The MCU currently consists of 23 full-length films released over the past 11 years, which totals up to exactly 2,996 minutes of story, action, and credits. Even considering how much incredible footage the team at Marvel Studios has released in Phases 1-3, every movie so far has additional footage that has been left on the cutting room floor. These clips have sparked many conversations and debates amongst fans, and in this retrospective at the Infinity Saga, I have narrowed down my 10 best-deleted scenes of the MCU between 2008 and 2019.
Avengers: Infinity War – Thanos Uses the Soul Stone on Titan
One of the biggest questions leading up to the release of Avengers: Infinity War was how exactly Thanos would use all 6 Infinity Stones once he had his hands on them. Even with all the excitement that came from seeing them in action, the ever-elusive Soul Stone ended up getting the short end of the stick during its time in the MCU. While the footage of this scene was never released, extra footage of the Mad Titan taking on the Guardians of the Galaxy during the Titan battle could have been the answer to that problem.
Thanos was originally going to use the Soul Stone instead of the Power Stone to separate Guardians’ souls from their bodies before throwing a moon at the Avengers. Spider-Man saves their bodies before Doctor Strange visits him in his astral form, telling him that only Mantis can reunite their friends’ bodies with their souls, and she ends up succeeding in that endeavor. I know I’m not the only one who was disappointed with how little the Soul Stone’s powers were shown on screen, and this scene would have done just enough to give the orange gem its spotlight moment.
Captain Marvel – Yon-Rogg’s Visit with The Supreme Intelligence
Captain Marvel gave the fans our first in-depth story for Carol Danvers, as well as MCU’s interpretation of the popular Kree/Skrull war from the comics. While the movie gave us a couple of misdirections on Carol’s real adversary, her villain turned out to be her own Kree commander Yon-Rogg. Early in the film, we see Carol convene with the Supreme Intelligence who took the form of scientist Mar-Vell during their chat, and this next deleted scene shows what happens when Jude Law’s character has his turn.
The Kree ruler takes the form of an older Yon-Rogg as the real Kree commander gets his chance to convene, which sheds some light on a couple of interesting character traits. For Yon-Rogg, it shows that the person he trusts most in his own life is clearly himself, and that he values his own opinion above all others. On the other hand, the scene portrays him as more of a victim in this situation as the Supreme Intelligence shows no mercy, breaking him down before telling him to bring Carol back alive. I understand why the scene didn’t end up in the film, I still would have loved to see the contrast in how both the movie’s hero and villain dealt with their leader.
Avengers: Age Of Ultron – Quicksilver Survives
After only appearing in one MCU film, Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver was unceremoniously killed off saving Hawkeye and a young Sokovian boy in Avengers: Age of Ultron. While his sister Wanda lived on and has had plenty of moments to shine, many of Quicksilver’s fans still wish to this day that he was still around to fight with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Although this next scene on the list was never released, it gives us a glimpse into what the future could have been.
This deleted scene gives us an alternate ending where Pietro Maximoff survives the attack from Ultron, followed up with footage of him getting a new costume and teaming up with the New Avengers in the final shot of the film. The scene was available to use in case Disney overruled director Joss Whedon’s decision to kill the character off, but I know I’m not the only one that wishes Quicksilver could have stuck around for future movies.
Doctor Strange – Stephen Strange Heals a Stray Dog
Before he became one of Phase 3’s most powerful heroes, Dr. Stephen Strange was introduced to us as an egotistical jerk who only cared about fame and money (think Tony Stark without the charm.) While his solo movie Doctor Strange gave us a solid version of his journey from surgeon to broken man to superhero, there wasn’t even that glimmer of hope in the beginning that he had compassionate side to him. This next scene on the list would have been that glimmer of hope.
Right before Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange is beaten up by thieves in Nepal, he comes across a stray dog with a very badly injured leg. Even for a man who has his rock bottom in his own life, he uses anything he can find around him to make a splint for the dog so he can walk on all 4 legs again, all while Baron Mordo watches from the shadows. I absolutely loved this scene, because as seemingly arrogant and self-centered as Strange is shown to be in his origins, he has enough of a heart to help another soul in need of love and care when he is in need of exactly the same thing himself.
Spider-Man: Far From Home – Extended Iron Spider Opening Scene, Peter Stops a Heist
While Spider-Man: Far From Home gave us a web-slinger story we had never seen before overseas in Europe, there still could have been a little more of what makes Peter Parker the hero we have loved for decades. In an alternate opening to the movie, before the young hero goes off on his trip, there is a couple minutes of the friendly neighborhood spider doing what he does best: stopping criminals and making us all laugh.
After the dinner with Aunt May and Happy Hogan, we see Peter suit up with the Iron Spider outfit to take down the Manfredi crime family in a nice restaurant. Tom Holland gives a scene of peak classic Spider-Man, including web fighting, flips, robot arms, and even his signature quipping with bad guys and police alike. With so much of this movie happening in Europe, this scene would have been a nice way to show Peter thriving in his natural habitat before his trip overseas, and I would have loved to see his last crime-fighting spree as part of the movie.
The Incredible Hulk – Bruce Banner’s Suicide Attempt Unleashes the Hulk
The MCU is so expansive that there are scenes talked about in other scenes that have never been seen on screen before. One of the most prominent examples of this happening is in The Avengers, where Bruce Banner tells the rest of the team on the helicarrier why it’s impossible to kill him, and he knows because he’s tried. The next entry on this deleted scene list gives us an exact look at this story from an earlier MCU film.
In an alternate opening to The Incredible Hulk, Bruce is shown alone in an arctic tundra with a gun in hand, about to take his own life. Thanks to his dual personality problem, the Hulk takes over and crushes both the gun and bullets in his hand during the transformation, and it serves as a good first look into the unique and separate personalities that both inhabit Bruce’s mind. While a scene depicting attempted suicide may have been a little dark for a superhero movie, it would have been a great way to give more depth to the Jeckyl & Hide situation that our golly green giant lives with in the films.
Spider-Man: Homecoming – Aaron Davis Gives Miles Morales A Call
Marvel has been thoroughly praised for all of the Easter Eggs they drop into the MCU, and this next entry is one of the best examples of one of these Easter Eggs that teases possible future storylines. As Marvel Studios worked on how to integrate Spider-Man into the MCU after the Sony agreement in 2017, there were plenty of comic story routes for the team to take inspiration from in Spider-Man: Homecoming. In this deleted scene with Donald Glover, there is an exciting tease for one of the most intriguing potential characters in this new Spider-Man arc.
After Peter Parker webs Aaron Davis to his car and lets him know the webbing won’t dissolve for 2 hours, Davis makes a call where he calls his nephew and says “Yeah, sorry, Miles…I’m not gonna make it.” This one line of dialogue makes this deleted scene one of the best of the entire MCU simply for confirming that Miles Morales exists in this universe. Miles has become a fan favorite in a short time period, with Kevin Feige all but confirming some kind of plan to use him in the MCU and his incredibly successful starring role in Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse beloved by almost everybody. I’m hoping Marvel Studios follows up on this tease and brings Miles into the MCU right alongside Peter Parker sooner rather than later!
Avengers: Infinity War – Bruce Banner Makes a Deal with the Hulk
During the middle of Phase 3, Kevin Feige dropped hints of a very interesting story arc planned out for the Incredible Hulk. Over the course of Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner and his green alter-ego went through more character development than we had seen in any of his previous MCU appearances. Although we didn’t get to see all of his character arc on screen, this next deleted scene gives us a fun alternate take on how he made his final evolution.
The scene slightly changes the ending of Avengers: Infinity War, having Bruce and the Hulk make a pact with each other during the battle of Wakanda to merge into Smart Hulk in order to defeat Cull Obsidian. We also see Natasha preparing to talk him back down into Bruce again until she realizes they’ve merged into one being, different from how we see it play out in the films where they don’t become one until after killing Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. I feel that this would have made a little more sense in understanding Bruce’s transition into Smart Hulk rather than having it happen off-screen, and especially considering that leaked Funko Pop figurine of Hulk busting out of the Hulkbuster armor we all saw, it would have been a great addition to the movie.
Avengers: Endgame – Bowing Down to Tony Stark
Avengers: Endgame truly proved to be the epic cinematic culmination of the MCU to date, and it ended with the death of the man who started it all: Robert Downey, Jr.’s Tony Stark. After using the Infinity Stones to defeat Thanos and his army, the energy flowing through him proved to be too much to handle, leading to his death. It was a tough choice for my 2nd best-deleted scene between this and the one that came out on top, but this scene proved to be as impactful as any that came before it.
After Pepper Potts says her final goodbye to her husband, we see Clint Barton drop to one knee. Whether he did it purely out of respect or because of breaking down over losing a friend, he inspired an incredible moment in the aftermath of the final battle. One by one, the surviving heroes dropped to one knee among the ashes, paying their respects to the savior of the universe. It takes me back to the moment in The Avengers when Loki forced the people of Earth to kneel before him as their ruler, and the elder German man simply told him they would never kneel to a man like him. In this case, because of how important Tony was, he had everyone from Earthly kings to galactic warriors to sorcerers silently giving their thanks and respect, as he so richly deserved. Even though Tony’s funeral had a similar feeling, this scene would have been so moving to see after the death of Iron Man.
Avengers: Endgame – Tony Says Goodbye to Morgan After the Snap
As great as the rest of the deleted scenes on this list have been, my number 1 choice has felt like my number one choice almost since the moment I started making the list. It has emotion, weight, and it would have added even that much more impact to a movie that was already more impactful than almost any in the MCU. It was released on Disney+ when the streaming service premiered, and it’s been discussed and praised all over the internet for weeks and weeks on end: Tony Stark’s post-snap meeting with a grown-up Morgan Stark in Avengers: Endgame.
After Thanos snapped away half of all life in the universe in Avengers: Infinity War, he was taken inside the Soul Stone for a meeting with a younger version of his daughter Gamora, where he tells her it cost him everything to do what he did. When Tony snapped away Thanos’ army in the sequel, we didn’t see this happen for him, although everybody assumed he had a similar moment. In this scene, he meets a grown up version of his daughter Morgan, played by Katherine Langford, who expresses how proud she is of him. Even as sad as they both are, they are able to get at least a little closure before Tony passes. We see Robert Downey, Jr. act this scene beautifully, showing how afraid he is that he may have made a mistake, but also the relief and acceptance of his decision after he knows his daughter will live on safely. He even bids her goodbye about as perfectly as was possible: giving Morgan a kiss and telling her “I love you 3000.”
Even understanding why Joe and Anthony Russo cut this scene from the movie with so much confusion from test audiences about who Tony met in the Soul Stone, I couldn’t stop thinking about how this moment actually would have gone. The scene was beautiful, and it gave the movie’s star just the slightest moment of relief and confidence in himself that he needed, feeling like he made the right choice to give his life for so many others. All things considered, the movie in question was already just over three hours long, and I don’t think it would have hurt having another 132 seconds of the MCU’s biggest star finishing his run as Iron Man. All of that, and more, makes this deleted scene the best of the entire MCU to date, and we can only hope for more incredible footage from Phase 4 and beyond.
With so many options to sort through for this list, even after narrowing it down to the top 10, there are still a few more that could have made this list any other day, but just missed the cut this time around. Some of them made me laugh like crazy, and there are others that would have actually added another nice layer to their respective movies had they remained in the final cut.
Iron Man 2 – The alternate extended opening to the film where Tony Stark is sick to his stomach, almost doesn’t go through with his drop into the Stark Expo opening ceremonies, and Pepper gives his helmet a nice smooch before tossing it out of the plane. This gives a good look into Tony and Pepper’s relationship, along with the effects of his continued arc reactor use, but ultimately isn’t as impactful to the overall plot of the movie or the MCU.
Thor – A moment of reflection between Thor and Loki at the very beginning of the movie before Thor’s coronation as King of Asgard that shows a true connection of brotherly love between the Gods of Thunder and Mischief.
Captain America: The First Avenger – An extended version of the end scene where Nick Fury gives Captain America a quick recap of what the world has been through during his time in the ice, which also gives some more depth to their first meeting and further reinforces Cap as a man out of place and time.
The Avengers – Captain America adjusting to present-day New York City and grabbing coffee before his waitress (who we later see escaping the final battle) hits on him and Stan Lee chides him for not getting her number. In addition to being another humorous appearance for Marvel’s main man, it gives a deeper look into how Cap is trying to navigate his new life in the 21st century.
Thor: The Dark World – Loki casting an illusion in prison of his own coronation as King, even wielding Mjolnir before Frigga brings him back to reality. This gives us some insight into Loki’s mind and ego while also foreshadowing his future at the end of this film along with the beginning of Thor: Ragnarok
Guardians of the Galaxy – Stan Lee’s cameo shows him as part of the Collector’s Museum exhibit, locked in a glass box as he casually gives Groot the middle finger. As funny as his cameo was in the movie shamelessly flirting on Xandar, this one further explores both the ridiculousness of the Collector and how funny “Stan the Man” always was.
Ant-Man – A few deleted seconds that appeared only in the first teaser trailer where Scott Lang asks Hank Pym “Is it too late to change the name?” This makes Scott Lang the voice of everyone both in the movie watching it who know how ridiculous of a name “Ant-Man” is, and it has always made me laugh.
Avengers: Endgame – More footage of the Avengers planning the Time Heist, including Colonel Rhodes making fun of Cap for losing the Tesseract in the ocean, Rocket laughing hysterically as Black Widow reveals how long the Battle of New York lasted, and Tony giving Rocket a haircut he never ask for. It helps ease the tension between the heroes who survived the Snap/Decimation/Blip and gives more insight into their plans to retrieve the Infinity Stones to bring their friends and family back.