When Scarlet Witch used her powers to warp Hulk's mind in Avengers: Age of Ultron and send him on a rampage, the change in his demeanor was denoted by slight changes in his appearance. But the visual cues that Scarlet Witch's powers had taken their toll was almost even more extreme - Hulk almost turned gray.
“Yeah. What Joss wanted to do was he said, ‘I wanted to have a Hulk that’s this berserker Hulk,’” Industrial Light & Magic VFX Supervisor Christopher Townsend told ScreenRant. “Berserker Hulk was this Hulk that Hulks out, was what we had come up with on set. And then we sort of started talking about, ‘Well what are those extremes?’ And ILM started playing with a deformed body with a deformed face with one eye larger than another. You know, like crooked teeth, and drooling, and red eyes, and all this kind of stuff.”
“Then we started playing with color and we started to de-saturate him and give him sort of red around his eyes and made him look strung-out heroin addict Hulk was the idea. Sort of like where he has totally lost it and he’s gone totally crazy. And then we gradually tended towards a grayer and grayer version till effectively we got gray Hulk.”
So why didn't the gray Hulk make the film's final cut? According to Townsend, the VFX team was worried that viewers might be confused by the comic book version of the gray Hulk, Joe Fixit, who is actually depicted as a less savage version of the Hulk.
“We tried a few shots in the film with that sort of much grayer version. And then we’re thinking, ‘Will people confuse this with the gray Hulk from the comics? And is that a good thing or a bad thing?’ Eventually, I think we backed off a little bit of that and made him greener so that…we didn’t want to confuse people in creating a new character, per se, in that way. So we ultimately backed off. But we had gone pretty extreme in the looks for him.”
Avengers: Age of Ultron hits home video October 2, 2015.