With "Marvel's The Avengers" arriving on DVD and Blu-ray at the end of September, many extras from the release have begun to leak online. Two deleted scenes from Joss Whedon's summer blockbuster debuted this week, each showcasing a darker tone than what appeared onscreen. One clip in particular -- a lengthy sequence that served as an audience catch-up for what Captain America did after the events of "Captain America: First Avenger" -- was so strong that it seemed hard to believe Whedon would cut it out of the finished product. As the director told Vulture's Kyle Buchanan, the decision was "tough."
"I hated cutting the Captain America stuff with the waitress," Whedon said of the scene (you can watch it here). "At least I was able to call Ashley Johnson [who plays the waitress] and tell her that all her stuff was still in 'Much Ado About Nothing,' since she had been cut out of 'Dollhouse,' she had been cut out of 'The Avengers': 'I swear you're still in the Shakespeare movie.'"
Whedon said that film, a quickie adaptation of Shakespeare's famed play that debuts at the Toronto International Film Festival, gave him some perspective on the "Avengers" cuts.
"You know, those bits had seemed very personal to me, and part of doing 'Much Ado' was that I could go back to 'The Avengers' and say, 'Oh, it's not about me. Even though its my film, it's about the Avengers. I am less important than the needs of the film.'"
In addition to the lost Captain America scene, Whedon also wrote a moment when Cap meets his former love, Peggy. That was also left on the cutting-room floor.
"It was killing the rhythm of the thing," Whedon told the New York Times in April. "And we did have a lot of Cap, because he really was the in for me."
Of course, even with the cuts, audiences still flocked to "Marvel's The Avengers" in droves: The film has earned almost $1.5 billion so far in global ticket sales. In an effort to goose grosses even further, Disney announced on Thursday that it will re-release "The Avengers" in 1,700 theaters this weekend. Considering its competition -- "Lawless," "The Possession" and "Oogieloves" -- expected at least another million or so to head into its coffers.