Avengers: Infinity War Writers Detail Cut Battle on Xandar Sequence

A scripted but never shot sequence cut from Avengers: Infinity War would have shown Thanos (Josh Brolin) kidnap daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana) from Xandar before laying waste to the planet that housed the Power Stone.

“That was never shot, and certainly in the first draft we wrote it. It came before the Knowhere scene or something like that,” co-writer Stephen McFeely told Backstory Magazine when asked if directors Anthony and Joe Russo filmed Thanos stealing the Power Stone before using it to attack Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston).

“In the first iteration, it was where Thanos grabbed up Gamora. I know in a movie that is two hours and 45 minutes, it doesn’t seem like we cut anything, but we had to cut some stuff.”

Starting Thanos with one of the six Infinity Stones needed to complete the Infinity Gauntlet “gave the story momentum, and it was perfectly clear where the stone had been and how he would’ve gone about getting it, so the action of that sequence wasn’t terribly informative,” added co-writer Christopher Markus.

“It was like, okay, it’s in a bank — he robs the bank, I get it.”

Asked if the sequence was a basic smash-and-grab, Markus said, “No, it was a battle, and the Reality Stone is involved. For the size of the sequence, it didn’t carry its weight storywise.”

In the finished film, Thanos claims the Space Stone from the Asgardians, and the Guardians arrive on Knowhere only to learn Thanos has already seized the Reality Stone.

The Time Stone is then surrendered by Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) on Titan to spare Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), and Thanos rips the Mind Stone from the forehead of Vision (Paul Bettany) in Wakanda.

“We wanted every stone to have dramatic character ramifications. Vision has one in his head. Strange has one around his neck. Loki dies to try to protect one and fails,” McFeely said.

And Gamora, ultimately, is sacrificed by Thanos on Vormir to claim the Soul Stone.

“And that’s the thing — Gamora being the biggest one,” added McFeely, noting the only other characters of note tied to Xandar are Rhomann Dey (John C. Reilly) and Nova Corps commander Irani Rael (Glenn Close), both introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy.

“So, Xandar... you’d really have to feel for John C. Reilly, I guess, or Glenn Close. Like the character moment wasn’t as dramatic as the other ones unless we really sort of moved stuff around,” McFeely continued.

“And [maybe] had the Guardians been vacationing on Xandar or something [a battle could ensue].”

The scene was also cut because it failed to adhere to Markus and McFeely’s aim to “make every scene do more than one thing and be lean and muscular about storytelling.”

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“That was a really good candidate to do offscreen,” McFeely said.

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