Since his first appearance in 2008, Bruce Banner and his jolly Green Alter-Ego, the Hulk, have had a bit of a roller-coaster ride. In the time since his solo movie, he has had a key role in the Avengers movies and also Thor: Ragnarok. After the actor changed from Edward Norton in The Incredible Hulk (2008) to Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers (2012), fans have been hoping to see Ruffalo as the Hulk in another solo movie. There has, unfortunately, been nothing more than rumors on a return to the MCU though.
The distribution rights for the Hulk and related characters are still held by Universal Studios, but it is possible that Disney could regain those rights in the future.
In an interview with The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon, Ruffalo discussed how nervous he was to take on the role and how Robert Downey Jr. convinced him to take the role.
I was scared, I didn’t know what I could add to what I’d already thought had been done so well before me, and I just was like, I don’t know that I’m, and I’d only been doing indie movies up to that point, so I was like, I don’t know, like, I don’t know if I’m the right person for this, and [director Joss Whedon]’s like, yeah, you are the right person.
I got a call from [Robert Downey Jr] who, it must of made it to him, that I was, you know, hemming and hawing, and he just simply said, ‘Ruffalo, let’s go. We got this.’ And in true Iron Man fashion. And after that, I was like, I guess I have to do it.
During the interview, Ruffalo also gave his own pitch for a standalone movie, exploring how Banner became the “Bulk” during the 5-year gap leading up to Endgame.
That should have been its own movie, that’s what I’m pitching actually, that section of time, like how did Banner become the Bulk? You know?
Hulk in MCU Future?
Although there are currently no plans to bring Ruffalo back into the MCU, there are rumors that the Hulk will appear in the Disney+ series She-Hulk. The actor has expressed interest on multiple occasions to explore his character further and possibly fill in the gaps between his other appearances. Ruffalo has also shown his interest in a Hulk – Wolverine crossover. If Disney does manage to get the rights the above ideas could be very interesting.