Joss Whedon has said he felt angry when Avengers Assemble was so successful and even wrote some of The Hulk's lines about himself.
The Avengers franchise writer and director told GQ magazine it made him bitter about the years he had spent being criticised for films such as Alien Resurrection.
He said: "I am bitter. Most writers are. We all have things like Alien Resurrection that will never leave us. But you cannot live like that, you just can't. And so much has gone so right.
"The weird thing is the anger that surfaced after the success of the Avengers. I thought: all those years of being thwarted, that was the story of my life.
"I realised that when I wrote Bruce Banner (aka The Hulk) saying, 'I'm always angry', I was in fact writing about myself. I just had no idea."
He also told the magazine about his anguish at his futuristic TV series Firefly being cancelled after just 14 episodes.
Joss, who wrote and directed Buffy The Vampire Slayer, said: "My biggest professional disappointment is Firefly being cancelled: that's how I learned what real grief is. And that will never go away.
"Part of that sadness is that I didn't know how to fight. Now I look back and go, 'You know, if I'd had just a little more moxie, maybe I could have read the signs'.
"But I came to understand that grief is like losing a limb. You don't grow another arm, you learn to tie your shoes differently."
Joss' modern retelling of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is released in cinemas on June 14.