It may turn out that the only way to tell a proper Bruce Banner story is in other superheroes’ movies, and with Universal refusing to do another solo Hulk film, that’s apparently how it’s going to go with the big green guy. Joss Whedon finally cracked the character with The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and set Banner/Hulk up to go in an interesting direction.
When we reported on Thor: Ragnarok last week, we had heard that Hulk might show up to fight Thor in a battle arena before the two team up to take on the movie’s villains. While Mark Ruffalo wouldn’t go into any story specifics in a recent interview, he has been fairly open when it comes to talking about the character and what fans can expect to see for Hulk.
Speaking to Yahoo!, Ruffalo said that while he still wants to do a solo Hulk movie, those rights are tied up with Universal. However, “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,” said Ruffalo.
Age of Ultron brought a tremendous emotional reckoning for Hulk, and even though there’s not a “big” moment—he doesn’t kill or anyone or anything like that—he does realize he needs to be cut off from the world because he still doesn’t know how to be a part of it. That’s a story that could definitely require three movies to tell because clearly the first two Avengers movies didn’t solve Banner’s problem of how to be part of a team or control “the other guy.”
But those were Avengers movies through the eyes of Joss Whedon. Ruffalo commented on how he’s preparing to work with Avengers: Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo and with Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi:
“Taika Waititi’s coming in and I love him. That’s a surprise and it fits part of this Marvel doing the unexpected, casting the unexpected, and now bringing in the unexpected for writer and director. I’m really interested in where that’s going…
“I think the Russo brothers are great and I think they’re well positioned to take it on, and I’m happy to be doing it with them, but I’m friends with Joss. He had a hard time making the first one and he had a hard time making this one. I think it’s partially the nature of that beast.”
Thor: Ragnarok opens November 3, 2017; Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 opens May 4, 2018; and Avengers: Infinity War – Part II opens May 3, 2019.