Movies are complicated. During production, directors film more than they need and then have to decide what to cut for time or pacing later. Sometimes they lead to extended editions, like The Lord of the Rings, where most of the re-added scenes feel so natural, that the theatrical versions just feel wrong now. A good extended edition can also take something like the mediocre theatrical release of Kingdom of Heaven and turn it into a masterpiece. But even when they can’t make an extended edition or director’s cut, they often include them as features. Most of the time, we watch them and go “oh yeah, that wasn’t needed.” Sometimes we’re perplexed on why they would ever cut something. And that is definitely the case with this deleted scene from Avengers: Endgame. Spoilers ahead, for the nine people who haven’t watched the movie yet.
The Way Superheroes Pay Respect on the Battlefield
When Tony Stark sacrifices himself in Avengers: Endgame we were all crying already, but this deleted scene, if shown in context, would have had us weeping. We see other heroes like Cap and Thor first, but then we get a shot of Hawkeye—one of the original Avengers. He sees his friend and takes a knee…followed by Black Panther…followed by Captain Marvel…and Star-Lord and Valkyrie and Ant-Man and Nebula and oh god, they’re all kneeling for the fallen hero and damn you, Marvel!
Doctor Strange Becomes More Complicated with Just an Expression
In Avengers: Infinity War, Doctor Strange saw how the heroes would win, but the entire time, he knew that Tony had to die. We do see him and Tony exchange glances before the fateful moment, and it looked like Strange was confirming to Tony that he had to die. Tony accepts his fate and saves the universe from Thanos. In the Avengers: Endgame deleted scene, while everyone kneels, the camera lingers on Doctor Strange, and here we see how brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch’s acting is. Everyone else is sad, but we see respect and resolution in their faces. Strange shows guilt and pain. When he finally does take a knee, he grimaces and, more importantly, looks like he’s yearning to be forgiven. Hopefully Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness explores this a little more.
One Small Moment Answers A Lot of Questions
In Avengers: Endgame, we don’t see Gamora again after Tony’s snap, but she appears in this deleted scene. Fans speculated if she had survived the snap at all since she was with Thanos only moments before the battle began. That was never a sound theory, though. We see her in the ultimate Avenger female superhero lineup, and we see that Star-Lord is already tracking her. But this confirms that she is alive. Even more, she doesn’t know if she belongs. Instead of kneeling, she turns and walks away from the scene. Remember, everyone else knew Tony and fought beside him, but this Gamora, and the one Thanos sacrificed in Infinity War, never met him.
So, Why in the Name of Allfather Valkyrie Did They Delete It?
According to directors Joe and Anthony Russo, the scene was deleted from Avengers: Endgame because it was too much like another scene that followed soon after. “It’s a beautiful scene with moving performances, but we filmed it prior to Tony Stark’s funeral,” they told USA TODAY. “The funeral scene ultimately became a more resonant and emotional reflection on Tony’s death for us.”
Maybe…but they could have probably both worked anyway. Or, at the very least, in an extended edition. And if they did make a proper extended edition to release at Christmas? Well, they could probably be the first film to break $3 Billion at the box office. They’re pretty damn close as it is.
What do you think of the scene? Worthy of the cut, or should have stayed in? Watch below:
(Featured Image: Avengers: Endgame Deleted Scene, Marvel Studios)
Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.