Call him Bruce Banner, the Hulk, or Marvel’s Jade Giant – the MCU’s green-tinted titan is a force to be reckoned with.
That is… until Avengers: Endgame arrived on the scene, and introduced us to Professor Hulk, a much calmer version of Banner’s alter-ego and the near-perfect fusion of brains and brawn. The results are spectacular. And not just from a character standpoint, but visually, too, and it’s a credit to Marvel’s VFX wizards that Professor Hulk walks, talks and emotes like a living, breathing entity.
That’s no mean feat, especially in a film of this magnitude. But as one would expect, the brain trust at Marvel Studios – including directors Joe and Anthony Russo – considered multiple designs for Smart Hulk before issuing the green light on Endgame‘s theatrical cut. Like this one from concept artist Jerad S. Marantz, who took to Instagram to share his early designs for Bruce Banner’s alter-ego.
Early design for #smarthulk for #avengersendgame. Again, so honored to be able to take a pass on this iconic character. This was about as far as I got with him. The final version was designed by @ryan_meinerding_art
The second photo features a close-up of Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, and as Marantz reveals in the following Instagram caption, part of Marvel’s strategy was to integrate more of Ruffalo’s likeness into the character of Smart Hulk.
Here’s an early pass on the Hulk I did for Avengers Endgame. I was so honored to get the chance to do a pass on this character. It was a real challenge to integrate a bit more of Mark Ruffalo in there and show that Banner was now in control. The insanely talented @ryan_meinerding_art did the final design. Also there was some great work done by @ryanlangdraws and @wes_burt
Avengers: Endgame signaled something of a swan song for this generation of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Besides, with The Eternals on the horizon, Marvel is on the verge of introducing a very different breed of hero… for a saga spanning 7,000 years, according to head honcho Kevin Feige.