Marvel’s What If…? maybe an animated series, but there was one scene that was too horrifically violent to remain in the Disney+ series. The scene in question was originally intended for What If…? Episode 4, “What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?” That now-classic story from the Marvel Multiverse explored a different origin story for Doctor Strange, in which the loss of his love Christine Palmer pushes Strange down the dark path of amassing all the magical might he can to bring her back – leading to disastrous results. Well, that tragic story originally also included a brutal murder!
In an interview with EW, What If…? showrunner A.C. Bradley revealed the deleted scene from “What If… Doctor Strange Lost HIs Heart Instead of His Hands?” came at the climactic moment where the “Good Strange” portion of Strange has to face-off against his dark counterpart, “Strange Supreme.” In the version of What If? that fans saw, Strange Supreme absorbs Good Strange during their battle, giving himself the power to restore Christine (and destroy the universe). However, in the way that Bradley and the Marvel team originally envisioned it, Strange Supreme had to get his hand a lot dirtier in order to finish off Good Strange:
“Originally in the script, regular Strange, his death was a lot more gruesome,” Bradley explains. “He was actually beaten to death by the Eye of Agamotto. Then when the storyboard artist took it over, they were like, ‘We’re going to make this a little bit more visual and fantastical instead of horrifically violent.’ Because I went too dark. But this was our chance to be big comic book dorks and show the different sides and have some fun. And the original What If…? comic books were notorious for having tragic endings and twist endings which I wanted to play with. And we were free to go wherever we wanted.”