Harley’s friend, lying on the street, is Tony Stark. Later, EJ gets trapped under a water tower toppled in an attempt to kill Stark. Tony pulls EJ from the wreckage and uses his arc reactor as a defibrillator, and the boy is surprised to have his life saved by Harley and Stark.
This cool pair of scenes adds depth to Harley’s world and shows that Tony can be a hero even when out of his Iron Man suit, so it’s a shame these hit the cutting room floor.
11 Black Widow Vs. Cap (Captain America: Civil War)
Captain America: Civil War’s airport battle brought together an insane amount of heroes from across the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and made them all fight each other! One particular punch-up was cut from the brawl, however.
In this rooftop sequence, which only exists in animatic form, Steve Rogers comes to blows with his old friend Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow. Cap wins out and chucks Widow off the roof, but not before checking that she has all her gear, so she can use a grappling hook to save herself.
While that whole climactic sequence had more than enough superhero vs. superhero action, it would have been nice to have seen this bit filmed too; we’re used to Steve and Natasha being good friends, so having them fight would emphasize just how bad things had gotten.
10 Thor and Frigga Discuss Loki (Thor: The Dark World)
The Dark World is agreed by most fans to be one of the MCU’s weakest films. Perhaps one of the problems with it was that the most interesting moments of character development were cut out.
In this scene in particular, Thor visits his mother after returning from battle, to find her chatting via some Asgardian equivalent of Skype to her other son, the imprisoned Loki. Thor and Frigga then discuss how she still has faith in Loki, despite him clearly being the black sheep of the family.
This touching scene adds a lot to their family dynamic; Frigga’s compassion for her sons, and the fact that we get to spend more time with her, makes her death later in the film mean a lot more, while it also goes further to explain Loki’s arc of development.
9 Hulk’s Suicide Attempt (The Incredible Hulk)
Remember in The Avengers, when Bruce Banner talks about how his struggle with his big green alter ego once led him to attempt suicide, only for "the other guy" to spit the bullet right out? That scene (well, a version of it) was in fact shot for an earlier film.
The Edward Norton-starring The Incredible Hulk originally began with Banner, alone in a freezing cold landscape, about to put a blow his brains out. But the stressful situation leads to a Hulk transformation, and the Green Goliath crushes the gun before Banner can pull the trigger.
We can see why this was cut – opening with the hero attempting suicide is kinda dark for a family-friendly movie. Nevertheless, it adds to the idea of Banner’s inner torment and is one of those rare deleted scenes referenced elsewhere in the canon.
8 Cap Ditches SHIELD’s Tracker (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
The Winter Soldier made the character of Captain America work in a modern day setting by putting him in the middle of a tense conspiracy thriller, and this deleted scene fits that Bourne-esque approach perfectly.
The HYDRA-controlled SHIELD think they have the fugitive Steve Rogers cornered at a local school, thanks to a tracker in his suit. An armed squad storms a basketball court (scaring the hell out of a some poor guys playing pickup) only to discover that Cap, well aware of the tracker, has dumped the suit.
Though the plot does work with all mention of the tracker removed, as we saw in the finished film, this extra obstacle does allow for an extra bit of tense, on-the-run action, and for Rogers to show off his skills as he cleverly outwits his pursuers.
7 The Ant-Man Suit Used To Cheat A Casino (Ant-Man)
A highlight of Ant-Man was the comedy between Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang and his thieving cohorts, particularly Michael Peña’s Luis, so it’s a shame this extra moment with them didn’t make the final film.
Luis and his friends are at the casino, and their dice roll lands exactly where it needs to for them to win big money. Except this wasn’t dumb luck – a tiny Scott Lang, in Ant-Man gear, has pushed the dice into place. The guys return home to find Lang playing it cool on the sofa, as he can’t reveal how he’s helped out his mates.
This is both an entertainingly energetic scene and a good summation of Lang’s character. He may have a criminal past, and still be up for the occasional con, but he’s a good guy at heart who just wants to help out his friends.
6 Thor Heals Selvig (Thor)
Here’s one from the first Thor film’s New Mexico-set sequences. During the battle against the Destroyer sent by Loki, Stellan Skarsgård’s Dr. Selvig has been seriously injured, his body pierced with glass from an exploded building, and he lies on the ground dying.
But Thor comes to the rescue – he sprinkles Selvig with something that he explains is Asgardian ‘healing stone’ and the scientist is cured. Selvig admits he’s “starting to like” Thor, while Jane Foster and Darcy Lewis look pretty impressed too.
This scene serves a similar purpose to Tony Stark saving the trapped EJ – it shows that Thor doesn’t need his costume and hammer to be heroic, and that his main motivation is to protect others. For that reason, it does feel like a shame it was cut out.
5 Save The Dog (Doctor Strange)
We’ve had Iron Man saving a bully, Cap saving Peter Parker, and Thor saving Selvig; now Doctor Strange gets his own hero moment – one pulled directly from screenwriting textbooks.
Exploring the city of Kathmandu in search of the Ancient One, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange encounters a dog who limps due to an injured leg. Putting his surgery skills to use, Doctor Strange becomes Vet Strange, fashioning a splint and bandages from nearby items. The dog thanks Strange with a shake of the paw, then happily wanders off.
This feels like a stock ‘look, he’s not such a bad person after all’ moment, and director Scott Derrickson has explained that it was cut because it was too much, too soon for the arc of Strange becoming less selfish. Nevertheless, there’s something heartwarming about watching Cumberbatch tend to the pooch.
4 Sitwell Dismisses Hill (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
The Winter Soldier’s reveal that SHIELD was loaded with undercover HYDRA agents was a major twist for the MCU, but one deleted scene would have foreshadowed the true loyalties of Jasper Sitwell a little earlier.
Maria Hill arrives late to a meeting with Sitwell after having arranged Nick Fury’s funeral. Sitwell shows her footage of the fugitive Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff, and she’s not surprised that Black Widow has joined up with Cap, due to the loyalty he inspires. Sitwell then kicks Hill off the case and sends her back to New York, suspicious that she too is loyal to Captain America.
Though a brief scene, it’s a nice way of setting up the tensions within SHIELD that are soon to seriously break out, and of giving Cobie Smulders’ Hill more of her own storyline.
3 Cross Demonstrates Pym Particles (Ant-Man)
Ant-Man not only added a whole new hero to the Marvel universe, but a whole new technology too. This left us with questions about what Pym particles could be used for – questions that were answered in this deleted scene.
Demonstrating his development of Pym’s shrinking tech to a group of investors, Darren Cross shows off several potential uses of it – reducing shipping needs, design of biotech implants, and sorting out the problem of where to dump the world’s garbage once and for all.
It’s a fascinating scene; not only does it add depth to Cross and his operation, but it shows us that this tech, if it stayed in the right people’s hands, could seriously change the world. It’s unfortunate, then, that Cross turns out to not be the right person.
2 Cap Researches His Past, Gets A Waitress Girlfriend (The Avengers)
Joss Whedon’s first cut of The Avengers was over three hours long, so it’s no surprise that many scenes were left on the cutting room floor. Several of these followed Captain America’s adjustment to modern life.
Cap watches a documentary about his own WW2 exploits, then reads SHIELD records about Peggy Carter, Howard Stark, and Howard’s son Tony. He then sits in a New York cafe; as he sketches the skyline, a waitress, Ashley Johnson’s Beth, asks if he’s trying to spot Iron Man. A nearby old man – actually Stan Lee in an additional cameo – kindly suggests that he ask for Beth’s number.
In scenes cut from later in the movie, Beth and some fellow New Yorkers are held captive by Chitauri and rescued by Cap. Beth does actually appear during the final film’s battle sequence, though it’s an appearance cut down so much that it left people confused as to who she was supposed to be.
1 Loki’s ‘Coronation’ (Thor: The Dark World)
We open with a wide, sweeping shot of Asgard, then enter a large chamber, where an enormous crowd applauds their new ruler – Loki. He steps up, basks in the admiration of the people, then catches and wields Mjolnir. But then he’s interrupted by Frigga and the illusion drops, and it'd revealed that she’s visiting him in his prison cell.
So while it may be unnecessary for the plot, this scene lends Asgard an operatic grandeur missing from a lot of the bland The Dark World, and also digs a little deeper into Marvel’s best villain, Loki – he just wants some love and attention!
What other deleted scenes can you not believe were cut out of MCU movies? Let us know in the comments.