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The buzz surrounding a potential Hulk spinoff has been building and building for months, especially as Joss Whedon gets deeper and deeper into filming on The Avengers: Age of Ultron. And one of the theories that routinely surfaces is that Hulk (played by Mark Ruffalo) might one day play out the Planet Hulk plotline that was immortalized in the comics in 2006. This might happen someday. It might even happen in Marvel’s Phase Three, as is being speculated. But if that happens, it will be against Mark Ruffalo’s wishes, according to these new quotes.
Mark Ruffalo has been busy promoting the winning musical comedy Begin Again, though he also has been fielding a ton of Hulk and Avengers questions along the way. The latest came from MTV, which asked him point blank if Planet Hulk was the storyline that would be followed in a standalone Hulk movie. To which Ruffalo replied:
I don't think that's the way to go yet. I think you need more Banner. The whole thing is just him as Hulk, on a planet, fighting other gladiators."
To which fans of the Hulk would likely respond, "Well, YEAH!!" But as Ruffalo’s co-star, Keira Knightley, shrewdly points out, that sounds like a fun video game, and not necessarily a good movie. It would largely mean a ton of green screen, a ton of CGI, a ton of motion-capture work (get Andy Serkis on line 2, stat!) and not a lot of actual acting. Which Mark Ruffalo is actually very good at.
But listen to the clip, because Ruffalo clearly is up on all things Planet Hulk, which leads me to believe all of this might be a bit of misdirection. Listen in:
In case you haven’t been paying attention to the stream of rumors, here is how it has been suggested the fate of Bruce Banner and his angry alter ego plays out. At the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, the team launches Banner into space because – while he helped the team take down Ultron – he created a wake of devastation and his creature is too hard to control. In Marvel’s Phase Three, Hulk gets his own movie (potentially crossing over with the intergalactic storylines floated in Guardians of the Galaxy or even Doctor Strange), and then Hulk is brought back to Earth to be the antagonist in the third Avengers. Could he even be manipulated by Thanos? Really, anything is possible here.
Except, it is a massive storyline to try and bring to the big screen, and Mark Ruffalo poking holes in the theory does suggest that it isn’t happening. His words could be a smoke screen. They could be the truth. We’ll know more for certain when Marvel holds its annual Comic-Con panel in July. Until then, speculate away!