Mark Ruffalo on Whether The Hulk Can Be Redeemed in ‘The Avengers 2′

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The Hulk may be the strongest of The Avengers but he’s also the most unpredictable and uncontrollable, making him the most dangerous – in a bad way. We saw hints of this in The Avengers where he lost control on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier and attacked Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and it’s an issue that Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) continually deals with in the comics.

Banner and The Hulk are both battling for control and despite Banner seemingly embracing the green beast for the climactic battle of New York at the end of The Avengers, and despite Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) expressing confidence in Banner’s wild side, Banner can never be fully in control. In the sequel, The Avengers: Age of  Ultron, Ultron aims to break the team, using a few super-powered individuals of his own and an army of robots, and it’s becoming increasingly likely that part of his plan – much like Loki’s last time – might be to turn the Hulk against the other heroes and potentially, innocent people.

Mark Ruffalo Hulk Movie Potential 1024x576 Mark Ruffalo on Whether The Hulk Can Be Redeemed in The Avengers 2

We saw the concept art where Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor fought the Hulk and at Comic-Con over the weekend the first Avengers: Age of Ultron teaser trailer heavily emphasized Banner/Hulk seemingly losing control and fighting Iron Man. In our chat with Ruffalo after the Marvel Studios Comic-Con panel, he promised that fans will see more Hulk in the sequel and that “Hulk Hulks out more.”

“You’re gonna get a Hulk that’s meaner and more angry than you’ve ever seen.”

If Hulk is more “mean” and potentially less in control than ever before, is there redemption for that version of The Hulk? Our own Kofi Outlaw asked this to him on the Marvel SDCC press line:

“Uhhh… if you ask Banner I feel like he would tell you ‘no.’ There’s only so far that he could ever go before he feels like there’s no coming back and we might have crossed that threshold this time (laughs).”

Banner not forgiving his alter ego, the “other guy,” is a key point and story hint by Ruffalo…

NEXT PAGE: How This Could Setup Future Movies [Spoilers] >

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TAGS: comic con 2014, planet hulk, the avengers, the avengers 2, the incredible hulk

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  1. Best guess IMO is SW takes over Hulk’s mind for a good chunk of act 1 or 2, then Stark has to reveal the hulk buster armor he’s been keeping/working on just in case things got out of hand with Banner’s alter ego. I’m really hoping we get to see Hulk get bigger as he gets angrier, because maybe it was just me but he seemed normal sized.

    • Oh my! Thank you for this :)

      • I never knew Adam Warlock had some many feathers…..

        • Man, was THAT a let down.

    • I think SW makes him stronger and meaner then ever before in order to take out Ultron. But I say Ultron takes over the Iron Man suits, including the Hulkbuster suit to kind of distract them from (Stealing vibranium to form a new body? Uploading missile launch codes? Creating Vision?)

    • I actually like the planet Hulk idea they can think Hulk is to much to control and send him off to another planet and that movie unfolds like in the comics while we set up the phase 3 movies leading to avengers 3 and in avengers 3 theres a World War Hulk inspired return scene/segment as either a solid opener or a sub plot where he eventually comes back around to joining them after returning to earth and trying to destroy them. It will give Hulk a great spotlight and boost his solo profile and gives a good addition to the aveneger’s storyline.

  2. I was unaware the Hulk needed redeeming.

    • I think that’s a question that can never be answered, nor should they try. He’s classic Jekyll and Hyde, as it is with all monsters. Are they good, or bad? Who’s really in control?

  3. I found the helicarrier scenes the most trivial of The Avengers. An attack on the place made him lose control? Then later, he suddenly has control. Also the whole Black Widow/Loki exchange was contrived. It didn’t make much sense and seemed forced as a way for Black Widow to seem somewhat useful.

    • I felt the opposite. To me, it seemed like Loki was using his staff as some form of mind control (as seen when the team is arguing and the screen flipped upside down). When the helicarrier was attacked, Banner’s mind had already been compromised and he couldn’t control the Hulk. Also for me, the BW/Loki exchange was great. It showed just how good BW is at manipulation. Of course, these are just my opinions.

      • Go watch it again, because I’ve seen it over a dozen times and every time that scene comes up I cringe. It’s very convoluted, just a bunch of made up lines. How is he ‘unleashing’ the Hulk? Because his minions attack the base? Anything could trigger him, hell, a prick on the finger could trigger him. Not that hard to trigger the Hulk, it just doesn’t make sense that he has what appears to be total control later on, yet goes after Black Widow for no reason following that scene with Loki.

        • You must not be an avid Hulk fan. Hulk has a few specific modes. He can be extremely angry which makes him not think clearly and go after anyone and anything. He can also be a certain kind of calm where he can think a little more and aim his anger towards something. As Kahless mentioned, Loki’s staff was in play when on the Helicarrier and Banner was transformed in to Hulk not by his own control, but because the mind control and him falling and being trapped set him off. That made him extremely angry and he just went after whatever. Later on, Banner was able to control his transformation into the Hulk which gave him the opportunity to aim his anger and control his anger.

          And if you watched it a dozen times you would notice that not everything sets him off. Stark shocks Banner, Banner is very emotional and holding Loki’s staff and arguing with everyone….

        • Its pretty clear that Loki wanted to be captured and the staff was agitating everyone on board – particularly dangerous for Bruce. There’s a reason everyone started in on each other, while the scene turned UPSIDE DOWN while focused on that GLOWING staff, and while wonky music was playing. And a prick on the finger (or specifically a electric shock from Stark), nor just an attack wasn’t able to trigger Hulk, as he had been in control of his anger despite living in a dangerous and hostile Calcutta that would have had him Hulking out all the time.

          Its all supported by the action and dialog throughout the movie, and spelled out by the Loki/Widow interrogation to clear up any ambiguity.

          • This! Also I think they were also showing the difference between when Banner willingly changes into the hulk and when he fights it. When Lokis staff was manipulating the whole team his frustration against everyone was being amplified so he was on that edge without really knowing it so when he pushed over the edge it was the Angry hulk as opposed to the “Smart” hulk at the end when banner willingly changed into the Hulk and like you said “aimed” him at the aliens. I think they were kind of showcasing that there are still different hulks in different scenarios. It was alittle confusing but wasnt movie breaking

          • here, this guy just explained it all….although if you have watched it as many times as you say and don’t get anything from it it wont matter. I’ve realized when you are explaining simple things to people and they keep shaking their head and saying “I dont get it” or “this is stupid” just leave them be, as they will never understand

            • Everyone starts in on one another because of their own suspicions. They weren’t yet the Avengers, they were still independent from one another. And der it was spelled out, it was the entire point of the film. It ended up being the Hulk show. He came in and saved the day…Hooray. But specifically the exchange between Loki and the Black Widow is the scene I’m annoyed with. It’s something I find in common with a lot of films today, and thats the logic behind certain scenes and the characters, or lack-there-of. Your opinion on the scene differs from mine, does that automatically make my opinion on it wrong? No. Now jog on.

              • Your dismissal of logic, which everyone understands except you should make you reconsider your viewpoint….if you were a rational person and this were a discussion. instead you simply ignore all the reason everyone here has shared with you. Deaf ears and all that…Now jog on dunce

                • So now ‘everyone’ is the 3 people who commented here? There are plenty of other people who agree with me on this, you just happen to have a different view than mine. I’m rather rational, but when I see a flaw, I point it out.

                  • You’re still missing the point that this has been touched upon over and over… and you are just wrong and anyone that is agreeing with you is pulling the same “this is lame or contrived because I don’t understand what’s happening” jive. Don’t get mad when people call BS on your BS. Why haunt ever comments section with your negativity and vitriol. Many of the guys here are just use to trolls like you and ignore you but i just don’t get why you guys come around. No one ever said MCU movies are perfect or without fault….and you suggesting anyone has shows your true motive. If you knew me you would know i have never had an inclination towards Marvel or DC but at least i did read the comics and have an understanding of the characters, as others around here do. You miss it, whatever, and then complain and then when it is explained to you, you continue on spouting your nonsense without even considering the alternative. People like you, Waldae, and several others ruin screen rant. Go to people.com and post comments there with the rest guys that dont read comics or dont care for story developement, that hate everything comic book-ish about comic book movies, that find plot holes (that are explained in story if you actually watched for anything more than explosions). You are far from rational

        • His control is very tenuous and it doesn’t take much for him to lose it. He doesn’t control the Hulk so much as he aims the Hulk.

        • I have watched Avengers over a dozen times and I stand by my statement. It’s obvious you don’t see the same plot point that I, and others, see.

        • I agree with you. The Avengers is a great film because it’s “The Avengers.” There are a lot of stupid dialogue throughout the entire film, and the entire plot is straightforward. The exchange between Loki and Black Widow was and still is, horrible. I do understand the Hulk thing, as the scene where he loses control he was manipulated by Loki. But that certainly doesn’t excuse the other faults of that scene, and entire film.

    • Apparently That Guy Who Doesn’t Read Comics didn’t watch The Incredible Hulk with Edward Norton. If Banner hulks out unwillingly, like when attacked, he has little or no influence over Hulk. If he hulks out on purpose, he can kind of aim Hulk. At the end of TIH Banner is shown out in the middle of nowhere learning to control his hulk outs. Seriously, your questions have been gone over- and over and over- and explained in detail by people who actually watched, remembered and understood the movies leading up to Avengers.

      • Are you serious? That happens to be my favorite MCU film. The questions I asked were rhetorical. There are plot points in the Avengers that are forced. Like I said, these things happen in film. The Avengers isn’t PERFECT all around. It has some rough edges, and it is one of my favorite MCU films, but you notice the flaws is has after watching time and time again. You’re all blindly defending it because you love it for what is it. As do I, but I can admit it isn’t perfect.

        • Avengers is not my favorite MCU movie and it definitely has flaws but what you are throwing out there is a contrived snark stated as fact since you deem black widow unimportant to the narrative rather than use that scene as you say the makers intended, to show her cunning. The fact you said something earlier about it being random lines of dialogue makes you seem ignorant as people that swore the archetect in the matrix was just talking gibberish. You’re arrogant and wrong and I’m willing to bet a lonely human being

    • wow, i seriously just read the exact same comment by you over on a batman thread “that guy who doesn’t read comics”….is this your whole reason for being here. to bad mouth the exchange you apparently couldn’t understand? It seems like that scene really threw you for a loop

      • What same comment? About the helicarrier scene? Yea, I brought this up before, because it’s really a simple plot point. Almost too simple, and it annoys me. I find it hilarious you try to refer to me as ‘simple’ because I find the scene convoluted. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Avengers film, but after rewatching time and time again, I notice a lot of its flaws. That scene is only there to make Black Widow seem useful. Disagree with me if you like, but thats what happens when people see things differently, and last time I checked, that is a completely natural thing to do as a human being; free thought to think what you like and make up your own opinions.

        Him allowing himself to be captured, which they even comment on thinking thats what he’s doing, is the only way he can turn the Hulk on them? He could have just had the helicarrier attacked without him being aboard it. Having had control over Hawkeye, Selvig, and other SHIELD operatives, he would have known about the helicarrier, and had a good idea where to find it. It’s a classic plot setup. It happens in films. They set things up, and that one just happens to be pretty obviously forced. No need to knock me for pointing it out to you. I just happened to not like it. Chin up, kid. You’ll catch on eventually.

        • Smug and idiotically ignoring everything shared with you. Remain simple minded, it matters not. I doubt you’ll ever catch on. Your logic and processing of information seems based solely on whats happening in your head and not in whats taking place on screen or what others share with you. You seem to be the only person missing things that are common knowledge

        • Or maybe, just maybe, he needed to be on board to amplify the staff’s power? Loki is the master of mischief, is it really hard to think him being there didn’t make matters worse? Even without his trickery, just him being there makes the Avengers more edgy. Wouldn’t you just be a little on edge if you were sitting next to a nuclear weapon? And the Black Widow scene has a purpose, it is to reveal Loki’s plan to the idiots of the audience that couldn’t piece it together on their own. This movie was made for the masses, not just the comic geeks. Plus it developed both characters further, and that is especially helpful in a character driven film. If that isn’t enough of an explanation nothing will be.

  4. While I’m at it, I may as well put this out there. I firmly believe they’ll end up making a Hulk sequel that will feature him someone outside of Planet Earth, and it will release prior to Avengers 3, with him returning to Earth. If Avengers 3 is split it to two parts, I think he won’t be seen in the first part, and will have returned for part 2, to go toe-to-toe with Thanos.

    • Somewhere* outside of Earth, not someone

      • It will probably be in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, with Hulk fighting Drax initially and then becoming allies.

        • Depends whether or not you think Drax will be capable of fighting The Hulk and having it be a fair fight.

          Having seen Guardians, I know where I stand on that issue.

          • I honestly think that Hulk would make a mockery of drax. that is my opinion

        • Hulk would destroy Drax.

    • I agree I think Avengers 3 will be split into two parts. How is Banner going to just go into space alone with out support and on his own? I think he would have to hurt some one perhaps Rhody? I would also say there is a 50/50 chance it is the Hulk that breaks Captain’s shield.

    • Hulk would have ZERO chance against Thanos toe-to toe.

  5. I always like the storyline where Banner is split physically from the Hulk. He hoes on to form the new Hulkbusters, and gets a crew of Avengers to fight a completely enraged, uncontrollable Hulk. It would solve the problem of not being able to show Ruffalo as Banner if you a Planet Hulk/World War Hulk movie. You could have scenes with both Ruffalo and Hulk and wouldn’t have to compromise. I don’t know why they are not considering it. It’s not like the premise is outlandish. We’re talking comic book movies here.

    • The split Hulk is a great idea and Banner has some need to go after the Hulk. That really has some teeth.

  6. Agreed that some kind of off-world adventure is in store for the Hulk prior to Avengers 3, part 1. There will be a button scene marking his return in that movie so that he will play a major part in rallying the troops. For that Hulk movie though, have him team up with Beta Ray Bill, and the two of them rescue Odin from wherever Loki sent him. That will allow Thor and Hulk to kiss and make up, lol.

  7. Hulk Villian Leader must show up at some point already. man I feel we may never see him in this version of Avengers.

  8. Well if Banner WILLINGLY goes off with the space family Robinson and gets his a$$ lost in space then we can have a Planet Hulk without it turning into World War Hulk.

    Can you imagine the number of setups you’d need for all the characters in WWH plus it couldn’t happen properly as FF and others are with other studios.

    Seems like a reasonable compromise on the storyline that fits with the MCU characterisation and limitations from a mega character event like WWH.

  9. After phase 2 is complete I can see marvel shifting towards creating more team-up movies rather than exclusive solo and avengers movies with the characters. So after aou you think there is any chance hulk teams up with guardians?

  10. How about this: At the end of the avengers 2, Hulk becomes too big of a burden to handle so the team sends him to space ala planet hulk setting up the Hulk sequel. In that sequel, Thanos takes advantage of the fact that Hulk is super pissed at the Avengers and manipulate him to his own advantage thereof setting up the avengers 3. In the third avengers movie, Thanos sends hulk back to earth to face the team and take revenge on the avengers and after a long tough battle, the team succeeds in getting Hulk back to its normal state and back to the team. Therefore Hulk gets pass his anger and rejoins the Avengers. Now wait for it, at the end of the avengers 3, Thanos shows up saying: “Now prepare to face your extinction!” setting up the avengers 4.

  11. If the Quinjet thing is real, I can picture Ultron being tossed onto it and the auto pilot failing, meaning someone has to do a manual piloting of the craft and Banner will volunteer while the others argue about it/are incapable of deciding for whatever reason.

    That way, he can be the one to release Ultron’s body into the depths of space and then the post-credits can feature Hulk maybe crashing on Xandar or accidentally finding himself in Knowhere.

  12. Can Hulk be redeemed? What kinda question… Someone shoulda asked if Hulk will be smart. He needs to be smart. Not ‘controlled’ but aware.

    Are we going to see Hulk vs Avengers in each movie?

    If we get two space movies before Avengers 3, Hulk should meet with The Inhumans first. Personally I’d prefer my Hulk in a serious-ish movie. Anyway, Inhumans stumble upon Hulk. Then Iron Man sets out to find him in Guardians 2.

    • Maybe that’s what Inhumans could be about? Set them up as villains imprisoning The Hulk until both sides realise they’re fighting the same enemy and they let him join them in fighting off whoever?

      • Yea I think that would make for a good fit. Banner/Hulk in a more serious tone ya know. He would work in the Guardians too, albeit more comical.

  13. Hey Rob, what exactly did you see in the teaser that hinted at a Banner-Romanoff romantic relationship? -
    “to launch himself into space to protect Earth and those he loves (including Black Widow, judging by The Avengers 2 Comic-Con teaser)”

    • There were earlier rumors of a possible romantic relationship but when they shared a moment in the trailer – Hulk softly touching hands with Black Widow, it sealed the deal.

      • Did she reciprocate in a loving way because I could see Hulk showing affection for her due to their scenes on the Helicarrier when he chased her but she doesn’t feel that way about him and he rages again.

  14. Okay, I understand that I am going completely the opposite way from what everyone else wants to see, but here goes…

    Two Hulk stand alone movies had a pretty mixed reception. Some love them, some hate them, but neither was the success that Marvel hoped for. Then we get Avengers. A colorful, fun romping movie that demolished the box office. The breakout star? A fun, enjoyable version of The Hulk. He wasn’t really even an anti-hero, just a mischievous,frenetic bunch of funny (“Puny god”).

    So what do we get next? A darker, grimmer Avengers with an out-of-control bad guy Hulk who has to be jettisoned from, not only the team, but the Earth. Not exactly following the dots here… What is the fascination with dark, brooding, unhappy story lines? When it comes to the Avengers, I guess if it ain’t broke, break it yourself or something.

    • “What is the fascination with dark, brooding, unhappy story lines?”

      If you make your story bleak and almost hopeless, it feels more triumphant when the hero(es) overcome the problem.

      • Okay, I agree with that, but why mine the same territory again and again? The first Avengers was about the first meeting, the distrust, the learning to work together and ultimately working together and finally enjoying shwarma. Why do we have to revisit all that? Make the villain the obstacle to overcome, not the issues we already worked through in volume 1.

  15. So I wrote this someplace else a while back, but some of the discussion in the comments made me want to put it out there again…

    I’m gonna have to go against the grain here and say that a Planet Hulk movie could be the perfect next step for what has become a one dimensional (albeit a fun single dimension) character.

    This is the vehicle you use to propel nearly mindless, comic relief Hulk into a sympathetic character who develops an higher ability to think and reason. If you show him forced to remain in Hulk form for an extended period (the why of that may be tricky) then you can explain that Hulk has never developed higher order reasoning because he’s always been all rage and destruction and then forced to revert back to Banner, preventing him from processing his actions. By being forced to do so, it also forces introspection and that leads to a (slightly) more articulate Hulk.

    While the gladiatorial scenes keep things fast-paced and exciting (the failings of the previous stand-alone movies, IMO) the real conflict is the one that rages within the Hulk as he not only gets to be a badass rage monster, but also finds a place where he is celebrated for that power rather than feared and condemned for it. Adoration of a planet and love of an individual help to further soften him into a more nuanced character.

    And, though with a potential for Incredible cheesiness, if you want to pull the story away from being all about off planet smashing, you could thread expositional flashbacks that further flesh out the character of Banner… maybe even (and I know it’s not canon) showing that the idea of “launch the Hulk into space as a safety measure” was in fact of Banner’s design rather than that of the Avengers or Illuminati. It becomes even better if the Hulk aspect of his personality blames stupid Stark and The Avengers and then, towards the end, the audience discovers the truth.

    In a bigger picture sense, I’d love it if the button scene at the end of Planet Hulk was an angrier than ever Hulk hurtling through space (in a ship) and in his field of vision we see earth growing larger and larger. Then, in the third Avengers movie, towards the end, the chips are down, the Hulkless Avengers are all but beaten… and boom. There’s a Hulk like none of them have ever seen to save the day.

    Anyway, I really just reposted this because I’d like to hear the communities thoughts on an idea that excites me. :)

    • I felt the opposite until I read this. Marvel talks about keeping things “fresh” so screw it, bring on the cheesiness. Make a 300-esque planet hulk movie. That’d be awesome

  16. THE HULK WILL PULVERIZE IN A2,CAN’T WAIT HE WILL LOOK FANTASTIC.

  17. Thoughts? Yeah. People need to learn how to talk about a Hulk solo movie with trying to tie it into WW Hulk or Planet Hulk.

  18. NO NO NO NO NO!!!! They’re doing it all wrong! I thought they were done with all the stupid hulk being launched into space crap! Leave hulk on earth as a hero. And second, lets ditch the Banner/Widow romance already. They’re never gonna work,they’re not an item. Bruce should be with Betty, HIS true love. And Natasha should be with Steve HER true love.

  19. // without having Earths’ heroes trick him or betray him like in the comics//

    NOOOOOOO!!!! The moral grey area and hard decision made is the best aspect about that whole storyline!

  20. Just sic Thor on him if he starts to lose control, and hope that the writers in charge let Thor fight smart FOR ONCE. He’s supposed to be able to stalemate Hulk for a good few hours in raw strength until the latter is sufficiently raged up, and even then his powers, along with Mjolnir, make Thor the superior fighter by far. If only writers would give him his due and let him make use of his many years as a warrior (thousands to billions of years depending), he would be nigh unstoppable.

  21. Hulk and Black Widow??? That seems odd to me… What about Elizabeth Ross??? I guess she’s irrelevant in the MCU now…

  22. The Hulk is the strongest? Not according to Marvel tradition. The Hulk and Thor were about even.

  23. Everybodys a critic . It’s a live action comic book movie what the do you what the Avengers vs Driving Miss DAISY just go enjoy the movie for what it is you might have some fun

  24. So basically Hulks going to smash more things.

  25. How about a Hulk vs Thor movie?

    • So basically you want a movie with no story line and 2 beefs fighting for 2 hours non stop. Um ok… NO!

  26. No they ruined the Hulk many times over. The only Hulk media worth watching was from the TV series in the late 70′s

  27. If he ant in it i ant watching it. He got I hope its when he gets stuck between the normale size and haule size.

    • gets stuck between normal size and haulk size

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