After Hulk flew off into the sunset at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, there was speculation about where the Green Goliath would appear next. Despite his name not popping up on the cast list, Captain America: Civil War was offered as a suggestion, and that gained traction after Mark Ruffao mentioned that Robert Downey Jr. said he was in the movie. Ruffalo later later confirmed he wouldn’t appear, but a new comment suggests that we might get to see a little of him after all.
During an appearance on the Movies with Ali Plumb podcast (via HeyUGuys), Anthony Mackie, a.k.a. the MCU’s Falcon, mentioned Ruffalo as if he’s one of the actors involved in Captain America: Civil War. Take a close look at his quote:
It’s because it’s more of an acting movie than an action movie. I feel like the story is very concise and interesting, and you get to see Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo and everybody just do really, really good ACTING. And then there’s action in it. I think it might be the first superhero movie that might be up for Best Picture.
If Mackie were talking about Marvel movies as a whole, then no one would blink an eye at this statement, but the fact that he’s specifically referring to Captain America: Civil War is obviously turning heads. If Ruffalo wasn’t a part of the production, why would Mackie mention him? This might have been something as simple as a slip of the tongue, but it’s also interesting to wonder if Ruffalo might have shot a few scenes for the movie.
Although Bruce Banner/Hulk was written into one of the earlier Captain America: Civil War scripts, Mark Ruffalo later said the character(s) had been cut from the draft. Plus, if Hulk was involved, whichever side he was on would obviously be the winner. However, last August, Captain America: Civil War shot some scenes in Berlin, and one night, Ruffalo was reportedly sighted with Mackie, Chris Evans and Daniel Brühl. So perhaps the original plan was to include Banner/Hulk, but at some point, the crew decided to leave him out of the final cut. Even if Banner does appear in the May blockbuster, it’s unlikely he’ll play a major role, given everything that’s already being packed in. It would probably be something akin to his appearance in the Iron Man 3 post-credits scene.
As it stands now, Hulk’s next official appearance in the MCU will be in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. He’ll be teaming up with the God of Thunder to take down whatever threat is being unleashed across the Nine Realms. It’s also been mentioned that this movie will give audiences a more intelligent Hulk, one whose consciousness is starting to meld with Banner’s. Following Thor: Ragnarok, Hulk will return for the Avengers: Infinity War movies, and all three movies are apparently forming an interesting arc for the green powerhouse that will feel like a solo movie.
So whether Hulk appears in Captain America: Civil War on May 6 or not, we don’t have to worry about him not getting enough screen time to "smash."