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Could we have seen Edward Norton back as Hulk in last week’s What If…?

August 30th, 2021 by Marc Comments


Are you watching Marvel’s What If…?, if so, then this week’s third episode was a cracker that raised several questions and cemented a movie in MCU canon that some doubted were still part of the official story.

In the episode we caught up with Nick Fury during the events of Iron Man 2 and what, in the official timeline is called ‘Fury’s big week’ as it was the same week when Fury recruited Hulk, Iron Man and Thor but not in this storyline as each hero is systematically killed off before they could join the superhero team.

One of the episode’s most shocking scenes was when Hulk, well, exploded. From the inside out.

But what was very interesting was that the movie chronicled several events from The Incredible Hulk starring Edward Norton but this animated model, as seen above, was modeled on and voiced by Mark Ruffalo, therefore erasin Edward Norton from the tale.

However, this could have been very different.

Speaking about the episode, head writer AC Bradley talked about revisiting the events of the Norton movie but with Ruffalo in the role: “It wasn’t much of a difference for me, I love all Marvel movies.

“I’ve seen The Incredible Hulk probably three or four times. I love the bottle chase sequence in the beginning. We wanted to make sure that with all three movies we pulled iconic moments that people would recognize. So for The Incredible Hulk, it was the Culver University fight scene. We wanted to use, if possible, the fight in Harlem. But the Culver one lends itself better to the story, so we went there.”

Interestingly, he said it was at least toyed with to have Norton approached if things didn’t work out: “I did joke early on, ‘If we can’t get Ruffalo back are we going to ask Norton?’ And I was told that Mark Ruffalo already agreed to do the show. He’s a very lovely human being, and he was great. He came in, had fun, and you really can’t get a better Hulk than Mark Ruffalo.”

It was interesting to have a Ruffalo explore the early days of Bruce Banner and Hulk that he never got to delve into in live-action. IT was also nice to see Betty Ross back although she was not played by Liv Tyler as she was in the movie but rather was voiced by Stephanie Panisello – although we’ve heard rumours that we may see Tyler return to the MCU in the near future, possibly in She-Hulk.

So, there you have it, The Incredible Hulk is definitely an MCU movie and Marvel wants you to think of Ruffalo in that movie now rather than Norton, which makes sense… if a little difficult.

Anyway, let me know what you all think, gang…

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….