Phase 4 is here in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but fans still have tons of questions about Avengers: Endgame. Smart Hulk isn't as widely asked about as Captain America's time travel or Iron Man's "true" status, but it still brings a lot of questions. This week, people on Reddit are wondering what this version of the hero would look like with Edward Norton in Mark Ruffalo's place.
Smart Hulk was a big surprise in Endgame even though there were some leaks that showed the character beforehand. No one could have expected him to show up already transformed with no big battle that showed the transformation. Still, despite a very winning portrayal of the character, some fans can't help but wonder what the version of the MCU with Norton along for the ride as Hulk would have looked like.
A Reddit post showed the very strange results, and this creation might fall under the "Nightmare Fuel" category. Glowing green eyes is not something that the character needed and quite honestly would have added to the creepy factor quite a bit. Everything else is spot on and this comes just days after another attempt to mock-up Norton as the intelligent version of Hulk.
Ruffalo has become the most recognizable face of the character for some younger fans. Still, the developments of the last couple movies that Hulk has appeared in lead people to believe that maybe Norton's performance could have filled the role a little better. Unfortunately for the veteran actor, that ship has sailed, and Ruffalo has indicated that he'd love to come back to do more work with the character.
Fans were probably expecting a bit more from Hulk in Endgame after that quick stomping that Thanos gave him in Infinity War. Especially with Smart Hulk around, theaters probably expected them to square off again and the improved version to emerge victorious in the rematch. Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus decided to pivot.
"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," co-writer Stephen McFeely told Backstory Magazine earlier this year.
He continued, "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.'"
It just wasn't meant to be and the clash in Infinity War was already packed to the brim. Wakanda was not the time or the place for the eventual transformation. In fact, the total defeat made Hulk evaluate a lot of his relationship with Banner. The two would have to move past their defeats and differences with each other to reverse some of the damage Thanos had done with the snap.3comments
Christopher Markus also helped decide that having a big triumphant moment for the characters just minutes before that crushing ending might have been tone-deaf. Markus went so far as to say it would have been, "completely the wrong tone for that moment in the movie," at San Diego Comic-Con.
Everything ended up going exactly like it was supposed to after all.