Avengers: Endgame, the highest-grossing film of all time, marked the conclusion for a number of major Marvel Cinematic Universe characters. Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark bit the dust, Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff sacrificed herself, and Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers went back in time and lived his full life with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). That left just a couple of OG Avengers on the table: Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye is returning in his own Disney+ series, and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor is continuing on with a feature film sequel Thor: Love and Thunder. But what of Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner? Does the end of the Science Bros mark the end of the Hulk’s time in the MCU?
That’s the question Collider’s own Steve Weintraub posed to Ruffalo when speaking with the actor about his new film Dark Waters, and he admitted that he asked those in the know while making Endgame what was next and got a coy response:
“It’s all up in the air. I started asking as Endgame was winding down and my contracts were up, I was like, ‘So, you know, is there a place for me here?’ And the response was, ‘Well, we’re going to let this sort of come to an end and then see where we are somewhere in the future.’ So I just took that as a really nice way of saying probably not.”
Ruffalo famously never got his own solo Hulk movie thanks to complicated rights deals with the character (Universal Pictures controls distribution for the character, and they’re not keen on sharing), but with Marvel having announced a She-Hulk series coming in the next few years to Disney+, many have wondered if Ruffalo might reprise his role there. When Collider asked him about that prospect, he revealed that he’s due to have a meeting with Kevin Feige soon:
“I would not rule [a She-Hulk appearance] out at this point. And I’m supposed to have a talk with Kevin Feige in the next couple of months. So you know, who knows? That’s how it all started. So that might turn into something.”
It certainly sounds like everything is up in the air with regards to the Hulk character at this point, but I would be surprised if Endgame marked Ruffalo’s final turn as the character. He’s an incredible actor and a very well-loved guy, and Hulk never really got his due under Ruffalo’s watch despite the promise that Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Endgame would chronicle a three-movie character arc for Hulk. There’s only so much real-estate to go around in those movies, and Ragnarok was the only one that really allowed Ruffalo to dig a bit deeper into the psyche of the character.
I would be incredibly surprised if he wasn’t at least a small part of the She-Hulk series, but I would still love to see Ruffalo get his own standalone Hulk film, or a maybe even his own Disney+ miniseries. Here’s hoping that meeting with Feige proves fruitful.