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For some film fans, talking about what we didn't see in a major blockbuster is often just as interesting as discussing what we did see. Over the years, as public knowledge about things like reshoots and director's cuts has grown, moviegoers have become more and more intrigued by what's left on the cutting room floor, hoping that all those extra scenes can add even more context and entertainment to what they just saw on the big screen.
Taika Waititi is apparently not one of those people.
Speaking to Insider for a wide-ranging, spoiler-filled discussion about Thor: Love and Thunder, Waititi addressed the reported deleted scenes from his second Marvel epic, including cut moments that would have featured the returns of Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster and Peter Dinklage as Eitri the Dwarf, as well as Game of Thrones star Lena Headey in her first MCU role. For Waititi, the answer is simple: The scenes were deleted for a reason, and everyone involved in the film knows it.
"I wrote the [script] so when you cut anything it's a little bit of a challenge to yourself because you're like, 'Am I not that good? Should I have seen this coming?'" Waititi said. "But every film I've done I've probably cut the same amount out. When you go into the edit you just never know. A scene on its own could be the most funniest thing or intriguing thing, but sometimes those things if you keep them in will just make the movie screech to a halt. So you have to do what's best for the film.
"And if you ask any of those actors who were cut out — Jeff Goldblum, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage — they all understand how it works. They have been in the game long enough. But that's just the way I look at things."
For many directors, discussing deleted scenes is an opportunity to showcase extra material they loved but were forced to cut for time, or material that fell out of favor with the studio and was therefore discarded. Waititi, at least for the moment, doesn't seem to feel that way, so much so that when pressed to name a specific moment he liked that ended up cut from Love and Thunder, he declined.
"I'm not going to give you a moment because this is my way of telling you, like, people say, 'I can't wait for the deleted scenes with those actors. I don't want people to see the deleted scenes because they're deleted for a reason: They aren't good enough. [Laughs.] The scenes were not in the movie and that's it," he said.
**SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers for Thor: Love and Thunder below!**
So, while Disney and Marvel may one day make a decision to release some of Love and Thunder deleted footage as bonus material, Waititi is personally satisfied to leave those bits on the cutting floor forever. There's at least one piece of deleted scene speculation, though, that he was willing to put to rest immediately. Because the Guardians of the Galaxy appear briefly at the beginning of the film, many fans have theorized that there was a point in the filmmaking process when Waititi intended to have the cosmic heroes swoop back in near the end of the movie to help Thor one more time. That was, apparently, never the case.
"The plan was always to have them in the beginning and then move on," Waititi said. "Because they have their own movie. There was talk about having them come back at the end. The thing is that happens in every movie. No more. No more of the cavalry coming at the end. So we shelved that idea. We just wanted Jane to come in at the end."
Sorry, Guardians, but at least you've got your own movie and the MCU's first-ever holiday special on the way.
For a very different take on Valhalla, check out the Viking epic The Northman, now streaming on Peacock.