It's fair to say that Avengers: Infinity War lived up to the insane amount of hype leading into the release date. The film was fun, had great action, featured high stakes, and had more than a few crushing character deaths. Most people who left the theater did so with either a smile on their face or tears in their eyes (in a good way), which only makes you wonder about the ideas that didn't make it in front of the camera.
Well, courtesy of Avengers: Infinity War - The Art of the Movie, we now know what some of those ideas would have been, and they are fascinating. No film travels the same path throughout its production journey, often taking side roads and detours. Blockbuster films throw all kinds of ideas at the wall to see what sticks and this can often result in concepts wildly different than what ends up on screen. Infinity War was no different, but just because these ideas were axed, doesn't mean they aren't awesome on paper. Here are some of the coolest ideas that Marvel scrapped for Infinity War.
The reappearance of the Red Skull was one of the biggest surprises of the film, but fans would have had their eyes pop out if Marvel had picked a different, more horrific design that was created. Concept artists create tons of different designs for every character and some of the ones for Red Skull had a huge horror angle. Rather than have what's basically Skull in a Dementor costume, the character would have leaned into his ghostly appearance. Some designs feature Skull with an ugly cracked face, while another has a shirtless, shriveled Skull with a tumor-like growth over his eyes. The Soul Stone would have done a number on old Skull.
Throughout Infinity War, Spider-Man and Doctor Strange are on Team Space and sit out of the Wakanda battle because they are busy fighting Thanos directly. The two of them never come face-to-face with any Outriders, but one piece of concept art depicts the two of them doing just that. Instead of fighting in Wakanda, it looks like this moment would have been in New York City when the Black Order come for Strange. The art shows Spidey battling Outriders while an unconscious Strange is webbed up in a cocoon. It looks like the Black Order were at one point going to bring some back up with them to Earth.
Sticking with Spider-Man, the Web-Slinger had a lot of different designs for his Iron-Spider costume. Some of these were straight adaptations of the one he wore in the comics, but one was noticeably unique. The suit was entirely black, which will immediately remind Spidey fans of his symbiote costume. However, don't jump to any Venom conclusions yet because the suit still looks Stark-made, just in a black coloring. While not a symbiote, it's still interesting to learn that Marvel was playing around with the black costume, which is Spider-Man's most iconic look outside of his classic red and blue.
Fans who have been following Infinity War marketing since Day 1 will recognize the above concept art of Thor and Rocket Raccoon. It was one of the first images released for the film, but this is actually only a piece of the image. The Art Of book reveals the whole thing, which shows the duo and Groot battling a giant snake. At some point in this movie about space rocks, Thor and Rocket were going to fight a giant two-headed serpent. This beast is likely the MCU's take on the Midgard Serpent, a massive snake so long that it can wrap around the entire planet, and is said to usher in Ragnarok. Apparently, Thor's mission for a new weapon was envisioned as more of a mystical journey that would have culminated in this battle. It was probably taken out because it looks like it's for an entirely different movie than this one.
The Hulk mostly sits out Infinity War, only appearing right at the beginning and then refusing to come out again. The film's trailer infamously misleads fans on that detail by showing Hulk in the Battle of Wakanda, but there was an early version of the story where Hulk WAS fighting. The concept art shows an entirely different take on the Wakanda action in which Hulk didn't mind going head-to-head against Thanos one more time. In fact, Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, Groot, and Black Panther would have held Thanos down while Thor plunged his ax into Thanos' chest. This mirrors exactly what happened during the battle on Titan with Iron Man's team, who were ultimately chosen to do this scene instead of the Earth crew.
After spending a good chunk of the movie trying to acquire the Soul Stone, Thanos doesn't appear to use it much in battle outside of a quick moment. In one of the most fascinating pieces of concept art, a splash page reveals Thanos using the Soul Stone against the assemblage of Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy on Titan. The illustration shows what appears to be the orange soul of each character getting ripped from their bodies. It's a stunning piece of art, but I can see how it never made it to the theatrical release. How exactly do you come back from having your soul split from your body? It would have made Thanos too powerful to defeat at that stage in the movie.
Tony Stark has been keeping himself busy before Infinity War and has built his most powerful suit to date. Utilizing nanotech to make a variety of weapons, Iron Man was one of the only characters to draw blood from Thanos. He showed off some incredible tricks, but one piece of concept art shows the potential for what else he could have done. Mainly, Iron Man could have turned himself into a rocket. The art features Iron Man with huge boosters and a pointed tip resembling the nose of a missile protruding out of his chest. The idea seems to be that this is the form he would take for space travel, but his armor extensions and weapons ended up taking a more straightforward route. Nothing wrong with bigger guns and a sword!