Civil War Iron Spider Red Hulk

Captain America: Civil War had plenty going on as it is, with over a dozen superheroes including a couple of big new ones. But it could’ve been even more crowded. At one point there was speculation that Red Hulk and/or Iron Spider could make an appearance in Civil War, and directors Joe and Anthony Russo have now confirmed that both were under consideration early on — and that they may yet crop up in future Marvel movies. 

In the comics, Red Hulk is the superpowered alter ego of Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, played by William Hurt in The Incredible Hulk. When Hurt was announced to reprise his role for Civil War, fans wondered if we might get to see his transformation into the Red Hulk. Joe Russo admitted to ComicBook.com that they’d thought about it, but explained why they ultimately decided against it:

We had so many characters in that movie as it was. We consider everything, obviously, but with so many characters in that movie as it was to try and entertain adding another character and to get to the Red Hulk, you have to add a back story. You have to substantiate the narrative to get to that. [Thaddeus Ross], on our list of priorities, he was there sort of as the government’s agenda and not to add another complicated super powered character to the mix.

Likewise, the Russos mulled over the possibility of bringing in the Iron Spider armor — the special Spidey-suit designed by Tony Stark for Peter Parker in the Civil War comics. “We consider everything,” acknowledged Joe Russo. The filmmakers didn’t go into detail about why that particular storyline was axed, but we’re guessing it has to do with the fact that Spider-Man only gets a few minutes of screentime in Civil War to begin with.

Or maybe they just wanted to save Iron Spider and Red Hulk for potential future installments. Joe Russo teased:

We had a board when we started this process of the movies with these Avengers characters that have ever graced the screen in a Marvel film and a list of characters that we have at our disposal that haven’t graced the screen. We spent the last six to eight months crafting stories around the cornucopia of characters at our disposal so anything is possible.

There are sure to be some fans disappointed that we’ve yet to see Iron Spider or Red Hulk realized onscreen, but personally I think it was a wise choice to cut them. It seems like a minor miracle that Civil War works as well as it does, given how many different plates it’s spinning at any given time. The film probably didn’t need to make things even more complicated with still more material for two minor characters. (And yes, as amazing as Spider-Man is, he is a pretty minor character in Civil War.)

For now, we can just hope they’ll show up eventually. There’s always the chance the Iron Spider suit could be in Spider-Man: Homecoming, since the film reunites Tom Holland‘s Peter Parker with Robert Downey Jr.‘s Tony Stark. And with Thor: Ragnarok apparently hurtling toward the Planet Hulk storyline, there should be plenty for Mark Ruffalo‘s Bruce Banner to going forward — which means it’s possible Hurt will get his chance to Red Hulk out someday.

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