Hulk suffered his greatest defeat in Avengers: Infinity War, taken a beating from Thanos before being sent back to Earth by Heimdall via the Bifrost. Fans expected a rematch in Avengers: Endgame, but it never happened. Instead, Hulk and Banner merged into Smart Hulk undid the effects of Thanos's Infinity Gauntlet snap.
The writers and directors of Avengers: Endgame did at least toy with the idea of giving Hulk his rematch. Concept art for the scene idea was shown at the D23 Expo over the weekend. A fan took a photo of the artwork and shared it to Reddit, along with similar artwork for other scenes, including one showing Iron Man, War Machine, Rescue, and Spider-Man flying into action and another showing a battlefield kiss between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts.
Heres' the post from Reddit. Take a look below.
In an interview, writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus explained why the rematch didn't happen. "The battle had all sorts of stuff in it. I don't know how long that battle is now, but it's not as long as you might think," McFeely said. "I know a lot of people were saying they can't wait for [Hulk and Thanos'] rematch. Well, that would've made sense had he not become Smart Hulk. He's a whole different thing, and that's not what drives him. So we never thought, 'Oh, he really is trying to get a crack at Thanos now.'"
At San Diego Comic-Con, the writers revealed they'd planned to introduce Smark Hulk at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. They nixed that plan because they felt it was "completely the wrong tone for that moment in the movie," according to Markus.
"It was this victory when we were headed toward a crushing defeat, and it was tone-deaf," Markus said. "But we had already shot Endgame, where he was already Smart Hulk."
"Imagine the first act of Endgame, he's Smart Hulk in all of those scenes — meaning when he goes to kill Thanos when they're sitting around the compound when Tony's returned — so that required some adjusting," said McFeely. "And it also meant that we could use the five years as the transition, hint that he's got problems coalescing, and in the five years he figures it out. You have a couple of lines about gamma radiation and he's eating pancakes, and off you go."
What do you think of Hulk never getting his rematch with Thanos? Let us know in the comments.