If there’s one thing clear, it’s that Marvel is not content with letting Avengers: Endgame settle for second place when it comes to box office totals. To date, the latest MCU film has pulled in over $2.75 billion, which means it’s roughly $36 million away from dethroning the current reigning king, James Cameron’s Avatar, which has held the world record for the highest-grossing movie of all time for nearly a decade. To be fair, that figure doesn’t take into account things like inflation and the relative cost of ticket prices over the past 100 years or so, but that’s a conversation for another article.
Unfortunately, it seems some have taken issue with Marvel’s brand new re-release of the film, which hit theaters yesterday. This cut features a tribute to Stan Lee, a message from co-director Anthony Russo, a brief preview for Spider-Man: Far From Home, and an extra scene involving the Hulk. While a few of the MCU’s biggest names have been promoting the hell out of it, it doesn’t seem like the additions live up to the hype. However, despite its unfinished state – some moviegoers noticed the rough-looking CGI – fans generally seemed to enjoy the newly-included Hulk footage.
The retooled scene features the newer, hybrid mix of Bruce Banner and the green giant, as he saves a group of civilians from a burning building. Other than a brief cameo courtesy of Reginald VelJohnson – of Die Hard fame – this sequence also shows the audience how the new and improved Hulk has both brains and brawn, and before the scene ends, he gets on the phone with Steve Rogers/Captain America, who had just come across Scott Lang/Ant-Man. Of course, this leads right into the “Hulk Out” diner scene, which originally introduced MCU fans to the new and improved Banner.
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If you’re wondering why this footage was left on the cutting room floor in the first place, it seems like it came down to it feeling redundant, as explained by Endgame screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely to the Los Angeles Times.
“You never know what’s actually going to make it out into the world,” Markus said. “We did have a scene illustrating more actively what the Hulk had been up to in terms of being a hero, as opposed to just starting it in the diner and explaining things. But it didn’t give you anything that you didn’t get from just sitting in the diner eating pancakes. And it came off more as noise than as content.”
Similarly, it looks like the pair originally intended to include segments explaining the gene-splicing process that gave birth to the new and improved Hulk, but ultimately decided against it, opting instead for some exposition in the aforementioned diner scene.
“We were like, but he’s Smart Hulk in the next movie. So that diner scene, was like, O.K., how do we smash right into that without scenes of him in a lab, gene-splicing?” Markus said.
“Oh, I wrote scenes in a lab,” said McFeely. “Now it’s just him eating pancakes and I think it generally works.”
Personally, I feel like the direction Markus and McFeely went in was the right one. As much as anyone can appreciate background information, Avengers: Endgame was a long enough film as is, and the shock of seeing Smart Hulk completely annihilate a huge stack of pancakes is all we really needed in the end. Still, we’re curious what your thoughts are. Did you catch the re-release in theaters, and if so, did you enjoy the new scenes? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!