Mark Ruffalo may have ruffled the feathers of Marvel fans via some of his recent comments in an interview with Collider. Ruffalo, who has played the Hulk in both The Avengers and in the upcoming sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, (May 1st) didn’t react to the rumors that the Hulk may be killed off in the new film. However, Mark did comment that he hopes to be in the followup films after Avengers: Age of Ultron – those being Infinity War Parts 1 and 2 – or even in a Hulk standalone film.
What has Marvel maniacs in a frenzy is, why would Mark Ruffalo be concerned about being in more films if the Hulk survives Avengers: Age of Ultron? Could it be that the Hulk doesn’t actually get killed but is sent off into space because the other Avengers think he is too dangerous? That is the scenario that follows the Planet Hulk saga from the comic book storyline…
The problem with a Planet Hulk film is that Universal still owns the rights to any and all standalone Hulk films, but as with the upcoming agreement with Sony that will allow Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the same sort of deal might be in the works with Universal.
“That’s still Universal’s property, so there’s that issue. That’s a big impediment to moving forward with that. Now I don’t think that’s insurmountable, by the way, but I don’t know where it’s going from here for me.”
If the Hulk doesn’t die or is vanquished from earth in Avengers: Age of Ultron, why would Mark Ruffalo be concerned about whether or not he’s coming back to play Bruce Banner’s mean-green alter ego in the third and fourth Avengers films?
“I don’t know if I’m in it yet. I don’t know. Sometimes these things happen at the last minute in this world. I really don’t know where I fit in from here on out, and I’m not sure they do.”
The truth is, Ruffalo’s comments might mean to be a distraction themselves from what’s really in store for the Hulk. Mark has a contract with Marvel for four more films, but he’s quick to concur that he just doesn’t know what films they will be – or in what capacity he’ll appear in them.
“…that could include different – I could show up in another character’s movie; I could do Avengers 3 and 4; I could do a Hulk standalone; I could do a combination of those things. That’s four or five, I think.”
So, at the end of the day, it’s not really a question of if we’ll see Mark Ruffalo appearing again as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, it’s a question of where. Looking ahead beyond Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, Marvel has release dates for Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 and 2, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Inhumans… and that’s just the releases we know about. (It’s a safe bet that Benedict Cumberbatch will blow audiences away in Doctor Strange, leading Marvel to fast track a sequel some time before 2019, and more Spider-Man films have to be planned along the way.)
Considering that lineup, there’s a possibility that we could see a minor Planet Hulk-type scenario in space with Mark Ruffalo in either Guardians of the Galaxy 2 or possibly even Inhumans.
What do you think? If the Hulk and Mark Ruffalo are dismissed from the Avengers storyline after Avengers: Age of Ultron, where do you think the Hulk will show up next?
[Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]