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Ever since his turn in The Avengers, Mark Ruffalo's Hulk has been a fan favorite character. Originally little more than a mindless rage machine, completely outside of Bruce Banner's control, the Hulk has continued to evolve. In last year's Thor: Ragnarok, we saw a Hulk that had spent years without returning to the Bruce Banner form and had matured mentally in that time. That was apparently not the end of the Hulk's growth either, as he will continue evolving going into Avengers: Infinity War. Mark Ruffalo described this growth, saying:
So, we're starting to find a Hulk ...the division between Hulk and Banner is starting to blur a little bit, and so you have a Hulk that can actually express himself without being angry. There are sentences, yes. We're getting into like a five-year-old.
We saw in Ragnarok that Hulk had become much less of a unthinking monster and was beginning to have his own thoughts and motivations, seeing himself as separate from Bruce Banner. Based on the comments Mark Ruffalo made during an Infinity War set visit CinemaBlend attended last year, it sounds like that trajectory will continue. With Hulk becoming more of a thinking entity, he should become more useful to the team as he can better take direction. Maybe this will mean that Black Widow won't always need to be around to calm him down. This should allow him to become more of a scalpel to be used strategically instead of a machete, hacking at everything around it.
A big part of Ragnarok was how Bruce Banner had been the Hulk since Avengers: Age of Ultron, and he was concerned about possibly becoming permanently fixed in that state and unable to return to his human form. Mark Ruffalo's comments seem to indicate that the divide between the two identities will continue to become less starkly defined, which could make for an interesting internal struggle. Perhaps as the Hulk grows more intelligent, he can maintain his form better and thus prevent himself from going back to puny Banner.
What that means for the character in Infinity War remains to be seen, but what is especially interesting is that we actually haven't seen a lot of Hulk in the trailers so far. Bruce Banner is in the trailers plenty though. This leads me to believe that Banner will try his best to not have to go into his Hulk form, for fear he will not be able to change back. It is also possible that Banner becomes stuck in his human form similar to how he was stuck in the Hulk form. This is why I think that it is Bruce Banner, and not Tony Stark, who is piloting the Hulkbuster armor seen in Wakanda in the trailers. Bruce Banner is also the only character glimpsed in both New York City and Wakanda, making it seem like he will be playing a crucial role in the plan to defend the planet and the Infinity Stones from Thanos.
You can see whether the Hulk is reading at grade level yet when Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April 27th. For all the latest on the duality of man, keep it locked on CinemaBlend.