Avengers: Infinity War trailers included a moment which has left Marvel fans and detectives online baffled to this day. There is footage of the Hulk running through the trees of Wakanda, charging into battle with several Avengers by his side. After the first sequence of the Avengers: Infinity War, the Hulk did not come back into the movie. In fact, the Hulk was sidelined until he was revealed to have merged with Bruce Banner to become Smart Hulk in Avengers: Endgame during scenes set five years after the events of Infinity War. Now, second unit director and VFX supervisor Dan Deleeuw has revealed why footage with the Hulk in Wakanda existed.
"It's something that, there's stuff that misleads, which I generally haven't been a part of per se, but that one was a giant spoiler, right?" Deleeuw told ComicBook.com in an exclusive interview available on Phase Zero. "Because we didn't want to give away Smart Hulk at that point. And, so I think you've probably seen it where there's the scene that we didn't put in where Hulk and Banner are arguing with each other inside the Hulkbuster and then what was originally going to happen is that Hulk was going to come out, and we didn't realize it was Smart Hulk yet, and it was an idea that I think Jeff Ford had on Ultron. There was another scene that it didn't make it in, but the idea was that he thought Tony went to go confront Ultron, and really he had stuck Banner in the Iron Man armor and then Banner Hulks out and started wailing on Ultron. It was such an amazing idea. It's like, 'Oh, we got to put this in.'" They did not, however, end up including such a sequence in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
As it turns out, a sequence where Hulk pops out of an Iron Man suit to beat up Ultron almost made its way into Avengers: Infinity War. By the looks of the footage which exists, it seems there may be a version of the film out there where he does. "We used the same idea at the end of Infinity War, but again, it didn't, both times it didn't help the story," Deleeuw admitted. "So, both times it came out and it was like, 'Oh!' It's like, it's such a great gag, but we really didn't have a chance to get it in. So it was kind of, that shot was caught in the confluence between trying to get this really fun idea and also not having Nat, Natasha have to go up the Hulk who just magically turned into Smart Hulk, and then meanwhile, Thanos is wiping everybody out. So it's all story."
Hulk being removed from Wakanda is one of many changes made in efforts to improve land on the perfect stories and moments for the two most recent Avengers movies. Deleeuw made his directorial debut with the second episode of Loki's second season this week. Previously, he worked on the aforementioned Avengers titles as well as Iron Man 3, Captan America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Eternals, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, and more.
"It was something that I always wanted to do and it was something that was very fortunate to work with the Russos," Deleeuw said of his first time directing. "They were always really open to ideas and collaboration just by the very nature of those films being so big. And so it was something that they gave me the ability to, we once say, 'Hey, go shoot that. Go shoot that. 'And then it's like Endgame. It's like, Joe's like, 'Well, do the additional photography.' I'm like, 'Okay, that's great.' So it's like you got the experience with that and then branch in the second unit directing and you get experience with that. But it was something that I always kind of approach visual effects from a story point of view. If there wasn't telling a story or if it wasn't servicing the story, then it didn't really, whatever we were designing and a fight sequence or a battle just didn't necessarily be there unless it was too cool not to put in."
Deleeuw's episode of Loki is available now on Disney+. The full interview is available on the Phase Zero channel.0comments