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Thanks to his gamma radiation-caused "condition," Bruce Banner a.k.a. The Hulk has a bit of a hard time maintaining romantic relationships. Part of this is the fact that at any minute he could turn into an enormous green rage monster, but there’s also the fact that he’s constantly on the run from government forces who want to control and perform experiments on him. But he isn’t a character entirely without love. He got to rekindle some romance with Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) in Louis Leterrier’s The Incredible Hulk, and it seems that he will get a new lady love in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
This past summer, I was invited with a small group of other film journalists to visit the set of the upcoming Marvel Studios film, and while talking to Mark Ruffalo the actor revealed that there could be a bit of romance coming in Bruce Banner/Hulk’s near future. At the start of the interview, the actor coyly responded to rumors that his character may be getting a little cozy with Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow, hinting at a "really important relationship" between the two heroes. But it wasn’t until he started talking about the development of Bruce Banner that he directly hinted at having a new significant other in his life.
Discussing the fact that being part of a team has helped create a bit of normalcy for the character and a feeling like he belongs to a family, Ruffalo said,
" I still think it’s a struggle for him, and I never think that he quite has it under control. But I think in this version he’s sort of as close to having a normal life as he possibly could… which might include some romance. But is that ever possible for Banner is really the question."
Whether or not Banner can actually ever maintain a romantic relationship is certainly a question fans of the character have long been asking, but we’re also still wondering exactly what happened to Betty Ross in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The last we saw of her, she was looking at a picture of Bruce Banner (the Edward Norton version) on her camera with a dying battery, and we haven’t heard a single word about her since. It’s definitely fine that Hulk is starting to move forward with a personal life beyond her, but at the same time it would be nice if some closure was available.
We remain (im)patiently waiting for Joss Whedon’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron to hit theaters on May 1, 2015, but for now all of you should stay tuned, as we’ll have plenty more great stories and information from our set visit coming soon.