A Doctor Strange Side Trip Cut from Avengers: Infinity War Could Be Used Later

An early version of Avengers: Infinity War would have taken Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) on a “side trip” before it was agreed the tangent added nothing to the story of Thanos (Josh Brolin) retrieving the six Infinity Stones.

“I won’t go into great detail about what it was, because you never knew when Marvel might go to the attic and use it, but we went down a long and very complicated tangent into the Doctor Strange world that was super fun,” co-writer Christopher Markus told Backstory Magazine.

“It had next to nothing to do with the Thanos story, but it was vaguely caused by the Thanos story. It was a side trip, and we spent a lot of time on it because everybody liked it — in theory.”

“But what we kept bumping up against is why in a movie about a guy collecting six stones are we off doing this? And staying on story really was the big lesson to take away from both of these movies,” Markus continued. “As fun as it is to take a left turn into Easter egg land, it’s gonna kill your movie.”

The sequence may have been one Markus and co-writer Stephen McFeely detailed at San Diego Comic-Con: a scrapped scene would have seen Strange, when confronting Thanos on his ruined homeworld of Titan, send Thanos before the judgement of cosmic entity the Living Tribunal.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige suggested not losing the “psychedelic aspect of the ‘Starlin-verse,’ where people travel inside their eyeballs and things like that,” Markus said at Comic-Con. The Living Tribunal was included, and when Strange battled Thanos, “Doctor Strange blew Thanos’ mind and sent him through the mindscape.”

“So the idea was that [Thanos is] sort of zipping through the universe being presented with all of his many, many crimes. So bodies are being thrown at him, he lands and things turn into bodies, hands are grasping at him, and it’s just really kind of grim,” added McFeely.

“And at the end he gets dumped in front of the Living Tribunal who judges him guilty. It was great, it was really... when you introduce the idea of the Living Tribunal, it does open up a whole new era. I don’t know if my grandmother would understand that.”

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Doctor Strange returns alongside Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, out May 7, 2021.

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