Kevin Feige has revealed that a major (but wrong) scoop led to Marvel changing the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Online film culture is rife with potential leaks and scoops about upcoming superhero movies. In most cases they tend to exist apart from the movie production process themselves - but not always.
At the end of the second Avengers, Hulk beats up Ultron then speeds off in the team's Quinjet in a hunt for solitude. He's last seen flying off over the ocean and Black Widow later learns that they lost signal from him "over the Caspian Sea". That was the last we heard of the Green Goliath until this year's Thor: Ragnarok, where the God of Thunder discovers he's been living as Sakaar as a famed gladiator. It's since been clarified that Banner got there via the Quinjet falling into a wormhole, but Feige's now revealed that was at one point going to be more explicit.
Speaking with The Wrap, Feige said that the original plan was for the jet to be shown clearly going into space, but after a false scoop story saying a Planet Hulk film was in development it was changed to avoid fans expecting the then-unplanned gladiator adventure:
"You had the big scoop about us doing Planet Hulk. It turned out to be accurate [but] at the time, it was not accurate because we didn’t have any plans to do it and Joss [Whedon] was doing Age of Ultron at that time. The way it ends as you recall with Hulk in the Quinjet going off, right? We said, ‘Joss, we can’t do that because he’s not going into space and people are going to think we’re doing Planet Hulk because Umberto has some big hot scoop that we’re doing Planet Hulk, we can’t do it.’ He goes, ‘Well, what are you going to do?’ We said, ‘We don’t know.’ So, if you go back and look at that shot of the movie, he’s in the sky. It’s blue sky.”
The rumor Feige mentions came in March 2013, around the time that Age of Ultron was beginning to come together. Originally, there was going to be a reference of Hulk being detected near Saturn, but that was changed to avoid too much suggestion: "So in the movie, it’s, ‘We lost the signal out by the Caspian Sea.’ Or something like that, it was all earthbound." What this was initially setting up is unclear, but given how Marvel Studios can't actually make solo movies for Bruce Banner due to a rights hangover with Universal (and are instead making use of him in Avengers team-ups and other hero's standalones) it was likely early prep for Avengers: Infinity War.
This shows how leak culture and online discussion can lead to slight shifts in how movies come together. In addition to this case, it's also believed extensive leaks of Doomsday's presence in Batman v Superman led to the much-reviled reveal trailer.
Of course, this is a little different as Feige's comments reveal that the 2013 Planet Hulk rumor was inaccurate and, at that point, Marvel had no plans for any adaptation of the famed comic book arc, either by itself or as part of a bigger movie. Indeed, Ruffalo being a part of Thor 3 didn't come about until the movie was well in development, after the release of Age of Ultron. So, while sometimes scoops are seismic, often they really are just hot air.
Source: The Wrap
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018