The Hulk has experienced a pretty rough on-screen life, let’s be honest. While Ang Lee’s 2003 effort had some pretty strong points, like dramatic depth and solid acting, it had a lot of talking and not enough smashing. In stark contrast, Edward Norton’s debut as Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk was loud, bombastic and filled with CGI. But it still didn’t feel goo enough.
Many fans were shocked that, when Marvel’s Phase 3 was announced, Hulk had no solo film. However, the character, now played by Mark Ruffalo, has still been an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with prominent appearances in The Avengers, as well as an upcoming appearance in Thor: Ragnarok.
Speaking to Yahoo Movies (via Squareeyed), Ruffalo explained that while Hulk won’t receive a standalone movie anytime soon, the character would undergo a major arc throughout Phase 3, amounting to his own standalone story. Ruffalo explained: “I’d love to do a Hulk movie, but that’s beyond my control. It’s controlled by Universal [Pictures]. Marvel doesn’t even hold the rights to it. So, it’s not on the horizon. And I don’t know if it will be. But we have worked a really interesting arc into Thor 3, Avengers 3 and 4 for Banner that I think will – when it’s all added up – will feel like a Hulk movie, a standalone movie.”
So, basically, while not actually giving Hulk his own film, they are going to drop the character into some of its main films, which will end up with enough Hulk for all. Marvel have employed this tactic before, with the likes of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who don’t have standalone movies but have still been major players in the MCU.
Director of Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi, told Collider about his thoughts on Hulk and working with Marvel in general: “I love that one moment in Avengers when Hulk grabs Loki and rag dolls him. It lends itself to great humor, do you read those comic books? They’re wacky. They’re crazy. I think that‘s exactly what they need, to keep changing it up. They’ve got their dark films, some are more serious, and I think it’s great that they’re mixing it up. I really want to inject my style of humor into this.”
On the Hulk himself, he added: “We’ve worked a really interesting arc into Thor 3, Avengers 3 and 4 for Banner that I think will – when it’s all added up – will feel like a Hulk movie, a standalone movie.”
The director went on to talk about working with Marvel after Joss Whedon had so publicly described working with them as a bit go a nightmare: “I’ve learned that there are really no rules. There’s no road map. They’re very similar to Pixar in that way. They are constantly looking for the best story, they’ll tear everything down to rebuild it to make sure they have the best story. That’s why Marvel is good, they keep pushing and pushing and trying to get the best thing possible. That’s what I’ve discovered the way things have changed.”
Hulk fans can rejoice — although the big Green Monster won’t be getting a solo film anytime soon, having a major character arc throughout Phase 3 means there’ll be a sufficient amount of smashing from Dr Banner.