In the now sprawling world of Marvel movies, keeping track of the narrative so everything flows and connects must be a nightmare. The studio template has required that each film drop a little tease after the credits for another movie they have in the pipeline, even if it isn't written, shot or cast yet. And this leads to some narrative hula-hoops and workarounds. They've mostly gotten around them, no matter how awkward the manuvering might be, but talking with The Huffington Post, Kevin Feige reveals that they nearly boxed themselves in with The Hulk and "The Avengers."
"I will say that the Tony Stark cameo in 'The Incredible Hulk' required us to [laughs] get ourselves out of a corner," he said referring to the scene in which Tony Stark talks to General Ross about assembling a team, and it's implied that The Hulk is an exile of sorts. The fix? "We do not follow up on that scene in the narrative in any of the subsequent features. But, for fans, which are really the only people going, 'Hey, wait a minute. What about when Tony Stark walked into the room and talked to General Ross?' There's a short film on the 'Captain America' DVD that wraps that up and explains that. So, all the dots are connected and most of them didn't paint us into a corner. But I would say that is probably the closest one that almost did."
Feige is likely referring to the short "The Consultant" which shoehorns The Hulk back into The Avengers fold in a pretty unconvincing, oh-shit-we-gotta-fix-this manner (and it's actually on the "Thor" DVD, not 'Captain America' — even Feige is confused). It's one thing to ambitiously set out to create an connected film world for superheroes, but maybe some better planning could be thought out, because as fixes go, this is pretty cheap. But whatever, as long as Hulk goes SMASH, turns green and leaps through the air, only the most diehard of nerds are gonna care. Anyway, Hulk hangs with "The Avengers" on May 4th.