Avengers: Endgame was a long film, but considering the number of plotlines and characters it was juggling, what we got to see onscreen was actually a pared-down version of an even longer narrative. With fresh deleted scenes making their rounds on the internet recently, it’s become clear that certain moments in the movie had been initially intended to have significantly different implications. Like Tony and Peter’s reunion and the scene where the nature of the Snap is revealed, teasing the possibility of the return of Thanos.
In this particular deleted scene, the Ancient One, played by Tilda Swinton, meets with Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk in the past when he seeks to secure the Time Stone in her keeping. In fact, the Ancient One’s waiting for the hero and actually expects his arrival. When he finally shows up, she reveals that she’d looked into the future and saw Thanos snapping half of everything out of existence.
She also discusses the nature of the Snap that Thanos will perform using the Infinity Gauntlet and explains that snapping someone out of existence is different than outright killing them, with the former being reversible, but the latter being irreversible, even using the power of the gauntlet. This is why Hulk was unable to bring back Black Widow along with the other victims of the initial snap.
What’s important to note here is that this also means that although Tony’s snap in Avengers: Endgame turned Thanos into dust, that may not be a permanent outcome, which logically leads to the conclusion that the door is open for the villain’s return to the MCU at a later date. Then again, since this scene wasn’t in the movie and wound up being deleted, the explanation for the Snap might no longer be canon to the storyline. Not to mention it also directly contradicts an earlier scene in Doctor Strange where the Ancient One reveals she’s unable to view the future past her own death.
Still, clearly there’s a way for Marvel to bring the Mad Titan back if they wish to do so and given how popular he was amongst fans, we imagine that they still have future plans for him.