Lately, we’ve been hearing all about the projects that the Hulk will be left out of in Marvel Studios’ Phase Three. Last week, it was revealed that the character had been cut from ‘Captain America: Civil War.’ Then this week, we were reminded that the Jade Giant wouldn’t cross paths with Star-Lord and company in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.’ With his future involvement presumably limited to ‘Avengers: Infinity War,’ True Believers will have to get the most out of Bruce Banner’s appearance in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ until his next appearance. However, the other guy was even meant to have a bigger part in Joss Whedon’s second film with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Early last year, news got out that Whedon was planning on including the Grey Hulk in his highly anticipated sequel to ‘The Avengers.’ This revelation came courtesy of a leaked image from the film’s Funko POP toy line, which featured a gray version of Banner’s alter ego named “Savage Hulk.” This change in the green gladiator was meant to come at the hands of the Scarlet Witch, but the storyline didn’t make it to the theatrical cut of the film. VFX supervisor Christopher Townsend spoke to ScreenRant about the original plan for that gray Hulk (rather than the highly intelligent Grey Hulk from the comics):
“Yeah. What Joss wanted to do was he said, ‘I wanted to have a Hulk that’s this berserker Hulk.’ Berserker Hulk was this Hulk that Hulks out, was what we had come up with on set. And then we sort of started talking about, ‘Well what are those extremes?’ And ILM started playing with a deformed body with a deformed face with one eye larger than another. You know, like crooked teeth, and drooling, and red eyes, and all this kind of stuff.
Then we started playing with color and we started to de-saturate him and give him sort of red around his eyes and made him look strung-out heroin addict Hulk was the idea. Sort of like where he has totally lost it and he’s gone totally crazy. And then we gradually tended towards a grayer and grayer version till effectively we got gray Hulk.”
Despite knowing exactly what they wanted and what it was supposed to represent, at the end of the day the team decided against changing Hulk’s color for the sake of the audience:
“We tried a few shots in the film with that sort of much grayer version. And then we’re thinking, ‘Will people confuse this with the Grey Hulk from the comics? And is that a good thing or a bad thing?’ Eventually, I think we backed off a little bit of that and made him greener so that… We didn’t want to confuse people in creating a new character, per se, in that way. So we ultimately backed off. But we had gone pretty extreme in the looks for him.”
I’m not exactly sold on the idea that the audience would have been confused. After all, longtime Marvel fans (or even younger fans who watch ‘Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.’) will recall that there are multiple Hulks. Regardless, that’s not the road that they chose to explore, but maybe we’ll see the concept revisited somewhere down the line in the MCU. Until then, what do you think about the original plans for a gray, savage Hulk in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’? Do you think that it would’ve added or taken away anything from the plot? Let us know in the comments below.