Spoiler alert: The romance is revved up in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and it starts with this early scene that finds Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow attempting to calm a hot-tempered Hulk as he smashes about a snowy forest.
Director Joss Whedon walked us through the stage-setting clip in our latest installment of Instant Commentary (which you can watch above), and he’s not going to lie: He finds the two characters’ encounter kinda hot.
“I think this is kind of romantic, and a little sexy,” said Whedon, who returns after directing the monstrously successful first assemblage of The Avengers in 2012, and who’s said Ultron will likely be his last big Marvel movie. “It wasn’t until a few days before we were finished that we had all the final renderings, and watching what [visual effects studio] ILM did with the Hulk’s eyes, [we saw] the specificity of what he’s going through. Suddenly we all looked at each other and said, 'Oh this is a lot sexier than we [intended]. We all thought it was interesting, and romantic, and ambiguous, and we’re like, ‘This is less ambiguous.’”
Whedon said Mark Ruffalo, who plays Hulk’s alter-ego Bruce Banner, stood in to film the scene. Prior to our interview, the filmmaker playfully admitted to having crushes on all of characters, which gives his last comment some context: "Some people wondered why she would like that guy [Hulk/Bruce Banner]. I understand why she would like both of them.”
Avengers: Age of Ultron opens everywhere May 1. Watch the scene without commentary: