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Avengers: Endgame deleted scene has fans theorising about Thanos' possible return

(Image credit: Marvel)

Avengers: Endgame has been out over a year, and Marvel fans are still creating theories about the highest-grossing movie of all time. This one concerns the big-bad Thanos and the potentiality that the Titan may actually still be... alive!

Let's rewind a bit. The scene that has led to this theory being widely circulated – recently by The Independent – is actually an Avengers: Endgame deleted scene (available to watch on Disney Plus) that sees The Hulk have an extended conversation with Tilda Swinton's Ancient One.

"If someone dies, they will always die. Death is irreversible," the Ancient One tells Hulk in an exposition dump about alternate timelines. She's referring to how non-Snap deaths lead to people perishing forever, hence why Black Widow does not return after sacrificing herself for the Soul stone.

"[But] those you've lost are not gone," the Ancient One continues. Rather than kill half the universe's population with the Snap, Thanos instead willed them out of existence, making their resurrection possible. And, as anyone who has seen Avengers: Endgame knows, our snapped heroes were brought back to help save the day.

Now, that all seems good and well, but we should also point out that, to defeat Thanos, Iron Man snapped his army away using the Infinity Stones. Using The Ancient One's logic, then, the Mad Titan's goons were actually just willed away and not killed. And... you can see where we're going with this: what if Thanos is therefore still out there and could return if willed back into existence somehow? Could we seem the purple hunk return with a vengeance? 

While Marvel has not shied away from bringing back villains – see Red Skull in Infinity War and Endgame – bringing back Thanos anytime soon seems unlikely. Yes, the villain has links to the Eternals, but we're unlikely going to see him being a primary villain again. Perhaps, though, if the next big-bad is even more powerful, having Thanos as a pawn could be quite fun. After all, the MCU's superheroes are getting more and more powerful – now they need an ultimate evil-doer to match them.

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I'm the Entertainment Editor over here at GamesRadar+, bringing you all the latest movie and TV news, reviews, and features. I look after all the Total Film and SFX articles that end up on the website