THE HULK RAGNAROK

If you haven't already heard, The Avengers: Infinity War trailer has the world in awe. Even those who haven't seen the D23 tease have heard about it, and they now know that every Avenger seems poised to change over the course of the Infinity arc. As it turns out, that goes double for the (literally) biggest Avenger of them all. Mark Ruffalo recently opened up at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California and admitted that some significant changes are on the horizon for Hulk between now and the events of the fourth Avengers film, saying:

There's a huge change for Banner and for Hulk. It isn't resolved in the first Infinity War, it sort of culminates into the second Infinity War. Thor 3 is the beginning of a lot of changes for Banner and for Hulk.

It doesn't seem like a spoiler for Mark Ruffalo to admit that he will appear in Avengers 4. Bruce Banner is easily the most formidable member of The Avengers roster, and he seems to have the highest odds of survival when Thanos (Josh Brolin) finally comes to town. That said, we can now confirm that the arrival of The Mad Titan will alter this not-so-jolly green giant in some massive ways. Early glimpses at Thor: Ragnarok have hinted at a complex arc for the behemoth hero, and that arc will fully play out between now and 2019 -- even if he never gets another full-blown solo movie.

Don't take my word for it. Check out a clip from Mark Ruffalo's D23 interview with Fandango below to see what he had to say about Bruce Banner's upcoming arc.

So what exactly does this mean with regards to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe? It's impossible to know for sure without seeing Thor: Ragnarok or The Avengers: Infinity War, but Mark Ruffalo's comments could imply some major, fan-favorite moments for The Incredible Hulk over the course of the next few years. Among these narrative possibilities are the debut of gray Hulk in the MCU, or even the possibility of an adaptation of the seminal World War Hulk storyline. At this point, it's anyone's guess.

What ultimately makes Mark Ruffalo's comments so fascinating is the fact that Hulk was the one Avenger completely missing from the Infinity War teaser screened at D23 over the weekend, and I don't think that's an accident. Wherever Hulk will end up by the time Avengers 4 rolls around, the seeds of that transition will take root in the next Avengers movie, and Marvel wants to keep those secrets close to the chest for the foreseeable future. The studio has nailed the depiction of the character ever since Ruffalo stepped in for Edward Norton during the events of the first Avengers film, so we're on pins and needles to see what happens next.

Make sure to stay tuned for more incredible updates related to The Incredible Hulk (as well as the rest of Earth's mightiest heroes) as new information becomes available. Mark Ruffalo's Hulk will make his next appearance in the MCU when Thor: Ragnarok debuts in theaters later this year on November 3, 2017.

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