CAUTION: This post contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, a movie that came out over a month ago.
From a trip to Asgard for Tony Stark to a rather depressing new occupation for Natasha Romanoff, the first drafts of the Avengers: Endgame story originally contained all kinds of nuggets, and thanks to writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s seemingly unending press rounds, we keep learning more about them. For example, in a recent conversation with Empire magazine, the pair revealed why they chose to ignore Black Widow and the Hulk’s former relationship, as depicted in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
In Avengers: Infinity War, Natasha and Bruce Banner briefly share a look during an incredibly awkward reunion at the team’s headquarters. Aside from that (and a few unused shots from the trailers), however, nothing else came of it. Neither the rest of Infinity War nor all of Endgame ever refers to the fact that the two were dating in Age of Ultron. Why? As McFeely put it, they “thought it would be more elegant not to address that.”
“We certainly tried to,” he said of trying to include references to the pair’s lost love. “In Infinity War we have scenes… wrote ’em, shot ’em… of them sort of hashing that out. ‘You’ve been gone, I’ve moved on’ — that kind of stuff. It became very clear that if a scene was not on the ‘A plot,’ it could not survive Infinity War. That thing has to be on rails just to get to the finish line. You couldn’t wrap up loose threads just because you wanted to.”
Markus also noted that since Endgame‘s Hulk “was smart Hulk,” they thought “it [would] seem a little odd, in the midst of everyone’s mourning and his change to a 2,000-pound genius, to go, ‘and they’re dating!'”