Test audiences can be pretty fascinating. The way their responses to things can lead to drastic changes to how a film is cut is starting to become a story in its own right. Recently, we all heard about how test audiences led to major alterations for both of this year’s DCEU films, with SUICIDE SQUAD getting SIX OR SEVEN VERSIONS BEFORE FINALLY HITTING THEATERS. Most of the time, though, these tests lead to simple streamlining. A subplot will get cut, or built-upon; A confusing scene or two will get chopped off; An unnecessary character will vanish entirely.
Such was the case for Loki in AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.
According to Tom Hiddleston, who plays the trickster, he had a brief appearance in AGE OF ULTRON that proved to be too confusing for test audiences. During the sequence where Scarlet Witch gets in everyone’s heads, Loki was going to appear in Thor’s nightmare, where he’d be controlling Ultron. It was supposed to demonstrate what Thor thinks of his brother, and how much he fears being manipulated by the master of deception. It would’ve been interesting, since we know that Loki is impersonating Thor’s father Odin- as per the ending of THOR: THE DARK WORLD. So this sequence could’ve subtly implied that Thor has a gut feeling that something is wrong and that Loki is behind it.
“As they were testing the film, the initial audiences were like ‘Oh, Loki is controlling Ultron!’ And Kevin Feige and all the guys at Marvel were like ‘Um, no, heâ€™s not.’ So they just thought it was confusing,” Hiddleston told Variety.
So there you have it, Loki fans. If you were wondering why the best villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who was so integral to Phase One, was cut out of the second AVENGERS film, now you know why and who you can blame. But hey, we know Loki will appear in THOR: RAGNAROK, which is the most ambitious film in that standalone series to date. So that should take the edge off.
Do you agree with the test audiences here? Or do you think the sequence I described should’ve made the cut? Discuss.