The Hulk's journey in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a strange one one. While Edward Norton played the Bruce Banner in the character's first and only solo movie in 2008, he eventually dropped off-- leaving room for Mark Ruffalo to debut as the character in Joss Whedon's The Avengers. And while he also appeared in Age of Ultron, the character has been largely missing in the modern MCU. But he's set to have a major role in Thor: Ragnarok, which will debut in theaters in just a few days. Hulk is currently unable to get his own movie in for legal reasons, but Ruffalo recently revealed why it's not that much of an interest to him, saying:
He does have a point. Because rather than having the responsibility of leading his own franchise, he's enjoying having a supporting role and getting a slightly easier schedule. Leading a movie would be extra grueling considering how much motion capture is necessary to bring the big green guy to life, so it's definitely more fun to play a tertiary character in giant team up films like Ragnarok and Infinity War.
That being said, Mark Ruffalo's comments to BBC are sure to disappoint the more hardcore Hulk fans. Because while he's been a major figure since Phase One of the shared universe, The Hulk is one of the many OG Avengers who still haven't been given their time to shine. Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow has face a similar fate, as she had a big role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but still hasn't been given a solo movie. Fans have been calling for she and Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye to get their own S.H.I.E.L.D.-centric spy movie, but so far these plans haven't come to fruition.
Then again, the red tape involved in The Hulk's contracts is the main reason why he haven't gotten The Incredible Hulk 2. Rather than Marvel Studios, Universal actually has the rights to any potential solo movies for the behemoth Avenger. They've refused to make any sort of deal with Marvel ala Sony's Spider-Man agreement, so Ruffalo simply can't lead his own movie as the anti-hero. Luckily, he seems fairly disinterested.
And The Hulk does seem like he's going to be more featured in both Infinity War and the untitled Avengers 4 movie. Mark Ruffalo and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige have crafted a three film narrative for the character, starting with this role in Thor: Ragnarok. Then again, The Russo Brothers are juggling a massive ensemble cast of characters, so it's unclear how featured The Hulk really can be in his final two appearances in Phase Three.
The Hulk will kick some ass and take some names in Thor: Ragnarok, premiering on November 3rd-- you can pre-order your tickets here. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next binge watch.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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