They join forces to fight enemies no single hero can battle alone. So what possible villain could be big enough, strong enough, or crazy enough to go against the combined powers of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Ant-Man, and the rest of The Avengers? How about no villain at all, "Incredible Hulk" director Louis Leterrier wondered, but a hero?
[Spoiler Warning for those who don’t wish to know anything about "The Incredible Hulk"]
"I would love to see [the Hulk become the villain that fights the Avengers] because I think the best villains are always the ones whose agenda you understand," he enthused. "They're not synthetic to us in a way; they're not these one dimensional bad guys."
The Hulk being instrumental to the formation of The Avengers isn’t actually a new idea -- in fact, it’s precisely the reason the team formed way back when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby first started the comic in 1963. Leterrier wanted to make sure he gave the next "Avengers" captain, whether it be him, Jon Favreau, or someone else, the same opportunity.
"That's why I left the door open for whoever's going to direct 'The Avengers' with our last shot. Edward and I, we consciously decided to make the last shot of the movie when he opens his eyes and he smirks at the camera," Leterrier said. "Is he enjoying it? Is he malicious? That's what's great about Edward. You don't know if he's a good guy or bad guy. He's always on this edge and we've been sort of surfing that edge, that very thin edge during the entire movie."
"So that last shot of the movie, if you decide that he's smiling, in control, then he's a good guy, that's 'The Hulk 2,'" he continued. "If Hulk is a failure, then he looks up and smirks and that's eventually the Hulk of the Avengers -- the uncontrollable beast that they need to team up to stop."
"The Avengers" movie is tentatively scheduled for 2011, and that's plenty of time to figure it out, Leterrier said. And the best way to do that? Let the fans decide, he said.
"I would listen to the fans before I listen to the box office," Leterrier insisted. "They are the reason why these movies successful."
The gauntlet has been thrown. Do you think the Hulk should be the villain in the Avengers? Or do you think he should be on the team, helping to fight someone else? Sound off on your reasons for either below.