Avengers: Endgame saw the supposed retirement of two of its major players. Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans hung up their caps as Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, but the rest of the cast and their future in the MCU was up in the air, at least until the Phase 4 announcement this past summer. One main Avenger whose future hangs in the balance is Bruce Banner/Hulk who has been portrayed by Mark Ruffalo since 2012.
Ruffalo never gave a formal retirement announcement from the character, but many believed he was finished alongside Downey and Evans. That may not be the case, as the actor recently revealed that he and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige are going to meet to discuss Banner’s future.
Ruffalo stopped by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, as CinemaBlend reported, earlier this week and Hulk’s future came up in conversation.
“I don’t know [about Hulk coming back]. I do know that I did give Kevin Feige the Blockbuster Award at the Hollywood Film Awards the other day, to a smattering of applause. And he did say ‘Hey, do you think there’s any more story left here?’ And I said ‘I could probably come up with a few more storylines.’ And he said ‘Well, maybe you should come in and we’ll have a talk.’ You heard it here.”
There is still no confirmation on Hulk returning in the future, but it’s definitely not an impossibility. The good news is that Feige has taken input from Ruffalo before and run with it. The Spotlight actor was one of the minds behind Banner/Hulk’s arc in Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Endgame.
Don’t expect a solo Hulk film anytime soon though, as Universal still holds the rights to the character’s solo movies. Marvel Studios owns the character rights, but they cannot make a film based solely on the Hulk himself. This might seem a little odd since The Incredible Hulk is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that film came before Disney purchased the MCU and the Edward Norton film was able to skate by.
It’s possible Ruffalo’s Hulk could appear in a future film alongside She-Hulk, which Feige recently confirmed would be appearing in a feature film and not just her own Disney Plus series. Feige also noted that Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight will also be appearing on the big screen outside of the shows on the streaming platform.
Hulk was left quite damaged after the events of Endgame, by basically losing his arm, and by losing Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). There still might be plenty of story to tell there if Ruffalo is given the chance.