Avengers: Endgame Almost Had Thanos Decapitating Captain America

Captain America Avengers: Endgame

Since the release of Avengers: Endgame just three months ago, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have revealed so many unused or alternate scenes that one could feasibly make an entirely different, yet equally long, fourth Avengers film.

While some of these ideas, like Iron Man fighting Heimdall or younger versions of Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne suiting up for the big final battle would’ve been great to see on the big screen, it seems like we were also spared from some of the more tasteless concepts. Chief among these: Thanos traveling through time to behead Steve Rogers.

At their San Diego Comic-Con Endgame panel, Markus and McFeely revealed that Captain America nearly met a much different fate at the hands of the Mad Titan earlier in the movie. I’m not the first writer to make a “Thanos nearly put the ‘Cap’ in ‘decapitation,’” joke, nor will I be the last, but that’s exactly how Rogers was originally going to be taken out.

The idea, which never made it past the planning stages, saw the 2014 version of Thanos travel back into the past in order to slice up our Star Spangled Avenger. The Mad Titan would then return to the future with Cap’s severed head, a trophy that he’d use to taunt the Steve Rogers in the 2023 timeline.

Just thinking about Endgame’s time travel rules and various multiverse branches that stem from it gives me a headache, but we know those behind the film put a lot of thought into it. Considering that both 2014 Nebula and 2014 Thanos were killed in the movie’s finale, yet Nebula is still around in present day (as would be Thanos, had he not been killed earlier in the first act), that guarantees that the Cap we know and love wouldn’t have died, but another version of himself circa The Winter Soldier would have.

It’s worth noting that Thanos actually was decapitated by Thor early in the movie’s final cut, which the 2014 version of the Mad Titan watched in Nebula’s memory files. While it’s not as mean-spirited or grotesque, that scene parallels the idea of Captain America having to see his own severed head to an extent. Honestly, it’s kind of crazy that we’re even talking about such a potential sequence, but I guess it’s equally crazy that Avengers: Endgame not only exists in the first place, but also closed the chapter on eleven years of Marvel movies so successfully.