Marvel movies are great because they don’t follow one particular tone or genre. Almost all MCU films are a mixed bag of emotion, thrill, comedy, action, and grittiness. Sometimes these films get way too funny, while some turn out quite dark. These films have made us extremely happy at times, and they’ve made us cry as well. Avengers: Endgame was a complete package of everything. But there were some actually dark moments in the film. What’s crazy is that it was going to get even darker for Captain America.
Back at Comic-Con, the writers of the movie Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely revealed that there was an unused section of the plot where Thanos would have gone to Earth in 2014 itself and fought the Avengers. Here’s what they had to say during their Comic-Con panel:
“Stephen McFeely – When Thanos comes back, and he comes through a hole that Nebula has created and all that, we had to decide what the playing field was for that final battle. And one of the ideas was that she opens a time rift, he walks through from 2014 Earth, where he’s already gone and laid waste to the whole place. And so our heroes come out of the dust, they see this figure walking toward them, he crosses from light to dark or whatever, and it’s Thanos, and he tosses something at their feet. And it rolls and lands at Steve’s feet, and it’s his own head.
Christopher Markus – With the helmet still on.”
This scene does sound quite gritty, and the inner me who has recently gone through “The Boys” does want to see it happen. Steve Rogers would have been really baffled looking at his own head. Moreover, it would have been a statement for Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America that Thanos had already defeated them.
Recently while talking to Empire Magazine, Kevin Feige also shed some light upon this scene. He said:
“One of the ideas was, when they finish the time heist, they returned to a world [in 2023] that Thanos had already conquered, that involved all of that, the throne made of bones and skulls and had him tossing, like a bowling ball, Captain America’s severed skull head, still in the cowl, to Captain America. And it was pretty cool, but the logic to get there defeated us. I think it ended up in a set of pages at one point in the script. There might be a piece of concept art somewhere with it.”
Infinity War brought us a big set of concept arts be releasing an entire book of alternate scenes. We’d surely get one for Avengers: Endgame as well. And as Feige has already said it, we’d be seeing this severed head scene. It’s gonna be awesome.
Pulling it off would have been kinda complicated and perhaps more screen time would have been required. Also it would be partly senseless because Thanos going to Earth in 2014 before going to Earth in 2023 just to make a statement would have felt kinda odd. Also, since he had already defeated the Avengers in Infinity War, showing it again would have become redundant. With all that, it’s still good to know that it wasn’t the directors who scrapped this scene.
Upon being asked by IMDb host Kevin Smith as to who removed the scene, the directors said:
“Joe – It wasn’t us!
Anthony – It was a favorite. It was a complicated idea [to pull off].
Joe – The four of us sat in a room for months going, ‘How do we make Captain America’s severed head work? We can’t figure out where we go once he throws his head at his feet, where does the story go?’”
But this scene would also have benefitted the story with 2 notions being cleared up. The first was adding a little more action into the story, and the second would have been establishing 2014 Thanos as an even bigger threat than 2018 Thanos. Also, it would have shown that Thanos wasn’t just sitting on his chair. He meant business. Kevin Feige further went on to say:
“Thanos is not just a purple guy with a big chin who sits in chairs and smirks, which is basically all he had been up until Infinity War. So much of the time we spent in a conference room in Pinewood in Atlanta that someday I want to have a plaque: ‘It was here that nine people almost lost their minds developing and writing Infinity War and Endgame.’ I would keep opening the book and saying, ‘but we need to do this. We need something like this. Thanos can do this.’ Some of that led to things you saw in Infinity War in Knowhere, where he turns Drax into a pile of cubes. Or turns Nebula into that spiraling ribbon. Or has bubbles come out of Star-Lord’s gun. His casual, sadistic use of the [Infinity Stones] was something that we kept wanting to do.”
Thanos will always be the greatest villain of all time. Nothing could change that!