In addition to Doctor Strange being brought back to life from Hulk’s snap like everyone else who was dusted at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame also saw his fellow sorcerer Wong jumping into the movie’s climactic conflict, as well as had Hulk interacting with The Ancient One when he traveled to 2012. As it turns out though, we also could have been treated appearance from Doctor Strange’s corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Dormammu, ruler of the Dark Dimension.
Disney has made the Avengers: Endgame screenplay available as part of its push to get the movie a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for the next Academy Awards ceremony, and the original version of Hulk and The Ancient One’s scene unfolded a little differently on page. You’ll recall that The Ancient One was initially unwilling to give the Time Stone to Hulk, because without it and the other Infinity Stones being available, her timeline would be overwhelmed by the forces of darkness.
The Ancient One uses her magic to conjure a protection to further illustrate her concerns, and in Avengers: Endgame’s script, this included showing the Hong Kong Sanctum burning and hundreds of people in the nearby street fleeing from Dormammu, who is looming large in the sky. The Ancient One then cuts off the projection to show how removing multiple Infinity Stones results in multiple dark timelines being created.
Well, she made her point: the removal of just one Infinity Stone from its proper place in time could be enough for Dormammu to conquer our realm. He nearly did so in the first Doctor Strange movie thanks to Kaecilius’ machinations, and it was only thanks to Doctor Strange’s bargaining and clever use of the Time Stone that the entity agreed to leave our realm alone.
However, this scene between Hulk and The Ancient One in Avengers: Endgame ended the same way in the script that it did in the finalized product: with the latter giving the former the Time Stone. Once The Ancient One learned from Bruce Banner that Doctor Strange had willingly given the Time Stone to Thanos in his timeline, she realized that he must have had a reason for doing so. And so, trusting a man that she wouldn’t officially meet for another half decade or so, Ancient One passed the Time Stone to Hulk.
It was the right call, as in Avengers: Infinity War, Doctor Strange glimpsed the one future where Earth’s Mightiest Heroes defeated Thanos and his forces, and giving up the Time Stone was his way of helping move pieces into their proper places. When all was said and done, the good guys were victorious (though it came at a cost), and Steve Rogers returned the Infinity Stones and Mjolnir to their correct time periods.
While Dormammu’s Avengers: Endgame appearance was cut, don’t rule out him never appearing the MCU again. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is on the way, and since the Dark Dimension is one of those alternate realities, perhaps the Master of the Mystic Arts will end up back there for a bit during the sequel.
We’ll find out for certain when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness works its magic in theaters on May 7, 2021. Avengers: Endgame is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, and can also be streamed on Disney+.