avengers infinity war hulk deleted

When Avengers: Infinity War hit theaters this past weekend, fans immediately noticed a few stark differences between the trailers and the Marvel film. Whole scenes were nowhere to be seen in the movie, and several characters were not where they were supposed to be. But were some of these just cases of classic Marvel marketing misdirection? Or could they be hints at a previous storyline that was changed at the last minute? A new Pop Funko toy tied into the Marvel movie suggests at least one of these differences point to a possible Infinity War Hulk deleted scene.

Minor spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War follow.

Hulk makes a big entrance in Avengers: Infinity War, storming Thanos as the Mad Titan threatens Thor, Loki, and the rest of the surviving Asgardians. But after a brief five-minute battle that sends him hurtling down to Earth (a common occurrence for the poor guy), Hulk vanishes from the film. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) somehow can’t get Hulk to resurface, and when he gets close, he’s met with a petulant “NO!” from the big green guy.

To join in on the big fight in Wakanda, Bruce is forced to make use of the Hulkbuster armor, which Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) first made to subdue the Hulk in Avengers: Age of Ultron. And that’s how Bruce spends the rest of the film, battling the Black Order’s aliens in an increasingly battered Hulkbuster armor. But was that always the intention?

A new Pop Funko toy tied to Infinity War shows a potential twist to the Bruce/Hulk story, with Hulk busting out of the Hulkbuster armor — in a fulfillment of all of our wishes as we watched that scene. But is it just a classic case of superhero marketing misdirection, as in the case of the completely fabricated “Joker as Batman” Suicide Squad toy, or a clue at an Infinity War deleted scene?

At first I was convinced that this was just a case of the toy branch and the movie not being on the same page — either because of intentional misdirection, or because this just plain looks cool. But then you have to remember the case of the Grey Hulk toy that came out with Age of Ultron. Another simple marketing mistake, right? No, the Grey Hulk was actually part of Joss Whedon’s original script for Age of Ultron that he ended up cutting — though it still made the toy line, at least.

So this Hulk busting out of Hulkbuster toy could be in the same boat: directors Joe and Anthony Russo may have intended for this scene to happen, only to cut it to make room for other subplots. Though I will say that the movie already felt so jam-packed that it would have felt jarring to have Bruce’s Hulk problems solved so easily — this feels like a scene that could even be reserved for Avengers 4.

Marvel has upped their misdirection game with the marketing for Infinity War, inventing entire scenes for trailers and inserting characters into scenes that they’re never part of in the movie. The studio has done that before, like in the case of the missing characters from the big team-up shot in Age of Ultron, but not on this scale. The big money shot of Team Earth (Captain America, Black Panther, Black Widow, Bucky Barnes) running into battle doesn’t even show up in the movie. It could have been a cut scene, but I’m guessing that this team shot was invented wholesale for the trailer — just like several other manipulations like the shot of the Guardians here, or Thor’s eyepatch.

Avengers: Infinity War is currently playing in theaters.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: