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The Hulk proved a big green dud in two solo movies (2003's Hulk and 2008's The Incredible Hulk). But his brooding Mark Ruffalo makeover in 2012's The Avengers made him a fast fan favorite. (And of course the below Loki-smashing didn't hurt.) Now, Ruffalo himself is hinting that the Hulk will be getting a lot more screentime in his next outing Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Total Film spoke with Mark Ruffalo, who is currently in production on Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the star shared a few details about what Hulk fans can anticipate in the sequel. He said:
"[My role's] even bigger than last time, and it's more complex and it has more layers and a bit more arc."
That may seem vague, but considering Ruffalo has been publically chastised by Marvel for over-sharing on the project, we can't be too surprised he's playing things so close to the vest. However, Ruffalo did give one more bit of info about Avengers: Age of Ultron, this time he's stopped worrying and learned to love the greenscreen. He explains:
"I'm really tripping on the technology of this motion-capture stuff… now I just completely embrace it and see it as this other exciting place we can go as performers."
In Avengers, Bruce "The Hulk" Banner was technically one of the central heroes, but mostly he played as a foil/straight man to Robert Downey Jr.'s snarky Tony Stark. Still, Ruffalo--with his trademark hangdog expression and weary smiles--breathed a new life into the character that had been twice fumbled before. All of a sudden, fans were crying out for another Hulk movie. While Marvel hasn't announced any such solo spin-off, they were savvy enough to weave Banner into the post-credit scene of Iron Man 3, where he played the sleepy shoulder-to-lean on to the recounting Tony Stark.
Ruffalo and Downey share a great onscreen chemistry, which we'd expect Joss Whedon will take further advantage of in Avengers: Age of Ultron. But the real challenge could be topping a man to monster moment as epic as this one:
Avengers: Age of Ultron is officially half-way through production. The sequel to the biggest blockbuster of 2012 is due to hit theaters May 1, 2015. You can bet other major releases will be clearing a path. You just don't mess with The Avengers.