Avengers: Infinity War once showed the birth of Mark Ruffalo’s Smart Hulk, but the scene was ultimately cut because it “didn’t work.”
During an Infinity War watch party, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely explained what went wrong with Smart Hulk’s origin. “This scene did originally involve the birth of Smart Hulk. Filmed it and everything,” Markus said. “Ruffalo was genius, arguing with himself. Didn’t work for beans.”
The Smart Hulk “birth” scene was revealed as part of the Infinity Saga box set. Originally, Smart Hulk was going to make a last-minute debut in the climactic Battle of Wakanda. Bruce Banner was supposed to battle with his Hulk subconscious inside the Hulkbuster armor, meaning the two personalities would have worked together to defeat Cull Obsidian. Although Smart Hulk was cut from Infinity War, the scene explains the pre-release merchandise of Hulk inside the Hulkbuster armor and why the moment never materialized.
Instead, Smart Hulk’s introduction was saved for Endgame, but even his introductory diner scene went through several drafts. Previously, Markus and McFeely revealed audiences were going to meet Smart Hulk during a montage of him becoming a national hero.
Smart Hulk’s continued role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently up in the air. The end of Endgame saw Banner take the full force of the Infinity Gauntlet and suffer a massive injury to reverse Thanos’ original snap. The character was last seen wearing an arm support and helping Captain America head back in time to return the Infinity Stones. Ruffalo has already said there are currently no plans for another Hulk standalone; however, with a potential She-Hulk role “on the table,” Smart Hulk could be back on screens sooner rather than later.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos.
Avengers writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely discussed why Smart Hulk didn't make his debut in Infinity War, as was originally planned.