In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Hulk decided to leave the team with little explanation, but an extended scene helped straighten his reasoning.
One of the most tragic characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its source material is Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). Its lowest point is indicated in Avengers: Age of Ultron, following a clash with Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), who shoots his mind out, making him the Hulk-out and sending him on a rampage across South Africa. The event deeply shaken the reluctant hero. He eventually left the team at the end of the film, but it was never fully explained why he abandoned his friends after Ultron was defeated.
Still, an extended scene on Disney + may shed light on what was going on in Banner’s mind. After his battle with Iron Man and his Hulkbuster costume, the Avengers retreated to Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) home, a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere where he had to keep his family hidden and safe. There, the Avengers were able to collect their thoughts and pull themselves together after Wanda forced them to face their fears, like Natasha (Scarlet Johansson) reliving her time as a spy in the Red Room.
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The deleted scene, “Bruce and Natasha Talk,” followed the two heroes, who were ultimately able to share time alone. In the scene, Natasha did her best to express her feelings to Bruce, but he was far too focused on the damage he had done as the Hulk. He felt he was too much of a threat to the innocent, and there was no longer a place on Earth where he could have lived a normal life. Like Natasha, Bruce felt like he was living in a fantasy world as the Avenger and that the mistakes of his past weren’t able to catch up with him. However, the moment he lost control, the facade collapsed, and he knew nothing had really changed for him.
Bruce’s plan from that point on was to quit the team in favor of Natasha and his own. While Natasha could have gone with him if he had asked, she also knew she was going to be needed as long as people were in danger. This was proven later in the movie, after Banner saved her from Ultron. Rather than running away with him, she shoved Bruce into a hole to get the Hulk out for the final fight and to save the citizens of Sokovia. Even though he stayed to defeat Ultron, the Hulk wasn’t there for the celebration, as the last time he was shown he was in a Quinjet leaving the team behind.
In the theatrical cut, Bruce’s decision to leave was vaguely heralded by his reluctance to become the Hulk again. Even so, his departure came across as drastic as the film didn’t spend enough time showing how his loss of control impacted the character. In contrast, the deleted scene revealed that Bruce was so haunted by what had happened that he was more than ready to take to the run again and leave behind everyone he cared about.
Avengers: Age of Ultron showed the team to their maximum before everyone went their separate ways at the end. But Bruce’s departure turned out to be the most tragic thanks to his motivations clarified in the film’s deleted scene. As the scene showed, he felt he didn’t deserve to be happy and that the Hulk was a danger to everyone on Earth. These beliefs eventually drove him out of his friends.
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