With a shared movie universe potentially hanging on every key moment, scene, or battle, Marvel's movie superheroes are fine-tuned and polished by dozens of talented artists and producers. Fans would be surprised to see just how different - not necessarily better, or worse - the movies could have been if they had stuck with their original endings.
Here are Screen Rant's 10 Secret Marvel Movie Endings You Didn't Know About.
Iron Man 2
The movie may not have been as big a critical hit as the original, but the final showdown didn't disappoint, with Iron Man and War Machine tearing through an army of drones, before battling Whiplash in his own massive armor. But the movie almost ended with just a fraction of that energy. Originally, Whiplash just took Pepper Potts hostage, with Tony counting on his friend Rhodey to blast the villain to pieces. Pretty anticlimactic, if you ask us.
You almost couldn't tell that the movie was created and shaped by different writers and directors, but there are a few dangling plot threads - and one is bigger than the others. When the final fight kicks off, HYDRA Agent Mitch Carson snags to Yellowjacket tech, and makes a break for it... never to be seen from again. The villain's fate, just like the Ten Ring nods in deleted scenes, was going to be explored. But a mid-credits stinger wasn't possible, with Marvel inserting a scene from Civil War, instead.
Iron Man 3
The big twist of the movie, that the evil terrorist mastermind The Mandarin was just an act, got a mixed reaction from fans. The critics of Sir Ben Kingsley's 'Trevor Slattery' would have loved the original ending, which saw him inject a bit of the Extremis formula into himself before being blown to pieces in the reaction. But fans got more of a compromise than they knew. When Aldrich Killian reveals that HE was the true Mandarin all along, it's actually a re-write. He originally never spoke the line, which would have left the Mandarin as a completely made up character, not an alternate title.
X-Men: The Last Stand
Most fans are happy to just forget the third entry in the X-Men movie series, but its closing scenes actually did help end the instalment on a happier note. Not only does Rogue return to the Xavier School - with her powers back in full force - but the school itself welcomes more mutant children than ever before, meaning a whole new crop of X-Men to choose from.
The god of thunder had no choice but to destroy the Bifrost to save the day, which meant he couldn't return to Earth, or his new girlfriend. The original ending actually seemed to hint at a solution, with Jane Foster developing a beacon to help Thor find his way back. Not to mention Dr. Erik Selvig dropping a reference to S.W.O.R.D., another division of the ultra covert S.H.I.E.L.D. agency.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Marvel's hero team made sure to save each and every innocent bystander from Ultron's attack, guaranteeing Marvel wouldn't get slammed with the same criticism over collateral damage that Man of Steel had to deal with. But one Avenger didn't make it out alive: Quicksilver. But that wasn't always the case. Fans of the speedster may be happier, or more disappointed to hear that Joss Whedon originally planned to have him return safe and sound in the final shot of Cap's New Avengers... but realizing that it undercut the actual cost of the story, decided against it.
It's hard to believe: over a decade and a half of Wolverine appearing as Fox's biggest superhero star, and he still hasn't worn anything close to his iconic comic costume. We couldn't leave the scene that solved that problem off our list, since the hero's second solo movie was going to end with Logan receiving the yellow mask and suit as a gift. For some reason, the scene was cut, leaving fans to wonder if Wolverine's next movie role will finally deliver - just as they always have.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Since the movie's final act was dominated by the death of Gwen Stacy, fans probably forgot that Peter's actual fight with the villain, Green Goblin, was pretty anti-climactic. Goblin is knocked unconscious, and that's that. In the original version, Gwen's death was met with maniacal laughter from the villain, sending Peter into a rage, beating his former friend to within inches of his life. It was probably seen as a little too dark for the film, and cut out completely.
The first Spider-Man reboot earned some enemies when it promised to tell "the untold story" of Peter Parker's origins, and then didn't in any real way. But the sequel actually planned to double down on dividing fans, with Peter's father returning from the dead, having spent Peter's life in hiding, not in a grave. It was a massive change to the hero's nature, but with the scene deleted and the movie leading to a brand new reboot, it's probably better off left on the cutting room floor.
Guardians of the Galaxy
The tears were flowing when Peter Quill read his mother's final letter, but the actual ending of Guardians of the Galaxy kept the sadness going even longer. Aside from confirming that the villain Nebula was alive and angry, the final scene returned to Earth, showing Peter's grandfather from the start of the movie looking to the stars. He apparently saw Peter get abducted into space, and was waiting, hoping he would eventually return as a grown man. Director James Gunn admitted it was beautiful, but too sad a note to end the story on.
Those are the alternate endings and original conclusions to some of Marvel's biggest movies, but which ones are your favorite? Let us know, and don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos like this one.