It was recently revealed during a watch part of Avengers: Endgame that several ideas were floated for who Smart Hulk would meet in the Soul World following his heroic infinity gauntlet snap. One idea was to have Banner say a final farewell to Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow, with the two characters having had something of a romantic past. The other arguably more interesting idea that was suggested was to have Banner come face-to-face with the Hulk, with the two separate entities finally coming to a mutual understanding.
Though the scene was never actually filmed, one talented artist and fan has taken it upon themselves to bring to life. In still picture form, at least. The images show Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner entering the simple beauty that is the Soul World. Within the Soul World, the Hulk and Banner have been separated, with Bruce walk towards the not so jolly green giant, who now resembles the more monstrous version of the character seen in the first Avengers movie.
The scene shows them facing each other down, with the Hulk getting angry at one point (because, of course, he does) before the two come to some sort of understanding and reach out to one another. The idea is certainly an interesting one and could have leaned heavily into the Jekyll and Hyde relationship that makes the characters of Hulk and Banner so interesting. They could have even discussed Natasha, with both Hulk and Banner caring for her, and perhaps even discussed a way to bring her back before realizing that it was impossible to do so.
It is likely that the scene was left out for pacing reasons, but it is a shame that it was never filmed, and this fan art is closest fans will ever get to seeing it. Unless another talented artist wants to have a go at it, of course.
Avengers: Endgame reintroduced Hulk and Banner as Smart Hulk, a merging of the two that possesses Banner's brains and Hulk's strengths, and while this was a great direction to take the character in, the internal battle to get to that point was all but skipped over. Banner and Hulk's meeting in the Soul World could have provided some closure to the sudden emergence of Smart Hulk.
At present, Ruffalo's future as the Hulk following Avengers: Endgame is uncertain. Ruffalo himself has said that an appearance in the upcoming She-Hulk series on Disney+ is still a possibility. "There's nothing completely at a place where it's a done deal," Ruffalo said. "There's some talk of having Banner/Hulk show up in She-Hulk. If we come up with something good, that would be really interesting. Right now that's about it. That's all there is on the table."
He also has ideas for finally getting to make a standalone Hulk movie. "There's an idea that I think could be really interesting," Ruffalo said. "We've never really followed him into his life. He's always kind of off on the side. He's like the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the Avengers. It'd be interesting to fill in all the blanks about what happened to him in between all these movies." This comes to us from SALMAN Artworks.