Avengers Endgame Writers Reveal Why They Ignored Black Widow And Hulk’s Romance


Avengers: Age of Ultron is generally considered one of the weaker films in the MCU. The Joss Whedon-directed sequel is filled to the brim with various plotlines, and while some of them work, others have been largely ignored in later Marvel movies. Chief among its most contentious set-ups is Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff’s budding romance, which many fans felt was awkward and forced. Now, the writers of Avengers: Endgame have gone on the record as to why it was left unaddressed in their films.

In a new episode of Empire’s podcast, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely revealed that scenes between Nat and Bruce were written and even shot for Avengers: Infinity War, but most were left on the cutting room floor for the sake of story:

“We certainly tried to. In Infinity War we have [unused] scenes…wrote ‘em, shot ‘em…of them sort of hashing that out.”

“‘You’ve been gone, I’ve moved on’ – that kind of stuff.”

“It became very clear that if a scene was not on the ‘A plot’, it could not survive Infinity War.”

“That thing has to be on rails just to get to the finish line.”

“You couldn’t wrap up lose threads just because you wanted to.”

Prior to Infinity War, the Hulk spent a few years on his own in space before popping up in Thor: Ragnarok. That movie also featured a brief cameo from Scarlett Johansson in a pivotal scene for the Hulk’s character, which was also the most their relationship had been addressed outside of the second Avengers film. While fans expected the two characters to resolve their relationship status upon meeting again, that clearly wasn’t a concern for those behind the MCU.

Circling back to Endgame, Markus and McFeely further addressed why the two characters barely interacted before her ill-fated trip to Vormir:

“He was smart Hulk in this movie and it did seem a little odd, in the midst of everyone’s mourning and his change to a 2000-pound genius, to go, ‘and they’re dating!’”

“We thought it would be more elegant not to address that.”

Just like Age of Ultron, Infinity War and Endgame were both packed with story, addressing nearly every single hero introduced into the MCU at that point, so it makes sense that all their scenes were excised. Her death clearly has an effect on Hulk, too, who admits in the film’s final act that he even attempted to bring her back with the Snap. It may not be much, but it’s a fitting end to both characters’ arcs.

Yet, we know this isn’t the last we’ll see of Black Widow. Her own standalone film is in the middle of development, which due to her aforementioned death in Avengers: Endgame we can pretty much guarantee will be a prequel. While that means Bruce is unlikely to show up, Mark Ruffalo may not be totally finished with the Hulk. Phase Four of the MCU is still mostly a mystery, so we’ll have to wait and see exactly where those characters end up.