Doctor Strange 2 fight coordinator Liang Yang has released a bloody sequence depicting Scarlet Witch fighting the warriors of Kamar-taj meant to be included in Doctor Strange 2.
Doctor Strange 2 fight coordinator Liang Yang has posted an extended fight sequence originally meant for the sequel, but which was ultimately cut. If you watch the video, it won’t take long to imagine why Marvel chose to pass on the fight. Among other things, you’ll see the stunt actor playing Scarlet Witch behead one of Kamar-taj’s warriors and then use his headless, impaled corpse to murder his brethren.
It’s difficult to imagine that, had the scene survived, that Doctor Strange 2 (aka Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) wouldn’t have arrived in theaters with the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first R rating. Cult horror director Sam Raimi just barely squeaked out a PG-13 with the sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange. Considering the film portrays a superhero murdered by having his brain (presumably) liquefied in his skull, a possessed corpse flying into battle with the help of enslaved demons fashioned into a (literally) screaming cape, and Captain Carter abruptly made half the woman she used to be, the fact Doctor Strange 2 secured a PG-13 rating is a minor miracle.
According to unconfirmed reports, the beheading portrayed in Liang Yang’s video isn’t the only one that was cut out of the film either. Rumors indicated that originally Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Mordo–the Earth-616 version–would’ve been murdered by Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) in Doctor Strange 2‘s opening scene.
In fact, we know for sure that at least one other major MCU character was meant to be killed in Doctor Strange 2 or, at least, a version of her. In the film’s audio commentary screenwriter Michael Waldron revealed Evangeline Lily’s Wasp was originally meant to be a part of the Illuminati and would’ve shared most of the team’s fates.
Doctor Strange 2 is one of the more extreme examples of the MCU entering a new and experimental period, with Marvel Studios going all in on using their superhero properties to try out new genres. Doctor Strange 2 is more of a horror flick than a superhero movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a martial arts epic, and Thor: Love and Thunder is often more comedy than action flick. The experimentation is much more blatant in their Disney+ series where Marvel is using its superheroes in legal comedies (She-Hulk), teen dramas (Ms. Marvel), and psychological thrillers (Moon Knight).
The experimentation doesn’t seem to be hurting Marvel’s bottom line yet, but “yet” may be the operative word. If you look at Rotten Tomatoes‘s rankings of all the MCU’s projects and sort the list by Tomatometer (the critics’ aggregate scores), you may notice of all of the films on the list, three of the bottom 6–including the very bottom on the list–come from the past two years: Doctor Strange 2 (74%), Thor: Love and Thunder (64%), and Eternals (47%). Clearly, Marvel’s efforts to branch out aren’t being met with universal acclaim.