While Avengers: Infinity War is a masterpiece, it always felt strange that Thanos (Josh Brolin) began the movie in possession of one Infinity Stone. During an interview with Near Mint Condition, Thanos creator Jim Starlin reveals Marvel Studio actually shot a 45-minute scene showing how the villain destroys Xandar to get the Power Stone. Unfortunately, the scene was discarded before any VFX work was done since Marvel Studios didn’t anticipate the movie’s overwhelming reception.
2018’s Avengers: Infinity War follows Thanos as he crosses the universe collecting the six Infinity Stones he needs to wipe out half the cosmos’ sentient life. It’s the ultimate crossover event that paid off a decade of movies that slowly revealed the location of each Stone. For instance, 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy story revolves around the Power Stone. And by the movie’s ending, the Power Stone is locked in a vault in Xandar, the capital of the Nova Empire. As such, it would be fair to imagine Thanos would have to overcome the powerful Nova Corps army to reach it.
Nevertheless, in the opening scene of Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos destroys an Asgardian ship while looking for the Tesseract, the Space Stone Loki (Tom Hiddleston) stole from Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) vault. The Mad Titan easily overpowers Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and even the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), which shouldn’t be surprising since, by then, Thanos holds the Power Stone. So, it’s clear that the Mad Titan destroyed Xandar somehow, but we never see it happens. As Starlin now reveals, this missing scene would have added another 45 minutes to Avengers: Infinity War‘s runtime. As Starling puts it:
“But about a month before the movie came out, I got an email or something from Joe saying, ‘the 45 minutes of Thanos that we had at the beginning of Infinity War, we had it cut.’ There was a whole sequence of him getting the first gem and they had to cut that out. They shot it, but they never wanted to spend the money on the effects and they didn’t want the movie to be as long as the second one [Endgame] was. They didn’t realize it was going to be quite the hit it was.”
Forty-five extra minutes does seem excessive for a single set piece. Still, we would have loved to feel extra minutes of Brolin‘s impressive performance as Thanos, especially if it meant watching the destruction of Xandar. Even more curious is Starling‘s note about how Marvel Studios was afraid of taking some risks as they didn’t anticipate Avengers: Infinity War‘s success. The movie ended up cashing in more than $2 billion and still remains the second most profitable MCU movie, behind only Avengers: Endgame. So, how about finishing that scene and bringing an extended cut of Avengers: Infinity War to theaters, Marvel Studios? Some of us would gladly pay to see that.
The MCU Keeps Expanding
While Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame ended the ambitious “Infinity Saga” storyline, the MCU keeps expanding. Currently, Marvel Studios oversees multiple TV and film projects as they turn Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) into the next overarching villain that’ll torment the MCU for the next few years. It’s not been smooth sailing, though, as the audience’s interest seems to have diminished after the “Infinity Saga.” As a result, their last theatrical release, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, struggled to break even. Hopefully, Marvel Studios will stir the boat, as we would love to see more ambitious stories such as Infinity War told in theaters.
Check out Starlings’ full interview with Near Mint Condition below.