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Warning: major spoilers for Avengers: Age of Ultron ahead! If you haven’t seen the film yet, turn back now!
Before Avengers: Age of Ultron hit U.S. theaters, it was reported that the Blu-ray/DVD release will have a variety of special features, including an alternate ending. While it remains to be seen whether this ending will actually be made available to the public, director Joss Whedon revealed part of what this conclusion entails. It turns out that Pietro Maximoff, a.k.a. Quicksilver, wasn’t always going to be killed off, and there were also several scenes shot where he was still breathing in the end.
On the Empire Podcast, Whedon revealed that several scenes were filmed during production that had Quicksilver not only survive the bullets that hit him, but show up alongside his sister in the final scene. According to Whedon:
We did actually shoot him in the last scene, in an outfit, with his sister. We also shot him, waking up, saying, 'Ah, I didn’t really die from these 47 bullet wounds!' Actually, we shot something else with that, but... maybe I’ll let you know about that later. But the intent was to earn this, and then you have to stand by it.
During the climactic battle with Ultron in Sokovia, Quicksilver was killed when he saved Hawkeye and a child from being struck by gunfire. Depending on which speedster superhero is being used as an example, sometimes a byproduct of super speed is being able to heal faster, as is the case with Barry Allen on The Flash. However, Avengers: Age of Ultron never indicated whether or not Quicksilver’s speed offered this benefit. All we ever saw him do was run fast, demonstrate quick reflexes, and destroy hordes of robot minions with his bare hands. If he were to have miraculously healed after that barrage, it might have been confusing for the audience.
Whedon stated that because he thinks of Avengers: Age of Ultron as a war movie, it would have been "disingenuous" if there hadn’t been a price paid at some point. Since Quicksilver was the "arrogant [and] the most annoying one," and Hawkeye didn’t like him, the director knew that his death would resonate with every member of the team. Whedon also mentioned how he told Aaron Taylor-Johnson that the only way his character would stay alive is if the Marvel executives ordered him not to kill him off. Evidently icing the speedster was no issue for them.
Avengers: Age of Ultron will be released on home media later this year, and if we’re lucky, maybe some of those deleted scenes will be Quicksilver-centric.