Avengers Endgame featured countless cameos from familiar faces plucked from across the first decade of the MCU, but there were still more that were either left on the cutting room floor or were removed during the scripting stages. Thanks to the release of the official screenplay for the movie from writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely though, we’ve now discovered one we didn’t know about before. Specifically, Dormammu, ruler of the Dark Dimension, could’ve shown up in the film.
You’ll no doubt remember the scene from the visit to 2012 New York in which the Ancient One explains to Hulk about the importance of the Infinity Stones being returned to their rightful places in time. In the finished product, the sorcerer simply discusses how things would go wrong without them. According to this deleted passage though, she was originally set to give Banner a vision of the future, in which Dormammu conquered the world without the Time Stone around to stop him.
ANCIENT ONE (CONT’D)
Now, your timeline might benefit. My new one…would definitely not.
SHE GESTURES. OUR CAMERA ZOOMS INTO THE BLACKENED TUNNEL…
TUNNEL POV: HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE RUN AS WE FLY OVER A CROWDED STREET, UP TO…THE BURNING HONG KONG SANCTUM.
ANCIENT ONE (O.S.) (CONT’D)
In this new branch reality, without our chief weapon against the forces of darkness, our world would be
MOVE UP TO SEE DORMAMMU IN THE SKY. HE OPENS HIS MOUTH…
BACK ON THE ROOF…THE ANCIENT ONE PLUCKS MORE STONES FROM THE GOLDEN RIVER, CREATING FIVE MORE BLACKENED TRIBUTARIES.
This would’ve been an entertaining callback to Doctor Strange, allowing us a look at a dystopian version of the movie’s ending that could have been. Without the Infinity Stone around his neck, Stephen Strange would’ve been unable to make his famous bargain with the entity by placing him in a time loop. Therefore, there’d have been nothing he could do to prevent Caecilius and his Zealots from releasing Dormammu onto this dimension.
Still, I suppose it was an expendable scene when it came down to it, as the Ancient One’s message is clear enough from just her words. Remember, her extended explanation – as well as the “Back to the Future is bullsh*t” scene – was only added in the first place in response to early test screenings of Avengers: Endgame, in which audiences remained confused about the film’s rules for time travel.
Source: Avengers: Endgame Script