The Avengers: Endgame re-release, part of Marvel Studios' "Bring Back" event, features more than six minutes of bonus content and reveals an unfinished deleted scene centered around the smart Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) after a five-year time jump.
This cut scene sees a fire chief (Die Hard star Reginald VelJohnson in a cameo appearance) and his crew witness Hulk rescue civilians from a burning building by scooping them up in a satellite dish and heroically leaping to the ground.
When the Green Goliath engages in science speak and tells the fire fighters to extinguish the raging fire with Halon bombs, it's learned Bruce Banner managed to successfully merge his personality with "the other guy" — creating a new persona who wields both Banner's smarts and Hulk's brawn.
The scene ends with Hulk answering a tablet like a cell phone and taking a call from Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), who has reconnected with a just-returned Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). In the final cut, Hulk is seen for the first time in a diner-set scene when Steve, Scott and Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) meet with Hulk, now a celebrity, and recruit his help in cracking time travel to reverse the snap that erased half of all life in the universe.
Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely told The Los Angeles Times the scene was dropped because it came off as "noise."
"You never know what's actually going to make it out into the world," Markus said.
"We did have a scene illustrating more actively what the Hulk had been up to in terms of being a hero, as opposed to just starting it in the diner and explaining things. But it didn't give you anything that you didn't get from just sitting in the diner eating pancakes. And it came off more as noise than as content."
Added McFeely, "It takes us forever to learn these things. But if the scene is not doing more than one thing, it's probably not worthy of being in the movie."
The writers later revealed this new Hulk was originally supposed to first appear in the preceding Avengers: Infinity War, but his introduction in Wakanda "came at the wrong moment," Markus told the New York Times.
Scenes set in a gamma lab, showing the 18-month process that created Smart Hulk, were scripted but tossed. A decision was made to instead reveal his origins through expository dialogue.
"We were like, but he's Smart Hulk in the next movie. So that diner scene, was like, O.K., how do we smash right into that without scenes of him in a lab, gene-splicing?" Markus said.
"Oh, I wrote scenes in a lab," said McFeely. "Now it's just him eating pancakes and I think it generally works."
Added Markus, "The whole thing rides on Rudd going, 'I'm so confused.'"
Avengers: Endgame is available to own on Digital HD July 30 and 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray August 13.