Deleted scenes offer interesting glimpses into what a movie could have looked like and, as such, are usually the most hotly anticipated bonus material of any home release. The films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) are no different. Because of their shared universe structure, what gets left on the cutting room floor may contain fun Easter eggs for Marvel comics fans or hints at where the universe is heading.
In the MCU, material left out of a final cut can include great moments of character development, key contextual details that might help less comics-savvy audiences understand the story better, or just extra gags that add even more laughs in the cinema - something audiences have come to expect from even the darkest Marvel movies.
Before mastering the mystic arts and becoming the Sorceror Supreme, Dr. Stephen Strange must learn humility. We would have gotten a taste of his buried sense of compassion in this deleted scene, in which the good doctor takes a moment to fix the broken paw of a dog on the streets of Kathmandu.
As Strange ties a splint to the stray's leg, we see a hooded figure watching him from the shadows - presumably judging that this one kind act might be enough to grant him an audience with the Ancient One.
Captain America's arc through the MCU is defined by him being a man out of time, and this scene cut from The Avengers would have been the first to really underline this tragic element of his character. During the three minute sequence, we see Steve Rogers wistfully look through the files of his old army buddies and contemplate the idea of reconnecting with an elderly Peggy Carter or even reaching out to Howard Stark's son.
He also takes a trip to a cafe by Stark Tower where he confuses a waitress's mention of "wireless" to mean radio - before being nudged by Stan Lee to "get her number."
We all know Loki's ego is big enough to fill the nine realms, but this scene that was cut from Thor: The Dark World really hammers it home. The scene begins with the camera weaving through Asgard, arriving in the royal palace to see a huge, cheering crowd in the throne room. A robed figure ascends the steps as Volstagg, Lady Sif, and Fandral bow.
But it's not Odin or Thor receiving an adoring reception - it's King Loki. As he reaches the top, Mjolnir flies into his hand and he basks in the applause. It's not until Frigga breaks the illusion that we realize we've been swept into one of Loki's private fantasies. While the trickster god was painted as a petulant tyrant in The Avengers, this scene shows that, deep down, he just wants to be loved in the way his brother is.
The confirmed existence of the Quantum Realm in the MCU opens up an entire microverse of possibilities for future Marvel Studios' films, one which has been barely explored so far. We could have gotten a taste of just how expansive this peculiar realm is if this scene had made the final cut in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
The scene in question has Janet van Dyne showing a bemused Hank Pym around the place she's been trapped in for decades, telling him that there's more to the realm than they previously thought, including "worlds upon worlds, entire civilizations."
In early Fantastic Four history, Doctor Doom conquered one of these civilizations, providing a possible entry point for the team's arrival in the MCU.