Infinity War and Endgame are two of the best movies Marvel has made so far, and that’s due in large part to the fact that it spent nearly 10 years fleshing out this universe that places all these key characters on converging paths. That’s what made them so exciting to begin with, and that’s probably why they still generate so much attention nearly two years after the Infinity War’s release. The following set of images shared on Instagram a few days ago is a great example of this ongoing Avengers conversation. And it also happens to be a great concept for a scene that never made it into Avengers 3.
Phil Saunders is an artist who worked on the two giant Avengers movies. He took to Instagram to share a few concept images that show Rhodey sitting in a contraption that would have allowed him to pilot his suit remotely as an acting Avenger.
The scene would have been used early in the movie, during the Edinburgh battle where Wanda and Vision fought Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive before Captain America, Black Widow, and Falcon came to the rescue — here’s a part of that scene again:
According to Saunders, that scene could have featured Bruce Banner in the Hulkbuster armor and Rhodey piloting one of his War Machine suites remotely. Here’s some of what he said, emphasis ours:
Another scene that didn’t make it into Avengers: Infinity War. Rhodey and Bruce Banner in Hulkbuster were initially planned to be part of the Edinburgh battle. Rhodey, still suffering PTSD from the crash in Civil War would have been piloting War Machine remotely. Kind of a repeat of the IM3 scene so glad it wasn’t used but would have given Rhodey a deeper story arc.
Rhodey is one of the under-appreciated heroes of the MCU, although Endgame does a great job of giving the character more depth. We see him developing meaningful relationships with Natasha, Carol Danvers, and Nebula, and we learn how much of a movie buff he is. Not to mention that he’s always in action in some of the scenes, unafraid of picking up the armor and doing what’s expected of him. There’s no trace of PTSD, and we’re only reminded of his unfortunate accident when we see him wearing Stark’s walking contraption early in Infinity War, and then in Endgame when he empathizes with Nebula, or when he’s forced to abandon the armor after Thanos’s assault on the Avengers compound.
Having Rhodey address the trauma from Civil War would have added another precious detail to his character arc.
However, I did show you that scene again for a good reason. Its purpose is to mark the entry of Captain America. It’s an amazing scene that sends shivers down your spine. Right then and there it’s clear that Cap is back, baby, and you can’t wait to see him reunite with Tony. In other words, there’s absolutely no space to add any extra emotion and draw focus away from Cap saving the day. We can’t have Hulk and War Machine ruin that moment, can we?