Harry Dean Stanton's inexplicable cameo in The Avengers was one of the few things that drew ire and ridicule from some fans and critics, as it seemed so random and unnecessary. Was there something more to it originally? Sure as heck was.
In a new deleted scene culled from the forthcoming DVD/Blu-ray release of Marvel's The Avengers and made available to Entertainment Weekly, Stanton's character gets more screen time and a lot more to actually talk and think about. It's a nice little scene that explores the nature of The Hulk and bridges the gap between when we see Banner putting his pants on and when he reappears in New York in the final cut of the film.
It's easy to see why the scene was cut, as the movie was running long and it wasn't, strictly speaking, necessary--but it's a nice addition, in that it explains the previous scene, gives fans an idea how Hulk got "home" and provides a quiet, thoughtful moment that might have been a nice intermission in the middle of the big, bombastic action of the film's third act.
Why Stanton? Well, director Joss Whedon just couldn't shake the idea that he was the man for the part. According to a May interview with Badass Digest, Whedon was too tempted by it to resist.
"I sort of got him stuck in my head and I was like who is more accepting than Harry Dean Stanton? And, so I got to write this weird little scene - which when I wrote it was not little, it was about 12 pages long. I was like oh, this is great, Banner falls into a Coen Brothers movie! The fact that they even let me keep that concept and that we actually landed Harry Dean to play it was very exciting.Marvel's The Avengers
"But the idea was to put [Banner] in a slightly surreal situation with somebody who clearly had no problem with [The Hulk], just to make that little transition without milking it too much. And besides, to work with Harry Dean and to quiz him about Alien and The Missouri Breaks? What a privilege."
, directed by Joss Whedon, will hit home video on September 21. Whedon is signed on to write and direct an untitled sequel to the film, which is expected in theaters on May 1, 2015.