R-Rated MCU Scenes We Never Got To See In The Original Cut

Marvel for ages 18 and up? The concept sounds a bit implausible, but deleted scenes and abandoned concepts show filmmakers' attempts to push the limits of the MCU's family-friendly fare.

Granted, a few Marvel-related projects, like the "Deadpool" movies and "Logan," are rated R. All films within the official Marvel Cinematic Universe, though, are rated PG-13. That will change in the future, with the third "Deadpool" movie slated to formally join the MCU fold and its creatives promising it will retain the adults-only reputation of the first two films. This could set a precedent for more mature MCU projects going forward, but for now, everything within the fabled MCU canon stays in its lane — but not for lack of trying.

Surprisingly, many sequences landed on the cutting room floor that would've likely mandated an R rating. Fans can find these eyebrow-raising and occasionally downright shocking moments scattered throughout bonus material of MCU home video releases and buried in the pages of behind-the-scenes books. Here are some of the most mind-bending omissions.

The Grandmaster records a naughty video

Marvel takes some artistic liberties with the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) in "Thor Ragnarok." The character's comedy is edgier than most in the MCU, with perhaps the most NSFW moment in the movie being when Valkyrie mentions the Grandmaster uses his spaceship for orgies, actually saying the word rather than hinting at it.

Director Taika Waititi had plans for the Grandmaster to be even cruder. Nerdist points out a deleted scene in which the Grandmaster has, for lack of a better term, tentacle sex. As Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) ride together in a ship stolen from the Grandmaster's fleet, it becomes apparent that the ruler has used this particular vessel before. A table in the middle of the ship displays holographic videos. Thor clicks through the recordings and finds footage of the Grandmaster passionately fondling two tentacles. The appendages appear bright blue, likely stand-ins that would have been rendered to look more like an alien creature if the scene had made it into the finished film. In the video, the Grandmaster caresses the tentacles and pats them against his face, moaning with his mouth open wide while Thor and Bruce awkwardly try to have a conversation. Even for the Grandmaster, the scene would have been out of place in a PG-13 movie.

I want to see the holes

Seeing all three live-action versions of Spider-Man together in 2021's "Spider-Man: No Way Home" was a dream come true. While many of the action sequences with Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire sharing the screen are thrilling, one of the most special moments comes just before the final battle. As the three Peter Parkers wait for the imminent arrival of their foes, they calmly chat about life, their striking similarities, and their remarkable differences. While talking, they discover that Tobey's Peter can shoot webs directly from his wrist. Tom and Andrew's Peters have to fabricate their webs themselves and shoot them from a device in their suit.

It turns out there was a bit more to this conversation that editors trimmed down for the initial theatrical release. When Sony re-released the movie to theaters in September 2022 as the "More Fun Stuff" edition, fans got to hear a rather suggestive punchline as part of this exchange. Andrew's Peter is fascinated by the organic webs Tobey's Peter can produce and keeps asking more questions about them. Awestruck, he quietly says, "I want to see the holes." While hilarious, the line is definitely more adult than anything else in the movie.

A graphic threat

When it comes to crude humor, Marvel seems to give the Guardians of the Galaxy a looser leash. Throughout the "Guardians" films, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) warns his crew not to look at the inside of his ship with a blacklight, Drax (Dave Bautista) discusses his "netherregions" being "engorged," and Ego (Kurt Russell) tells everyone he's, uh, anatomically correct as he explains his godly existence.

This theme continues during the gang's appearance in "Avengers: Infinity War" when Quill taunts Thanos (Josh Brolin) about the villain's "n**sack of a chin." Additional dialogue from "Infinity War" (that was ultimately removed) would have kept the Guardians' thread of crotch-related humor going. In a deleted scene found in the film's extras (including on Disney+), Nebula (Karen Gillan) sends the rest of the Guardians an urgent message about Gamora (Zoe Saldaña). Nebula concludes her correspondence by saying, "Tell Quill not to lose my sister a second time, or I will sew his face to his genitals." Mantis (Pom Klementieff) recites the line aloud, reading Nebula's message from a screen and instantly making the comical line even more humorous.

Even considering the other lines that made it into the film, this one was probably deemed a bit too graphic. Case in point: Disney posted the scene to promote the home video release of "Avengers: Infinity War" but ended the clip just before the suggestive line.

Making preparations for a wild night

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) isn't exactly the model of a perfect moral compass, especially in his earlier appearances. That being said, the wild side of Tony's personality mostly comes through subtext — in what filmmakers imply rather than what they directly show the audience.

One scene deleted from the first "Iron Man" would have been far from subtle. In the removed sequence, Tony throws a party in Dubai. Flirting, Tony tells two women in bikinis, "I'm picking a number between one and five." They choose three, to which he replies, "Exactly." He walks away with his arms around both of them, suggesting they're about to have a threesome. As if that wasn't scandalous enough, they pick up a third girl as they stroll through a hallway. Then, the camera follows them into the bedroom.

Before things go any further, Tony gets a call and needs to leave. "Why don't you get started without me?" he tells the girls as he departs the room. "Kinky," one of them replies. MCU movies have their fair share of innuendos, but a scene as sexually explicit as this is far beyond anything that exists in a Marvel film to date. With "Iron Man" being the very first project in the grand experiment of the MCU, perhaps director Jon Favreau and his team wanted to test the waters or gauge how far they could push the tone of the story — even if they decided the scene didn't fit in the end.

A suggestive statue

Ego, Peter Quill's almighty father, constructs a "memorial to the war on Xandar" in a deleted moment from "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2." The statue is supposed to honor the climax of the previous film, in which the entire Guardians crew saves the planet Xandar together against an attack from Ronan (Lee Pace). Despite being one of the most powerful beings in the universe, He seems to have gotten some crucial details of the battle wrong in his memorial — or maybe he embellished things on purpose to stroke Quill's ego. For one, he says Quill "single-handedly saved the galaxy."

Some of the incorrect visuals of the statue play for comedic effect. Drax is a tiny monkey-like creature on Quill's shoulder, while either Rocket (Bradley Cooper) or Groot (Vin Diesel) (it's difficult to say which) is a cloud-shaped figure hovering over Quill's lap. Quill and Gamora's granite likenesses are more sensual than comical, their physical features manipulated suggestively. Gamora, kneeling while Quill stands, grabs Quill's hip with one hand and strokes his inner thigh with the other.

Monster children attack Thor

In "Avengers: Infinity War," a hammerless Thor embarks on a quest for a new weapon with the help of Rocket and Groot. Eventually, the ragtag trio teams up with Eitri (Peter Dinklage) to create Stormbreaker from the power of the star Nidavellir. The route to wielding Stormbreaker, though, was initially much darker.

The book "The Art of Avengers: Endgame" chronicles abandoned concepts not only for its namesake film but also for "Avengers: Infinity War." Author Eleni Roussos describes an early version of Thor, Rocket, and Groot's adventures together. In this course of events, Stormbreaker would have been wedged in the skull of the long-deceased World Serpent. Rodney Fuentebella, senior visual development artist, elaborates to Roussos, "We wanted to create something that was interesting and different but still feel like you could tell that it's buried in something."

The artist continues, "There was also an idea of how after they got Stormbreaker, as they were escaping, the children of the World Serpent would attack them, and they would have to fight their way out." Vicious children? Depending on their depiction, that might be above the PG-13 pay grade. Would they be literal ancestors of the World Serpent? And therefore monsters themselves? Would they be human children? Would they be undead? Would the countless skulls on the ground (shown in the book's accompanying concept art) come to life? The answers to these questions would inform the intensity of the scene, but it had the potential to be terrifyingly mature.

Loki gives new meaning to glorious purpose

For the most part, the romantic and sexual life of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) remains offscreen. The audience only sees Loki develop a love interest with Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) in his self-titled series, "Loki." However, the god of mischief tells Sylvie he's pursued other relationships in the past, to which the audience is never privy. During the development stages of "Loki," writers planned to show much more of this side of the character.

In a photograph, head writer Michael Waldron poses in front of a whiteboard filled with the team's ideas for the show's first season. One of the plot points mapped on the board reveals the writers' plans for Loki to be "doing crazy mischief aka sex" and later, "more sex." Whoa! That would've come out of left field in the completed show. (New Rockstars on YouTube noticed the detail in a paused moment from the "Loki" episode of the "Marvel Studios: Assembled" docuseries.)

Granted, in the writing stage of a project, anything is possible. The extent to which the writing team considered these ideas is unknown. Did they develop the concepts of Loki's sexual exploits as full story beats and remove them much later, or did they only jot the ideas down as quick notes on a whiteboard and nothing more?

Tony Stark drops the f-bomb

Do Marvel superheroes curse? Which words are okay for them to say, and which are off-limits? Are any heroes averse to swearing altogether? (Looking at you, Steve Rogers.) As writers pioneered the beginnings of the MCU, their scripts had to discover not only who these characters were but also define the appropriate level of mature content for future movies to use as a reference.

In the original version of the opening scene of "Iron Man," Tony Stark drops the f-bomb. As terrorists from the Ten Rings ambush Stark and members of the United States military, a distraught Tony flees his vehicle. Ducking behind a rock while dodging explosions, Tony shouts, "F***!" In the final version, most of the scene remains, but editors removed the quick moment of swearing.

It's unclear whether screenwriters included the word in the script or if Robert Downey Jr. improvised it. In any case, filmmakers must have decided the profanity was too strong, especially as a first impression of one of the MCU's centermost heroes. (It's bleeped even when included in the deleted scenes on the film's bonus materials.) For the record, CNBC notes that a PG-13 movie can technically have one f-bomb. Any repeated uses bump the rating to an R. Still, Marvel probably wanted to keep its family audience in mind as it paved the way for the cinematic universe to come.

A revealing shot

The "Guardians of the Galaxy" trailer includes a shot from a scene that's not actually in the movie. This tends to be a habit of Marvel, with many MCU trailers showing clips that aren't in their finished film. Sometimes, this might be by design, perhaps to misdirect the audience and avoid revealing a spoiler. At other times, filmmakers might remove a scene during the editing process between the trailer's release and the film's debut.

The deleted shot in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" trailer is so risqué that it's shocking it was ever filmed. The moment in question shows Gamora with her shirt off, her back and part of her side exposed as she looks into the camera. It's possible that the shot was originally part of the scene in which the characters change into prison uniforms shortly after being arrested. In the finished sequence as it appears in the film, the camera shows Quill in his underwear and Rocket fully unclothed but doesn't show Gamora at all. The deleted shot remains public on Marvel's YouTube channel as part of the trailer (via Reddit). Fair warning: not safe for work.

Rhodey split in half

Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and Vision (Paul Bettany) face off against the Black Order during an epic fight scene in Edinburgh in "Avengers: Infinity War." In the book "The Art of Avengers: Endgame," designer Phil Saunders shares with author Eleni Roussos that the writers planned on War Machine (Don Cheadle) being in the scene at one point.

In an alternate version of the fight, the Black Order would have sliced War Machine's suit in half, leading the audience to believe they just saw the hero die before their eyes. The camera then would have cut to Rhodey, remote-piloting the armor, unharmed. Had it remained in the film, the scene could have gotten pretty gruesome, depending on how violent the fake-out would have been and how long the moment would linger on the apparent death.

There were other reasons to abandon the idea aside from its potential gore. Saunders explains, "One, I think the writers realized that we had already used a reveal somewhat like that in 'Iron Man 3' ... So that was kind of a repeat beat. And then two, I think there's always the question of if you can remotely pilot something, why ever get in it at all? But that was really fun to design."

Scarlet Witch holds nothing back

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is arguably the MCU's most violent film. Director Sam Raimi never goes full-on horror but gets pretty close with macabre visuals and a signature affinity for the occult. A deleted sequence would have pushed the limits of the movie even further. The film's fight coordinator, Liang Yang, posted rehearsal footage from unused choreography on Instagram. The clip shows Scarlet Witch snapping necks, bending bones, and splattering the blood of Doctor Strange's warriors during the battle of Kamar-Taj in a manner much more violent than the actual scene in the movie. This alternate version could have poised "Multiverse of Madness" for an R rating. That may have been grounds for its removal.

This wasn't the only gruesome "Multiverse of Madness" scene that didn't make it to the screen. In the film's audio commentary track, Raimi, writer Michael Waldron, and producer Richie Palmer discuss concepts from early drafts of the story. One version of the Illuminati roster would have included the Wasp among its ranks ... only for Scarlet Witch to squash the insect-sized hero with her fingers. The team also ditched the idea of Scarlet Witch severing Mordo's head and delivering it to Doctor Strange. Nightmare fuel!