While Marvel Studios has been on a cinematic roll for the past few years (they can thank the Marvel Cinematic Universe for that), the company has certainly had its big-screen ups and downs over the years. Like any other movie, this can sometimes be attributed to last minute changes made by producers.
Whether they’re changing the story, reshooting scenes, or taking them out of the movie altogether, the people behind our favorite films make us wonder if the final products we got were made better or worse by the changes.
A great example of the former was getting Michael J. Fox to work around his Family Ties shooting schedule to film Back to the Future. While originally-cast actor Eric Stoltz may have done a fine job as Marty McFly, we’re all thankful that Fox is and will forever be associated with time-travelling “slacker” Marty.
For an example of the latter, look no further than last year’s Justice League. While its reviews were better than those given to Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, it’s plain to see that, despite director Zack Snyder having a good reason to step away from the movie, Joss Whedon’s reshoots made the film seem divided in terms of focus and a product of two different directors.
So, when hearing about changes being made to an upcoming Marvel film, we may not know whether to feel excited or nervous, but, once we see the film in theaters, at least we’ll have something to praise or make fun of later.
To explore some of these instances, here are the 11 Last Minute Changes That Hurt Marvel Movies (And 9 That Saved Them).
20 Hurt: Wolverine’s costume cut from The Wolverine
With every superhero comes an iconic look. For Wolverine, it’s his blue-and-yellow outfit and pointed mask.
However, as comic books movies are known to do, Wolverine’s appearance was altered in a major way in the X-Men film series.
While some fans noted actor Hugh Jackman’s difference in height, it was the absence of Wolverine’s costume that angered many.
Despite this, fans kept watching, hoping to one day catch a glimpse of the suit – and, if 2013’s The Wolverine had gone as originally planned, they would have.
An alternate ending had Logan’s partner Yukio give him the outfit as a present when they’re on the plane together.
When asked about the outfit’s exclusion from the series, Jackman told EW that despite discussions for its inclusion, “we just couldn’t find a way to do it and be in keeping with the tone of the film(s).”
19 Saved: Removing Mary Jane from The Amazing Spider-Man 2
With three villains, a mystery centered around Peter’s parents, a continuing relationship with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy, and more focus on a future Sinister Six movie than the sequel itself, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a mess to sit through.
This is why it’s good the producers showed at least a little restraint by cutting Mary Jane Watson’s scenes from the film.
Played by Shailene Woodley, MJ was only going to be in a few scenes, which may have resulted in her appearance feeling either tacked on or lost in the film’s chaotic structure.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, director Marc Webb said he cut Woodley’s part to help “streamline the story and focus on Peter and Gwen and their relationship.”
A proposed appearance by MJ in a third movie was eventually cancelled (along with plans for an entire cinematic universe).
18 Hurt: Morbius cut from Blade
While the Blade trilogy already had several vampires, including Morbius, the Living Vampire, would have been a treat for fans.
In the comics, biochemist Michael Morbius undertook an experiment meant to cure his blood disorder. Instead, it transformed him into a vampire-like superhuman with a lust for blood.
On the Blade DVD commentary, writer David S. Goyer revealed the film originally ended with a shot of a mysterious figure on a nearby rooftop, which was meant to be Morbius.
The plan was for Morbius to be the second film’s main villain, which could’ve proved very interesting when pitting him against vampire hunter Blade, another man fighting blood-sucking temptations.
Though he ultimately wasn’t used (in the Blade films or Spider-Man 4), there is hope, as actor Jared Leto is planning to play him in a solo film in Sony’s cinematic universe.
17 Hurt: Hawkeye not included in Winter Soldier
Long before Clint Barton was missed by fans in Avengers: Infinity War, he was missing in action due to a cut scene from 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
As revealed by directors Anthony and Joe Russo on an episode of Screen Rant Underground, when Captain America became a fugitive, Hawkeye was meant to be the one ordered to hunt him down in Washington, D.C.
Thankfully, even though he would’ve caught up to him, Barton wouldn’t have betrayed his friend, as the Russos said he would’ve told Steve “to make it look real” by punching him, as they were being watched by S.H.I.E.L.D. Most likely, this would’ve resulted in Steve escaping.
Due to a reported scheduling conflict, however, actor Jeremy Renner was unable to shoot the scene.
16 Saved: Thanos’ snap in Infinity War rather than Avengers 4
Adapting Thanos’ arrival was never going to be easy, which is why it’s good Marvel decided on breaking the story into two films.
In Infinity War, fans finally got to see actor Josh Brolin inhabit the role of the Mad Titan, collect all the Infinity Stones, and, worst of all, snap his fingers and end half of all life in the universe.
This not only broke the hearts of countless Marvel fans but also ended the movie on one of the greatest cliffhangers ever.
However, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely told The New York Times the snap was originally going to take place at the start of Avengers 4.
The snap was moved to Infinity War because the writers wanted the movies to feel like two different entities.
15 Hurt: Falcon and Iron Man kept apart in Infinity War
Throughout the MCU, Tony Stark has served as a mentor and father figure to Peter Parker. Because of this, it only made sense to have them team up in Infinity War.
While Tony tries to send him home, Peter hitches a ride on Ebony Maw’s ship and tags along on Tony and Doctor Strange’s trip to Titan.
However, an earlier draft of the film had Spider-Man’s role swapped with Falcon’s.
While this would’ve kept Peter out of some great scenes, having Falcon and Tony stuck on a ship together would’ve definitely made for some interesting conversation, especially considering their rivalry since Civil War.
“It’s always great to have those guys in various situations, and there was a lot to do with them in both situations,” Markus told Yahoo.
Perhaps this would’ve also saved us from that gut-wrenching goodbye scene.
14 Saved: Mark Ruffalo’s casting as Hulk
Even though 2008’s The Incredible Hulk is one of the MCU’s lowest-rated films, many fans agree actor Edward Norton did a fine job as Bruce Banner.
However, his time as Marvel’s not-so-jolly green giant was short-lived, as four years later, he was replaced by Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers, and Ruffalo has continued playing him ever since.
Norton’s recasting has been attributed to a feud between him and Marvel over the Incredible Hulk movie script. Nevertheless, Ruffalo told EW that Norton “has bequeathed this part to me.”
While fans may have been caught off guard by the casting (along with Norton himself, according to Deadline Hollywood), they are now clamoring for more as Ruffalo continues to please as the green Avenger.
13 Hurt: Age of Ultron not using Loki or Abomination
Before Infinity War, fans were getting their money’s worth of comic book characters in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Besides the Avengers gaining War Machine, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Vision, and (temporarily) Quicksilver, there were also appearances by Ulysses Klaue, Baron Strucker, Heimdall, and Peggy Carter.
While this may already seem like more than enough characters, there were originally plans to include fan-favorite Loki and long-time-not-seen Abomination, both of whom could’ve proven more than just throw-away cameos.
For the former, actor Tim Roth told Crave Online that while his character was planned for the film, “it just kind of got swept under the carpet, I guess.”
As for Loki, whose actor, Tom Hiddleston, actually shot scenes for the film, director Joss Whedon told MTV that the movie was already “so filled” with content.
Come on, Whedon. Can’t fans indulge sometimes?
12 Saved: Ant-Man on Team Cap in Civil War
As Hank Pym told Scott Lang, “you never can trust a Stark.” But, apparently, one can sometimes.
In 2016’s Captain America Civil War, Steve Rogers recruits Ant-Man for a fight against Iron Man and his team of heroes.
While it was hilarious seeing Lang’s reaction to meeting and fighting with Captain America, he was almost against him in a different version of the film.
Markus and McFeely (man, these guys sure like imagining different scenarios) told Cinema Blend that Ant-Man would be on Team Stark if Sony didn’t give Marvel the rights to use Spider-Man.
According to the writers, Tony would visit Scott in San Francisco at one of Cassie’s soccer games. However, they admitted the scene wasn’t very well done.
Good thing Sony pulled through, as Spider-Man turned out to be one of Civil War‘s highlights.
11 Hurt: Oscorp Tower left out of The Avengers
Many fans still consider actor Andrew Garfield to be the definitive Peter Parker and wish he could’ve been the one to make the leap into the MCU.
While this was certainly no easy task thanks to Sony and Marvel both having their own separate movie rights, the two universes almost met in a small way in one of the superhero world’s biggest films.
Speaking to Latino Review, Amazing Spider-Man producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach said the Oscorp Tower almost appeared in the New York skyline in 2012’s blockbuster The Avengers.
However, due to time issues, the building wasn’t used.
“By the time the Oscorp building was fully designed, The Avengers‘ digital Manhattan was already basically rendered,” the producers said.
10 Saved: Sabretooth left out of Logan
One element last year’s Logan exceeded in was its separation from the rest of the X-Men film series.
Without having to worry about continuity or setting up future sequels (though an X-23 film is being written), the film worked perfectly off its dystopian future setting, where almost all mutants are gone.
Despite this, another mutant almost appeared, one who carries a deep connection to Logan: his step-brother Victor Creed.
Played by actor Live Schreiber, this vicious character was one of the only highlights of 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, serving as an evil opposite to Wolverine.
In an interview with Variety, Schreiber said he was offered a spot in the film but scheduling conflicts with his show Ray Donovan, as well as director James Mangold’s final decision not to include him, sealed the deal for a Sabretooth no-show.
9 Hurt: Maya Hansen not being Iron Man 3’s villain
The Mandarin twist in 2013’s Iron Man 3 was arguably a bold move by Marvel.
While it displeased a lot of fans who wanted to see a comic-accurate version of The Mandarin, nobody can argue that it wasn’t a surprise.
However, Maya Hansen (played by Rebecca Hall), one of Tony Stark’s former lovers now infected with the Extremis Virus, could’ve been the center of said twist, as director Shane Black said she was originally going to be revealed as the film’s main villain.
“In the earlier draft, the woman (Hansen) was essentially Killian,” Black told Uproxx.
But, unlike other understandable reasons on this list, Hansen’s role was changed and shortened because Marvel didn’t think her character would sell enough toys.
And exactly how many Aldrich Killian toys did you sell, Marvel?
8 Saved: Guardians of the Galaxy’s final ending
Regardless of your opinion of which Guardians of the Galaxy film is better (or your stance on director James Gunn’s firing), there’s no denying the impact of the first film.
While it focused more on humor than previous MCU films, fans were shocked at how emotional the film was. However, the film ends with a hopeful and upbeat tone.
Good thing the original ending was scrapped, as it would’ve shown Star-Lord’s aged grandfather looking up at the stars, wondering if he’ll ever see his grandson again.
“It means that he must have seen Quill getting abducted at the end of that day and is still waiting for him to return, but it was freaking sad, so we took it out,” Gunn told The Daily Telegraph.
We’ll stick with hearing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” thank you very much.
7 Hurt: The Defenders not appearing in Infinity War
While Infinity War had a lot of characters to juggle, many die-hard MCU fans were disappointed that the film didn’t even mention the universe’s TV side.
The connections between the shows and movie is there (sometimes), but when big events take place on either side, the other side’s team never shows up to help out.
In other words, no Avengers on TV and no Defenders in movies.
Fear not, however, as fan desires don’t go unnoticed.
“We like thinking of everything,” Anthony Russo told Variety. “But it seemed like the story that had been told within the movies was so specific and elaborate already that once we started working through the story, we knew we had our hands full just with this set of characters and narratives.”
Don’t worry, though. We’re sure the TV characters will get their chance…someday.
6 Saved: Juggernaut replaced by Quicksilver in Days of Future Past
Fans are so thankful Wolverine and Professor X had super-speedy mutant Quicksilver’s help in breaking Magneto out of prison in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, as this resulted in one of the most memorable slow-motion scenes in film history.
It’s hard to imagine a more perfect jailbreak, but, apparently, producers had a different idea at first.
Based on early sketches by Anthony Jones, a Blizzard Entertainment concept artist who worked on the film, posted on his Facebook page, the original one hired for the job was a young Juggernaut.
While this could’ve offered an chance at redemption for the super-strong metal-head (after actor Vinnie Jones played an underpowered version in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand), he went on to have a much more suitable role (and appearance) in Deadpool 2.
5 Hurt: Making Daredevil PG-13
Now that actor Ben Affleck is playing Batman (we think) and Daredevil’s dark story is being brought to life in his own Netflix series, fans are finding it easier to forget about the lackluster 2003 film.
From Colin Farrell’s over-the-top performance as Bullseye to that ridiculous playground fight between Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios, Marvel’s devil of the night deserved better than this silly PG-13 film.
However, director Mark Steven Johnson told Comic Book Resources that he originally shot the film with an R-rating but was contracted to make it PG-13.
He would later go on to tell IGN that he preferred the R-rated Director’s Cut that was released the following year, and we can’t argue with him. Any movie goes better with a subplot involving Coolio.
4 Saved: Tobey Maguire returning for Spider-Man 2
While actor Andrew Garfield may have his fans, there are also a lot of people who grew up with Tobey Maguire’s web-slinger and still view him as the top Peter Parker.
Playing the nerd-turned-superhero over three movies turned Maguire into a high-paid Hollywood superstar, so it’s a good thing Maguire didn’t give up on the web-head.
After the success of 2002’s Spider-Man, Maguire’s publicist told EW that he was experiencing “mild discomfort” in his back and might not be able to return.
However, according to Variety, Columbia Pictures believed Maguire was using this as an a negotiation tactic (possibly for more money), so the studio decided to move on without him and recast Jake Gyllenhaal in the role.
Luckily, Maguire knew the right people and got to play the role again for two more films.
3 Hurt: Final editing of Fant4stic
The year 2015’s Fantastic Four was supposed to be the comeback for Marvel’s favorite foursome following two bad films (three if the unreleased 1994 film is counted). Instead, it ended up being one of the worst superhero films of all time.
According to director Josh Trank, who voiced his disapproval of the film before its release, his original version was “fantastic.”
Some question his claims, however, as his statement was later deleted from Twitter, and a high-level source involved with the film reported to The Hollywood Reporter that the production was “chaos” trying to fix Trank’s mistakes.
While it’s unclear how much the reshoots helped Trank’s version, but if what we got is considered an improvement, we shudder to think what could have been.
2 Saved: Hugh Jackman’s casting as Wolverine
Fans have said it before, and they’ll probably say it forever: Hugh Jackman is Wolverine.
From his debut in 2000’s X-Men to his final battle in Logan, Jackman made the role his own and gained millions of adoring fans, despite the previously mentioned differences between him and the comics version.
However, before the first film’s release, actor Dougray Scott was then-Fox-executive Tom Rothman’s main pick for Wolverine, as screenwriter David Hayter told The Hollywood Reporter.
Unfortunately for Scott, he got injured in a motorcycle accident while filming the climax of Mission Impossible 2. Because of this, Jackman came in for the film, as recommended by executive producer Lauren Donner.
And, after all these years, we’re still thanking her with all our hearts.
1 Hurt: Cyclops’ passing in The Last Stand
The X-Men series has had several issues over the years, from its jumbled continuity to its misuse of Apocalypse.
However, one decision made by Fox still angers fans the most (well, besides the Origins version of Deadpool), and that is the premature taking down of X-Men team leader Cyclops.
While The Last Stand had more problems than this (mishandling of the Phoenix, anyone?), Cyclops passing away just as the movie was getting going didn’t sit well with fans.
Actor James Marsden told Vulture he was hopeful to play Cyclops again, but the series has “a lot of characters that they have to parcel out, spend time with each one, (and) make sure everyone feels like they’ve been given their due.”
Marsden was unable to return, though, due to scheduling issues for Superman Returns.
Thankfully, director Bryan Singer retconned this (and several other issues) at the end of Days of Future Past.
Can you think of any other last minute changes that helped or hindered Marvel movies? Let us know in the comments!
2018-09-13 03:09:52 – Tyler Hargett