If there’s one thing that Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame cannot be accused of, it’s not having enough huge, action-packed battles. The final battle in Endgame in particular, where the Avengers assemble against Thanos’ forces, is a dream come true for comic book fans. While that battle was more than enough to sate even the most ardent fan of watching people in tights fighting alien invaders, it turns out that Avengers: Endgame originally gave Thanos another epic battle.
This additional battle was revealed thanks to the recently released art book Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame – The Art of the Movie (via Comicbook.com). The book offers some visual insight into this epic battle that never made it to the screen, where Thanos and his forces would have faced off not with the Avengers, but with another group on an alien world.
It seems that the residents of this alien world would have had access to advanced military technology, and the images in the art book show what appear to be very large, heavily armored creatures wielding very large guns. They look like something out of a video game like Halo or Destiny. Basically, these guys do not look like pushovers.
And that was the original intent of this cut battle. In the art book, concept illustrator Josh Nizzi indicated that this huge battle scene would have been meant to show that even without the Infinity Stones, Thanos and his forces were near unbeatable. Even an alien civilization with advanced weaponry like this fell before the might of the Mad Titan and his Outriders. That game tape on Thanos’ team would have had the oddsmakers not giving the more primitive earthlings much of a chance.
This battle would have occurred in Avengers: Endgame’s 2014 timeline, which was back before Gamora left Thanos and when he was still pursuing the Infinity Stones. Although this epic battle with Thanos was cut, the feuding creatures do actually show up briefly in Endgame. When we see 2014 Gamora and Nebula finishing off some unnamed alien foes in the movie, that is basically the end of this cut contest. So we get a glimpse at it, but not the full-on battle that was originally intended.
It would have been cool to see Thanos’ forces in action against a planet and its people other than Earth, just like how we never saw him obtain the Power Stone from the Nova Corps on Xandar. But by the time Avengers: Endgame rolls around, we don’t really need to be convinced that Thanos is a badass. We just saw what a nightmare he was in Avengers: Infinity War, so this would have just given us a better idea of what he was like without the Stones.
Yet, with a three-hour runtime that already has an epic battle in it, it's better to cut the battle that has unnamed alien characters we don’t care about in favor of fights and character moments with the ones we do.