Way back in January, five months before Avengers: Age of Ultron hit theaters, it was revealed that the toy company Funko was debuting a Savage Grey Hulk action figure, which had many speculating whether or not we would see Grey Hulk in the sequel. As it turns out, Grey Hulk never made it to the screen, but it was initially part of the story. Director Joss Whedon wanted the Green Goliath (Mark Ruffalo) to turn grey, after Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) uses her mind-controlling powers on him. In a new interview with Screen Rant, visual effects supervisor Christopher Townsend explained what the director wanted to achieve with Grey Hulk.
"What Joss Whedon wanted to do was he said, 'I wanted to have a Hulk that's this berserker Hulk.' Berserker Hulk was this Hulk that Hulks out, was what we had come up with on set. And then we sort of started talking about, 'Well what are those extremes?' And ILM started playing with a deformed body with a deformed face with one eye larger than another. You know, like crooked teeth, and drooling, and red eyes, and all this kind of stuff. Then we started playing with color and we started to de-saturate him and give him sort of red around his eyes and made him look strung-out heroin addict Hulk was the idea. Sort of like where he has totally lost it and he's gone totally crazy. And then we gradually tended towards a grayer and grayer version till effectively we got gray Hulk."
When Hulk was first created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the 1960s, Bruce Banner's violent alter-ego was originally grey, but that brought about complications in the comic book printing process, so he was changed to a bright green. The Grey Hulk was eventually brought back as another side of Banner's personality, a more intellectual and controlled Hulk, who actually spent time as a Las Vegas enforcer, known as Joe Fixit. Ultimately, Joss Whedon decided against the Grey Hulk in Avengers: Age of Ultron because he didn't want to confuse comic book fans.
"We tried a few shots in the film with that sort of much grayer version. And then we're thinking, 'Will people confuse this with the gray Hulk from the comics? And is that a good thing or a bad thing?' Eventually, I think we backed off a little bit of that and made him greener so that... we didn't want to confuse people in creating a new character, per se, in that way. So we ultimately backed off. But we had gone pretty extreme in the looks for him."
It remains to be seen if Grey Hulk/Joe Fixit will ever make an appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but, for now, fans are wondering where in the world the regular green Hulk may be. At the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hulk stole a QuinJet and took off by himself, leaving fans to wonder where he'll end up. There were rumors that Mark Ruffalo's character would surface in next year's Captain America: Civil War, but the actor revealed that, while Hulk was initially in the script, he was later cut out because Marvel wants to keep his whereabouts a mystery. Would you have liked to see Grey Hulk appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron?