(Note, mild SPOILERS for Avengers: Age of Ultron lie below...)
Now, in the greater scheme of things, there wasn't a whole lot that Joss Whedon didn't manage to cram into Avengers: Age of Ultron's two-and-a-half hour running time. Between a whole horde of Avengers, a literal horde of Ultron's, love, laughter, ultra-violence and a brief dash of Thanos, the film is stuffed close to bursting with ridiculous quantities of superheroic awesomeness.
As it turns out, though, we almost saw something that might just have taken the future of the MCU in a very different direction.
Remember this sequence, in which The Hulk, having been zapped by The Scarlet Witch, goes wild?
We Almost Saw a Classic Marvel Anti-Hero in That Scene
Or, rather, we almost saw a classic anti-heroic version of a Marvel hero in that scene.
Specifically...The Grey Hulk.
Otherwise known as 'that version of the Hulk who's smart, but kind of an asshole'...
The variant Hulk's almost-appearance was revealed in a recently-released video discussing the effects work that Industrial Light & Magic contributed to Age of Ultron - which you can check out below:
Now, the reason that's seriously intriguing, in the context of Age of Ultron?
The Grey Hulk's a VERY Different Character
Now, back in his very first appearance, The Hulk wasn't actually green - he was grey (also, Bruce Banner transformed into him whenever the sun went down, rather than when he got angry).
That, though, was soon changed - largely due to the difficulties colorist Stan Goldberg had maintaining a regular shade of grey in the first issue - and The Hulk became the not-so-jolly Green Giant we know today.
Until, that is, during the '80s, Bruce Banner found himself once again transforming into a grey version of the Hulk at night - a version which eventually asserted full control over him, becoming a Las Vegas enforcer known as Joe Fixit...
The green Hulk eventually returned, but the next few decades were dominated by the conflict within Banner's mind between his own intelligent human identity, and varying versions of The Hulk, including the anti-heroic Grey Hulk, Savage Green Hulk, and a version that combined the traits of both with those of Banner.
All of which seems to suggest that:
We Could See a Very Different Hulk On Screen Someday
After all - the fact that we almost saw the Grey Hulk in Age of Ultron seems to suggest that Marvel is seriously considering the possibility of incorporating the different sides to The Hulk's personality in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - especially since it sounds as though Grey Hulk only failed to make it in because the visual of the Green Hulk is so well loved. As Mike Seymour puts it in the video above:
"Initially, Hulk was actually planned to turn grey when he is angry Hulk in the Hulkbuster sequence, but hey, everyone wants the green guy...So in the end, ILM just changed his eyes to make them look more sullen when he is under the control of Scarlet Witch."
We Might Eventually Get To See A Smart Hulk on Screen
WHICH WOULD BE AWESOME.
What do you think, though?