Avengers: Infinity War was a triumphant two-and-a-half hours for Thanos and a relatively undignified outing for Bruce Banner, and their respective trajectories are set up pretty well in the opening minutes, in which the Mad Titan comfortably beats the Hulk in a one-on-one fight. And if you’re still clinging to the hope that the tyrant had an unfair advantage thanks to the Power Stone, co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo have some bad news for you.
Yesterday, the filmmaking pair hosted an Infinity War screening and Q&A, where they may not have satisfied fans’ demands for trailer news, but they did clarify a few queries about the year’s biggest film, including the question of how one of the strongest Avengers lost in a bout of hand-to-hand combat with a purple space conqueror. According to /Film’s Peter Sciretta, the Russo Brothers explained that Thanos didn’t need an Infinity Stone to prevail in battle when he had a perfectly fine brain, beating his big green opponent using calculation and quick thinking.
This explanation seems in line with writer Stephen McFeely’s comments from earlier this year, when the scribe explained that “Thanos could kick the Hulk’s ass” even without the Power Stone. In bringing us this beat-down early in the picture, McFeely argued that the moment sets up a sense of dread for rest of the movie while establishing the Mad Titan as the MCU’s biggest villain to date.
Of course, Bruce may have lost the battle, but he may still win the war, with Avengers 4 likely to bring us a lot more Hulk action for Marvel’s Phase 3 finale. Meanwhile, parts of the internet are already predicting that Thanos may be overshadowed by an even greater threat in next year’s release, and while that’s just speculation for now, it’s unlikely that things will go too swimmingly for Josh Brolin’s character when the Avengers: Infinity War sequel hits theaters on May 3rd, 2019.