Darn you test audiences!
It’s no secret that Avengers: Age of Ultron was once a much bigger film than the theatrical version we are all familiar with. Director Joss Whedon has gone on record to say that the original cut of the film was nearly three-and-a-half hours long, but for various reasons, it was trimmed down.
One sequence in particular that was axed involved fan-favorite villain, Loki, and up until now, we have never known why exactly his scene was cut.
In an interview with Digital Spy to promote Crimson Peak, Tom Hiddleston, Loki himself, revealed why the scene featuring his character was cut.
Hiddleston explained, in a truthful upfront manner, that Loki was to appear in “Thor’s dream sequence,” (so either when Thor was under the influence of Scarlet Witch, or when he visited the Water of Sights), and that he had filmed his scene, but he was later informed by Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige that the scene wouldn’t be included.
The reasoning for this cut was that the scene confused test audiences, with many believing that Loki was controlling Ultron. Marvel thought this response created an imbalance of expectation, so the scene was ultimately removed.
The disappointing thing about this reveal is that this cut wasn’t a creative decision made by Whedon or Marvel, rather it was influenced by a focus group who were probably already confused by everything else in the film.
Needless to say, fans of the MCU would have loved for this scene to be included, and this scene probably wouldn’t have confused general audience too much, as the rest of the film makes clear that Ultron isn’t being controlled by anyone.
Nevertheless, we think Age of Ultron is pretty great even without Loki, and hopefully the fan response to this reveal will force Marvel to reconsider the importance of test audiences for their films.