12/09/2018 12:55 am EST
The Avengers: Endgame trailer shows a distraught Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) overlooking a list of missing superheroes, but a fan theory opines Bruce is upset over former lover Betty Ross (Liv Tyler).
Bruce is seen in the trailer reviewing records of the unaccounted for Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Shuri (Letitia Wright) and the dusted Spider-Man (Tom Holland), but Reddit user u/hulkreborn suggests Banner has freshly learned Betty — daughter of enemy and now Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) — is among the victims of Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) snap that wiped out fifty percent of all living beings in the universe.
Joe Russo, one half of the Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame directing team, previously confirmed Betty was among the Marvel Cinematic Universe supporting players dusted by the snap, simply saying she’s “gone.”
Betty hasn’t been seen since 2008’s The Incredible Hulk as Bruce and Betty’s doomed relationship had ended by 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, where the mild-mannered scientist forged a relationship with teammate Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).
A January 2017 piece from The Scottish Daily listed Tyler as part of Infinity War’s expansive cast, but the actress was a no-show. Infinity War, which shot in Ireland, was filmed back-to-back with Endgame, but it is yet to be known if Betty Ross will be among the familiar faces to resurface in what has been dubbed the final chapter of the first book of the ongoing MCU.
Endgame also marks the culmination of the end of a three-part arc for Bruce and angry alter ego the Hulk.
That story thread, launched in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok and carried through Infinity War and Endgame, is part of a character arc within those three movies that “track together by design,” Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige said last October.
Disney-owned Marvel Studios has mostly distanced itself from The Incredible Hulk — until Ross returned as Secretary of State to bring the hammer down on the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War — a position necessitated by legal entanglements with rival studio Universal Pictures, who hold the right to distribute any standalone Hulk movies.
Feige doesn’t expect another solo Hulk movie to happen, but Betty Ross could find her way back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe — should the Avengers reverse Thanos’ victory.
Avengers: Endgame opens April 26, 2019.