Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has revealed that the ending to Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron had to be changed after Internet reports surfaced that would have compromised the film's ending.
Feige made the statement to The Wrap and its writer Umberto Gonzalez -- the same reporter that broke the news about the MCU eying a Planet Hulk adaptation which, at the time, was false. Because the original Age of Ultron ending had Hulk jetting off in his Quinjet (more explicitly towards space), Feige was concerned -- expressing those very worries to Whedon -- that it would give fans the wrong impression for Hulk's next arc.
"You had the big scoop about us doing Planet Hulk," Feige said. "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?”
Feige continued, "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."
This was done to ensure fans believed Hulk was still on Earth, with the script also being tweaked to reveal Bruce Banner and his gamma-powered alter-ego was in an Earth-bound setting as opposed to the scripted destination near Saturn. However, this laid the foundation for Thor star Chris Hemsworth to ask for another big Avenger in his film, which allowed Feige to recalibrate things and use Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok, partially absorbing elements from Planet Hulk.