The Hulk’s journey in the Marvel Cinematic has been quite a unique ride compared to other major heroes, including how he went from being Edward Norton to being Mark Ruffalo. Not to mention how Bruce Banner’s alter ego started off as an unstoppable mindless beast and wound up becoming the Smart Hulk in Avengers: Endgame. The question that remains is when the strongest Avenger will reappear in the MCU.
During a recent interview with Variety, the Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo was asked where he wants to see his character go next after the events of Endgame. His response was as follows:
“There’s an idea that I think could be really interesting. We’ve never really followed him into his life. He’s always kind of off on the side. He’s like the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the Avengers. It’d be interesting to fill in all the blanks about what happened to him in between all these movies.”
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Filling In The Hulk Blanks With Mark Ruffalo
One thing that many fans hope to see someday is another standalone movie with Hulk in the MCU – specifically one starring Ruffalo. But because of the distribution rights issue with Universal Pictures, Disney can’t make a Hulk movie unless Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige want to make a deal. It may happen, considering they recently brought Spider-Man back into MCU and are now making a She-Hulk series possible on Disney+.
But for now, Mark Ruffalo stated that there are no plans for his own solo flick. He did confirm, though, that there have been some talks about the green giant appearance in She-Hulk and that it might happen considering his involvement in the origin story of his cousin Jennifer Walters.
Potential of Hulk’s Story In The Future
If Marvel decides to make a solo movie with Hulk again, they have many options they can pursue with the Smart Hulk character. We last saw Hulk in Avengers: Endgame as Smart Hulk, who restored life across the universe with the Infinity Gauntlet. Smart Hulk is the merged form of Banner’s intellect with Hulk’s strength, making him the best of both worlds. Also called “Professor Hulk” in the comics, it is the new persona of Hulk that he is trying to manage in his years-long quest to save the world from his inner monster.
This new hybrid version of Hulk may seem like a solution for him, but unfortunately, this evolution didn’t solve all of Banner’s problems in the comics. In the Hulk comics, Banner realizes that Professor Hulk isn’t actually the genuine merging of Banner and Hulk, but merely another alternate, idealized and ultimately temporary personality.
Professor Hulk does have one major weakness in the comics. Most versions of Hulk grow stronger as they get angrier, but this version of Hulk reverts back into human form with the mind of the original savage Hulk when he is consumed with rage. In order to prevent this transformation, Professor Hulk often augments his strength with gamma-powered weapons.
However, we don’t know whether the current incarnation of Hulk in the MCU truly is a perfect merging of Banner and Hulk or not. Maybe it is a true adaptation of the comics, as it is possible that before the epic final battle, Hulk took the whole gamma energy of the Infinity Gauntlet that is why he didn’t turn into Banner. Also, another disappointing thing is that we didn’t really see the new Hulk in action in Endgame, not even in the final battle because of the injury to his arm.
We may not get to see the original angry Hulk for a while. We only saw the full rage of savage Hulk in Edward Norton’s attempt on Incredible Hulk and Ruffalo’s portrayal of Hulk in 2012 Avengers and a small part in the Age of Ultron when Wanda unleashes the real Hulk other than these three times we didn’t see the full-on savage Hulk. That is because of Mark Ruffalo’s version of Hulk never got the full attention of the story as he mostly appeared in the team-up movies. That is why a solo Hulk outing would be nice to see.
There’s a lot we don’t know about how Hulk came to be in this state in those missing five years between Infinity War and Endgame. Does Hulk ever revert to human form now? Is this professor Hulk subject to the same limitations as the comic book version? That is why Hulk’s story in the MCU is far from done. We expect some of these questions will be answered in future movies or possibly even in She-Hulk show.
Filling the gaps would be a nice thing to do. She-Hulk is still in the writing process and has no casting announcement yet, although Rick and Morty writer Jessica Gao was hired to write the show. Mark Ruffalo’s idea for a solo outing would be great, but it is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Unfortunately, we may see Hulk again only in the team-up movies and also in Disney+ She-Hulk series.
Do you want to see Hulk getting another standalone movie in MCU? Are you excited to see Hulk in the She-Hulk show? What are your thoughts on Mark Ruffalo’s Idea? Let us know in the comments below.