Thanos sought to collect all the Infinity Stones in Avengers: Infinity War, but the film's director stressed that he didn't need those to take down the Hulk with ease.
Co-director Joe Russo and co-writer Stephen McFeely are featured in the Avengers: Infinity War commentary track, and during the scene where Hulk tries to fight Thanos in the early going they made sure to point out just how deadly Thanos is, with or without Infinity Stones in his possession.
"Here you see the early establishment of just how fearsome Thanos is even without, he's got one stone here and I don't think he's even using it," McFeely said.
Russo confirmed that Thanos isn't using the Infinity Stone he holds, which shows just how absurdly strong and lethal the Mad Titan can be.
"He's not using it," Russo said. "This is to show that Thanos, the Genghis Khan of the Marvel Universe, he's unbeatable in 1-on-1 battle. He's conquered thousands of worlds. He's a much more polished fighter than the Hulk, and Thor, and Loki."
“We want to announce Thanos as the biggest villain in the MCU, he takes out the previous reigning champion, and by defeating Hulk relatively savagely and easily, hopefully, there’s a sense of dread over the course of the rest of the movie for anyone who will come up against him, and so that’s just sort of a scene design," McFeely said.
After this fight Banner can't seem to call on Hulk for the rest of the film. For Russo, he thinks Hulk is just tired of saving Banner time and time again.6comments
“He’s had his ass kicked before, and he loves a good fight. But I think that it’s really reflective of the journey from Ragnarok,” he explained. “These two characters are constantly in conflict with each other over control. And I think that if the Hulk were to say
Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and The Wasp are in theaters now. Other Marvel projects coming soon are Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.