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This deleted scene from Avengers: Age of Ultron answers some questions, raises others

It’s been known for a while now that director Joss Whedon’s original cut of Avengers: Age of Ultron was quite a bit longer than the version that arrived in theaters, and while we might never see the full, extended cut he favored, the release of the film on Blu-ray and DVD has been accompanied by some of the scenes that were excised from the theatrical version of the film.

Over the weekend, Marvel Studios released a deleted scene from Age of Ultron that features Thor (Chris Hemsworth) taking a dip in a mystical pool that allows him to be possessed by the Norn — a group of beings able to see the future — in order to learn how to defeat the evil android Ultron.

In the original scene as it appeared in Age of Ultron, Thor’s encounter with the Norn results in a brief, spooky-eyed possession vision of his own future and the Infinity Stones (a recurring element in the Marvel movies). In the full scene, however, Thor’s pal Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) accompanies him to the pool and interrogates him during the possession. Their conversation results in some hints about at least one’s character’s fate, as well as a few additional, cryptic details about the Infinity Stones.

Earlier this year, Whedon described the scene — and why it was removed — in an interview with Empire.

“The original scene was that [Thor] went to speak to the Norn, and how it would work was that he’d go in the pool and the Norn possess him, basically,” he explained. “Erik Selvig asks all the questions and The Norn, speaking through Thor, give the answers. So, Chris got to do something that was very different, and he really threw himself into it and he did a beautiful job.”

“It wasn’t well regarded by the test audiences,” he continued. “I feel it’s probably largely because it was a rough cut with no effects and all that good stuff, but also because it’s something that, in a Thor movie would work brilliantly, [but] in this movie is just a little too left of center. Thor is always the hardest guy to integrate.”

Written and directed by Whedon, Avengers: Age of Ultron is currently the third highest-grossing movie of the year worldwide and the eighth highest-grossing film of the year in the U.S. It arrives on DVD and Blu-ray this Friday, October 2.

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