Avengers: Endgame shouldered the responsibility of bringing together and sending off MCU characters developed over a decade. Naturally, such a busy plot had to cut out many scenes in order to keep the film from turning into a five-hour miniseries. Recently, Jerad S. Merantz, a VFX artist who worked on the movie, revealed the concept art for a gruesome scene involving Thanos that was ultimately cut from the script.

The Thanos we see in Avengers: Endgame is a very different person from the villain we meet in Avengers: Infinity War, due to Endgame Thanos being four years younger. The younger Thanos is much more warrior-like and ruthless, as evidenced by the fact that he was able to take on the Avengers singlehandedly without the aid of the Infinity Gauntlet.

The cut scene would have gone a long way towards establishing the ruthless nature of Thanos. After all, what could be more callous than sending your minions to spy on the enemy, and upon their return, killing them and removing their heads to mine information directly from their brains instead of simply asking for a mission report?

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We did get to see a version of this concept play out in the final movie. When Thanos captures the future version of his daughter Nebula searching for an infinity stone in the past, he uses her connection to present-day Nebula to scan her cyborg brain for clues as to the Avenger's plans.

It was a clever way to bring past Thanos up to speed on the Avenger's plans, as well as giving him a means of procuring the Pym particles from the captured Nebula that he would later use to hop through time and crash the Avenger's party in present times for the big final showdown.

Many viewers felt that the Thanos we got to see in Endgame was a much more uni-dimensional version of the character we got to know during Infinity War. While the Infinity War Thanos was a philosopher who commiserated with his enemy's losses and only used violence as a last resort, and frequently spared his victims when killing them served no purpose, the Endgame Thanos was much more of a blunt force, his entire arc in the movie being coming to present-day Earth to get the Infinity gems, and slaughtering anyone who got in his way.

The deleted scene with the outriders would have only served to make Thanos seem even more violent and one-dimensional, which is perhaps why it was ultimately cut. The cost of this omission was less time spent with Thanos and less of an insight into how he used his forces in circumstances other than straight-out attacks on his enemies.

Knowing how fond Marvel is of using cut concepts from earlier movies in later films, we may yet get to see some version of the Outriders scene in some future MCU future, perhaps this time being played out between another Marvel supervillain and their hapless minion.

Neeraj Chand