Avengers: Infinity War Director Defends Black Widow And Hulk Romance

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There’s not a whole lot of room for romance when you’re an Avenger, but Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff nevertheless found time to develop a connection back in 2015’s Age of Ultron. It was an interesting idea to introduce, but the move was crucified at the time by vocal Marvel fans who disliked how their attraction came out of left field and was also not something drawn from the comics. It’s perhaps not surprising, then, that the relationship was hardly addressed in Avengers: Infinity War, when the two reconnected after years apart.

While speaking at a Q&A at an Iowa high school, co-director Joe Russo was asked by a student about his feelings on the Hulk/Black Widow romance. Though he quickly made clear that it was not something he’d originated, as that was all writer/director Joss Whedon’s doing in Ultron, he did take the time to defend the decision, calling the MCU movies an “interpretation” of the Marvel comics universe rather than a “translation.”

“That was a Joss Whedon decision so it’s not something I can speak to… We don’t directly translate the comics to the films — why go see the films when you know how it’s going to end? And it isn’t a translation. It’s our interpretation for the MCU. I think Joss was trying to find interesting ways of pairing up the characters and create dynamics between them. I know it seems to be a generally unpopular choice. You know, you can’t win them all.”

The fact that Russo openly admits that “Brutasha,” as fans have dubbed the couple, was a “generally unpopular” pairing suggests that Marvel Studios knows that this relationship was probably a duff move and will hedge away from it in the future. That’s the feeling we got from Infinity War, as well. After all, when Black Widow and Banner see each other from across the room, it’s more like the awkwardness you would get from meeting an ex instead of star-crossed lovers finally being reunited.

Of course, both characters are still alive by the end of Avengers: Infinity War, so it’s possible that their relationship will be properly explored in Avengers 4. Going by Russo’s comments, though, if this does happen, we imagine it would involve them formally breaking up – which is probably for the best.

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