Avengers: Endgame tugged on our heartstrings plenty, but a deleted scene would have straight-up yanked on them.
The scene in question, recently made available on Disney Plus depicts Tony Stark visiting an ethereal afterlife immediately after his universe-saving snap.
There, he encounters an adult version of his daughter Morgan.
While Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo had previously discussed the scene, we had yet to get a look at it before now, and it's every bit as poignant as you'd expect.
In the scene, Stark suddenly finds himself alone in the peaceful realm, seemingly confused as to where everybody went.
Just as he begins to realize what must be happening, Morgan makes her appearance.
At first, Stark isn't sure who he's looking at, but when Morgan offers the clue that the two are "pretty close," he figures it out pretty quickly.
Stark's face registers a thousand emotions as he looks at the daughter he'll never get to know, and he admits to wondering if he made the wrong decision in sacrificing himself.
And, of course, the scene ends exactly as you'd expect: "I love you 3000."
There's amazing chemistry in the scene between Robert Downey Jr. and Katherine Langford, who unfortunately was robbed of an appearance in the biggest movie of all time when this scene hit the cutting room floor.
It wouldn't surprise us, though, if Morgan Stark were to make an appearance in a future MCU film, or several.
In their commentary on the scene, the Russo brothers explained that it was conceived as a sort of bookend to a scene in Avengers: Infinity War.
Specifically, the scene in which Thanos, having just accomplished his mission to snap half of all life in the universe out of existence, was basically transported inside the Soul Stone.
There, he encountered a young version of his adopted daughter Gamora, who was one of the many people who died at Thanos' hands so that he could accomplish his mission.
Joe Russo explained: "We sent him to what we would call the 'Waystation," to mirror what had happened to Thanos.
Anthony Russo added that: "The idea is that this moment... that act of using the Infinity Stones sort of forces you to confront, or reconcile, something that's unresolved in yourself, in your soul."
Joe then explained that the reason an adult Morgan was cast was so Stark could come to terms with what he had done, and truly understand the fact that he was giving up so much time spent with his daughter throughout her life.
However, at the end of the day, the scene was cut for reasons that are pretty understandable when you're talking about a flick that already ran in excess of three hours: pacing.
As Joe Russo put it: "When we put this in the film, we felt like it ground the movie to a halt.
And Stark does something similar in the next sequence, when he gives his own eulogy via hologram at his funeral.
The director continued to say that he and his brother were mindful of adding too many endings, which is a problem that popped up in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Audiences might have felt like the film had ended on the perfect sentimental note, only for it to continue on to another, and another.
According to Joe: "What can happen at the end of a film this big is you can have ending after ending after ending, and it starts to feel like the movie's never gonna end."
In other words, the powers of the individual moments are watered-down.
"The endings when you have too many sequences in a row, you can dilute the value of each one of them."
Taking all of these things into account, the pair reluctantly decided that the scene had to go.
Still, that doesn't mean we can't admire its power.
Anyone in their right mind would admit that there wouldn't have been a dry eye in the house at its conclusion had they left it in.
Unfortunately, only time will tell whether Morgan Stark will make any further appearances in the MCU.
In the meantime, though, you can revisit the triumphs and tragedies of Avengers: Endgame to your heart's content with a Disney Plus subscription.
The movie is available to watch on the new streaming service right now.
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