The Marvel Cinematic Universe has already delivered a couple dozen movies, several series, and countless other items of tie-in material, and yet its rabid fanbase remains hungry for more, to the point that even deleted MCU scenes are sought out and consumed ravenously. Like any mega-franchise, the MCU has left hours worth of alternate, cut, and conceptual scenes on the editing room floor - and, best of all, a good portion of it has made it out to the public in one form or another.
Many of the most prominent MCU deleted scenes are nothing more than alternate line-takes, extended bits of dialogue, or glorified bloopers. But some represent a truly drastic departure in plot direction and storytelling. Don’t doubt their potential importance: Had those scenes in particular been left in their respective films, they really would have changed everything.
‘The Incredible Hulk’ Is Initially The One Who Finds Steve Rogers In The IcePhoto: Universal Pictures
Bruce Banner’s ill-fated attempt to travel to the Arctic and off himself ends up on the cutting room floor of The Incredible Hulk, only to later be referenced in The Avengers when Banner says, “I put a bullet in my mouth, and the other guy spit it out!”
The deleted scene in question, however, also contains a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment that can’t possibly be part of the canon, and that’s Captain America’s frozen body being upheaved by the Hulk’s hulking out amid the icy wasteland. Steve Rogers’s iconic shield and a portion of his costume can be seen hurtling into the air along with a glacier’s worth of other chunks as the Hulk unleashes his fury.
Of course, by Captain America: The First Avenger, it would be revealed that the frozen Rogers is eventually discovered still at the controls of the Valkyrie skyship.
The Hulk freeing Cap from the ice a little bit earlier in the franchise would have had some story-related fallout, but it would also prove quite meaningful to the character development of the jade giant. It would give two founding members of the Avengers a strong connection that they haven’t really developed otherwise, and it might help in Banner being seen as a hero sooner, both by himself and the public at large.Big change?
An Alternate Take Of ‘Thor: The Dark World’ Features Odin Allowing Frigga To Perish
The demise of Frigga in Thor: The Dark World is a tragic event in any telling, but there’s one non-canon version of it in particular that would have upped the drama of the moment significantly. An alternate take has Odin burst into the standoff between Frigga, Malekith, and Kurse, only to be stymied by Malekith’s words and convinced to drop his spear while Frigga begs him to “kill them.” Ultimately, Odin is not willing to reveal the location of the Aether or use his considerable powers to destroy the Dark Elves, and so Kurse puts a blade through Frigga’s back.
From there, Thor arrives on the scene in an electric fury and everything proceeds as normal. But in the aftermath of it all, the relationship between father and son would have been irrevocably damaged. There’s just no way Thor would be able to live with the fact Odin stood by and watched as his mother was slain - resulting in the two ceasing to speak to one another long before Loki replaced the All-Father on the throne of Asgard.Big change?
Captain Marvel Almost Shows Up At The End Of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ To Join The New Avengers
The final pre-credits scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron features Captain America and Black Widow teasingly addressing the “New Avengers” roster that contains Sam Wilson, James Rhodes, Wanda Maximoff, and the Vision. But the team could have been all that and so much more.
Not only was an alternate ending shot in which Pietro Maximoff survives and joins the assemblage, but there was also a version of the scene in which Carol Danvers appears out of nowhere, already in full Captain Marvel regalia with no prior introduction.
According to Kevin Feige, it was a Joss Whedon idea that Feige turned down:
[Captain Marvel] was in a draft. But to me, it would have done that character a disservice, to meet her fully formed, in a costume and part of the Avengers already when 99% of the audience would go, "Who is that?" It’s just not the way we’ve done it before...
The way we reveal Scarlet Witch [in costume] at the end of the movie? Those were Captain Marvel plate shots. Joss said, "We’ll cast her later!" And I said, "Yeah, Joss, we’ll cast her later." [Whispers to an invisible associate who isn't Joss] "We’re not putting her in there!"
Finally, Joss was like, "Let’s use those plates to let Scarlet Witch fly into frame, give her a big entrance?" And that makes sense - she’s come to their side, and she deserves the cool intro, which will feed into another movie we start shooting in a few weeks.
Bringing Captain Marvel into the fold so early would have meant widespread alterations to the general story arc of the franchise. While Danvers’s first solo outing could have still been a prequel, an Age of Ultron debut would have her around for wars Civil and Infinity, and that likely changes the outcome of both. Whatever side Carol takes in Civil War basically automatically wins, and she might even be enough to prevent Thanos from completing the Infinity Gauntlet outright.Big change?
Yondu Shows Up Out Of Nowhere In ‘Thor: Ragnarok,’ Breaking The Fourth Wall And Seeking Kevin Feige
Perhaps the strangest deleted scene in all the non-canon of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one from Thor: Ragnarok in which Yondu Udonta shows up on Asgard just in time to stop Skurge from executing a hapless minor god - but only long enough to get directions to “Kevin and Lou’s offices,” in reference to Kevin Feige and Louis D’Esposito.
Timeline-wise, the scene occurs after Yondu’s heroic demise in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and thus couldn’t have actually happened. But by referencing two actual heads of Marvel Studios, Yondu is also breaking the fourth wall, Deadpool-style - and that’s a tricky road the franchise has thus far resisted the urge to explore.
As James Gunn explained on Twitter, the deleted scene was more a gag of convenience that a serious alternate take:
For those of you asking me how a Yondu deleted scene is on the Thor: Ragnarok extras - I believe Rooker was at the lot shooting his bit for the Guardians Mission Breakout ride/Halloweeen version, and he stopped by the Thor set to goof around.Big change?