Avengers: Endgame’s Time Stone Heist Almost Looked Very Different

The Ancient One and Hulk

Following its record-breaking run in theaters, Avengers: Endgame has finally arrived on DVD and Blu-ray. Plenty of new information about The Russo Brothers' epic blockbuster have become available ahead of its home release, as the directors and writers fielded interviews about Endgame's complicated narrative. Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus wrote both Infinity War and Endgame, and recently revealed that the search for the Time Stone during the Time Heist originally looked much different.

During Avengers: Endgame's epic time heist, the newly formed Professor Hulk traveled to the Sanctum Sanctorum to acquire the Time Stone from Tilda Swinton's Ancient One. It took some convincing, but he was eventually able to get the stone, promising to return it after snapping the dusted back to life. Christopher Markus recently revealed another plan for the Time Stone that got cut, saying:

At one point, we had a different way of getting to the Time Stone which involved some characters breaking into (Doctor Strange’s) Sanctum Sanctorum and being pursued by all the weird stuff that happens to be trapped inside there. It was totally off story and unnecessary and it got cut, but it was fun to write.

Well, that's quite different. While Bruce Banner used his mind and reasoning skills to get The Ancient One to hand over the Time Stone, he was originally in for a much more theatrical adventure. Alas, it got cut for time during the massive blockbuster.

Christopher Markus' comments to Canada.com shine a light on the process of crafting Avengers: Endgame's massive story. The blockbuster had three distinct acts, and the writers/directors had to cram a ton of plot lines and characters into the blockbuster. The second act saw the surviving Avengers traveling through the MCU timeline, attempting to gather the Infinity Stones to bring back half the population.

Bruce Banner succeeded in convincing the Ancient One to hand over the Time Stone, after revealing how her successor Stephen Strange handed over its power to Thanos in Infinity War. It was a surprisingly low action exchange, although fans were happy to see Tilda Swinton's departed character return to the silver screen.

Related: Avengers: Endgame: Iron Man and Nebula’s Football Scene Helped During The Time Heist

The Sanctum Sanctorum is a major setting in Marvel comics, and was obviously a big part of Doctor Strange. But the magical house of Bleeker Street didn't factor heavily into the events of the last two Avengers movies. Endgame originally did just that, as Hulk would have been forced to break into the Sanctum, and battle off the various magical entities that live within those walls.

Unfortunately, that type of mystical side quest would have slowed down Avengers: Endgame's runtime, and the epic Time Heist itself. So while the filmmakers likely made the right decision, Marvel fans may have some FOMO thinking about the Doctor Strange content that could have been.

Avengers: Endgame is available on DVD and Blu-ray now, and Black Widow will kick off Phase Four on May 1st, 2020. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.