Despite the fact that one of the common complaints levelled at Avengers: Age of Ultron is the sequel’s overstuffed narrative, seemingly every day we learn about more and more of the footage that remained on Marvel’s cutting room floor. First up, there was the alleged Captain Marvel appearance toward the end of the flick – said to be included in the Blu-Ray’s deleted scenes – while the Loki dream sequence didn’t quite make the final draft of the screenplay. Now, director Joss Whedon has revealed that he pushed long and hard to incorporate a Spider-Man cameo in some shape or form, but the reference never came to pass.
During his interview on the Empire podcast, Whedon spoke candidly about the webslinger, and how time was ultimately not on his side.
I wanted all those people. I said, it would be great if we could just add a few more, if we could have a Captain Marvel there, that you’ve made a deal for. And they talked about it. I was like, ‘And Spider-Man, we could do that too, cause Sony had approached us during the first movie about a little integration.
So I would have put both of them in, but neither of the deals were made. And then they were like, ‘We’re making a Captain Marvel movie and we’ve got Spider-Man as a property,’ and I’m like, ‘I’ve already locked my film, you fuckers! Thanks for nothing.’
Prior to Marvel confirming Spider-Man’s involvement in next year’s Captain America: Civil War, all signs pointed to the character having a role – however small – in Age of Ultron to capitalize on the excitement generated by Sony and Marvel’s agreement. Timing seems to be the main culprit for Whedon, as if the filmmaker had learned of the studio deal before the cameras started rolling, one would imagine that the beloved director would have worked Spidey into the script organically. Sadly, it wasn’t to be.
Another facet of the film worth examining is Thor’s abrupt departure to re-team with Stellan Skarsgård’s scientist during Age of Ultron‘s mid-section lull. In what felt like a shoehorned sequence to remind the more casual fans of Thor: Ragnarok, we see the mighty Asgardian take a dip in the Waters of Sight following his disturbing visions brought on by Scarlet Witch. Here, the filmmaker revealed that the sequence lasted much longer in the first three-hour-long cut.
“There was a 195-minute cut of this movie. [As concerns the Thor / Erik subplot], the original scene was that Thor went to speak to the Norn and how it would work was that he’d go in the pool and the Norn possess him, basically, and Erik Selvig asks all the questions, and the Norn, speaking through Thor, give the answers.
So Chris [Hemsworth] got to do something different, and he really threw himself into it, and he did a beautiful job, but it wasn’t well regarded by the test audiences and I feel it’s probably largely because it was a rough cut with no effects, but also because it’s something that in a Thor movie would work brilliantly, but in this movie is just a little too left of centre.”
Avengers: Age of Ultron is in theaters now. For more on the sequel, check out our review.