UPDATE: These images have been removed at the request of the studio. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.
After the events of Avengers: Infinity War, neither Bruce Banner nor his green alter ego have much reason to be cheerful, and yet if this recently leaked LEGO minifigure is anything to go by, then Hulk will be seen with a smile on his face in next year’s Avengers: Endgame.
The images come courtesy of Instagram user Therealbatman102, and while it remains to be seen whether this design is the real deal, it will likely add fuel to the old fan theory that we could be seeing Professor Hulk in his next film, or at least a version of the character that’s a little less primal in his manner. In any case, this smile seems pretty at odds with the gloomy tone of the first Endgame trailer, and given Hulk’s ongoing squabble with Bruce, it’s hard to say what could be making him so happy, but perhaps he’s just rediscovered the thrill of the fight.
While Bruce’s fellow Phase 1 Avengers like Captain America and Iron Man have been the subject of much speculation around the matter of whether or not Endgame will be their swan song, the question is raised less frequently for Mark Ruffalo’s character, probably because the Marvel movies haven’t been piling on the foreshadowing so much for him. Still, Banner’s future in the franchise is far from clear, and perhaps the character’s role in the MCU’s Phase 4 (or lack thereof) all rests with how his two sides resolve their disagreements next year.
Either way, while Hulk chose to sit out most of Infinity War after losing his fight with Thanos, it’s a safe bet that he’ll be returning to the fray when Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26th, 2019.