WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters now.
Avengers: Infinity War co-director Joe Russo has defended the Hulk-Black Widow romance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but revealed that it was one Joss Whedon plot point they were ready to move past.
Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) had a surprise love affair in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which divided fans who either felt it was too forced, or made the characters unnecessary emotive crutches for each other. Russo did admit that such risks needed to be taken and at the end of the day, audiences won't like every decision made.
In a Q&A session at an Iowa high school, when asked about deviating from the comics with these characters and creating a romance out of nowhere, he said, "That was a Joss Whedon decision so it’s not something I can speak to. We don’t directly translate the comics to the films -- why go see the films when you know how it’s going to end?"
"And it isn’t a translation. It’s our interpretation for the MCU -- I think Joss was trying to find interesting ways of pairing up the characters and create dynamics between them. I know it seems to be a generally unpopular choice; you know you can’t win them all," he added.
In the film, Banner, who went off-planet after Age of Ultron, is finally reunited with Widow but apart from exchanging pleasantries prior to the Wakanda battle scene, their relationship isn't addressed at all, which left fans wondering about potential closure. "Look he disappeared for two years -- she’s pretty self-sufficient, she didn’t wait around for him -- there’s a sort of unspoken truth that there’s need to be a spoken resolution," Russo concluded.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie.