SPOILERS WARNING for Captain America: Civil War.
During the run up to Captain America: Civil War, particularly around the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, rumors and speculation about the possibility of the Hulk making an appearance in the third Cap film began to circulate. It turns out Hulk isn't in the movie, but those rumors weren't entirely unfounded.
"We can clean that up real quickly," Civil War co-writer Christopher Markus told the Huffington Post. "Mark Ruffalo shot no scenes. We talked about having Bruce Banner at the very end of the film, and it just, again, seemed like we're sticking people in just to stick them in. He has clearly gone somewhere at the end of Ultron, and that's a story. Don't blow it off and put it in a little tiny chunk just to put in a little extra filigree on our movie. That's a story."
"There was a draft with a stinger of him in it," co-writer Stephen McFeely added. "But that was long ago, and reports of him actually filming stuff — the unit publicist on the movies [John M. Pisani] looks a lot like Ruffalo, so when people say, 'Hey, he's in Berlin dancing with Anthony Mackie,' it's John Pisani. It's not Ruffalo."
So keeping Hulk out of the film was an exercise in restraint, or as McFeely puts it, choosing characters to have "maximum impact." That's also why the Wasp was cut.
"We certainly had a draft where both Ant-Man and Wasp were recruited, but when they come in, that's a lot of story there, and you can't just let Paul Rudd do what we need him to do in that section, which is look at it from wide open innocent eyes and appreciate the Avengers from the outside, which gets you comic relief beat after beat after beat. Spider-Man's similar, right? Because these people have an investment, and these two new people don't. It's not that Wasp wouldn't also have that opinion maybe, but we have not seen her be a hero at all, so that's an example of where we think we'd be drinking someone's milkshake," said McFeely. "Let's let the Ant-Man franchise show her come to her full fruition as opposed to just doing it offscreen."
Fans shouldn't worry too much though, as both Hulk and Wasp already have their next cinematic engagements lined up. The Hulk will appear in Thor: Ragnarok, and the Wasp will co-headline Ant-Man sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Check out when these movie and other movies are coming out in ComicBook.com's Movie Release Schedule.