Mark Ruffalo: New ‘Hulk’ Movie Should NOT Be ‘Planet Hulk’

Published 10 months ago by , Updated July 1st, 2014 at 10:11 am,

Mark Ruffalo on Planet Hulk Movie Mark Ruffalo: New Hulk Movie Should NOT Be Planet Hulk

As Marvel’s blockbuster machine has reached a steady pace, it has defied the odds by bringing new life to even established characters: The Incredible Hulk chief among them. With Mark Ruffalo’s take on the hero becoming a surprise scene-stealer in The Avengers, rumors of renewed interest in sequels and spin-offs immediately surfaced. But if you ask Ruffalo himself, a story as big as “Planet Hulk” isn’t the direction he thinks the studio will – or should – take in the immediate future.

Marvel was quick to temper excitement surrounding Ruffalo’s re-casting as Bruce Banner/Hulk, explaining that for the foreseeable future, it would be the under-served heroes taking the spotlight, instead of giving the enormous green rage monster a third big screen adaptation. But after a well-received supporting role in The Avengers, some posited that Marvel would do the exact opposite, and make the “Planet Hulk” and “World War Hulk” stories major tentpole events for Marvel’s Phase Three.

While speaking with MTV about his upcoming film Begin Again, Ruffalo gave his view on the possible plan for a future Hulk solo film; specifically, which comic story line he doesn’t think is Marvel’s plan – while offering a plot summary of the much-bandied-about “Planet Hulk” for his co-stars (therefore minor spoilers for the comic ahead):

“I don’t think that’s where they’re going to go… “Planet Hulk” is: they actually launch Bruce Banner into space to try and get rid of him and the Hulk. And he ends up freaking out, smashing up the spaceship, and it goes off course and it ends up on this planet of gladiator creatures, like pre-Christian, Romanesque.

“I don’t think that’s the way to go yet. I think you need more Banner. The whole thing is just him as Hulk, on a planet, fighting other gladiators. He falls in love, he has a baby, he finds a woman… and then The Avengers nuke the planet.”

Planet Hulk Movie Caiera Romance Mark Ruffalo: New Hulk Movie Should NOT Be Planet Hulk

It’s hard to disagree with Ruffalo’s assessment, since it was his non-monstrous scenes (alongside Robert Downey, Jr.) that earned the most praise, landing him in a post-credits scene for Iron Man 3 to boot. Marvel isn’t blind to the popularity of the character, or Ruffalo’s unique chemistry with Downey, Jr., having confirmed that Banner/Hulk will play a much larger role in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. But more than ever before, it seems any hopes of the character becoming a central antagonist in the shared universe should be put on hold.

That isn’t all bad news for fans, though, since it’s no secret that Ruffalo’s Hulk will be a key player in the coming years. Marvel obviously wants to keep interest alive, with Ruffalo having stated that the idea of a standalone Hulk movie (previously seen as a longshot) is once again being considered by studio executives. And if that’s the case, then “Planet Hulk” is certainly a prime candidate for any Hulk adaptation, given Marvel’s interest in blockbuster spectacle and cross-property storytelling.

But before that day comes (whether or not it’s followed by all out-Hulk War), it’s probably best in the short and long term to let Ruffalo’s Banner stand on his own two (normal-sized) feet. The cosmic/gladiator story’s day will come, we would wager, but not before the current villains of the Marvel universe get a chance to bring their own plans to fruition.

Mark Ruffalo Hulk Movie Potential 1024x576 Mark Ruffalo: New Hulk Movie Should NOT Be Planet Hulk

What’s your take on Ruffalo’s comments? Do you agree that another intimate look at the man beneath the green muscle is the right direction to head (especially with Tony Stark’s eccentric genius expected to take a step away from the spotlight soon), or is “Planet Hulk” the only story you wish to see adapted? Share your thoughts in the comments.


The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases May 1, 2015.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: MTV

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
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  1. Like a few hundred years maybe.

    A planet Hulk storyline would be far better suited to a mini series to to tell the story yet a huge budget that may make it almost impossible to pull off.

    I may be wrong about budget but it would have to look several times more polished than Agents of Shield.

    Would be cool though.

    • Done well the Hulk def deserves a solo outing.

      No disrespect to the other fine actors who went before but Mark Ruffalo is the first time in a movie that they really nailed Banner and given he is half the equation that had to happen before they could move forward.

      • Actually, I found Ruffalo’s Banner to be the least interesting and most annoying of the three theatrical versions. Norton stayed much truer to the character, IMO, and Bana played up his more disturbing character traits better than Ruffalo.

        My ranking of the three is:

        1. Norton
        2. Bana
        3. Ruffalo

        Above ALL three, however, I still hold with Bixby’s wonderfully nuanced portrayal.

        • Yes, it’s a real shame Norton and Marvel could not have worked out an amicable solution that would have kept him playing Banner.

          • I thought the same thing, but we got Moonrise Kingdom the same year as Avengers with Norton in it, and his performance as the scout master is one of my favorites of his. So there’s a silver lining.

            I loved all 3 hulk actors and their performances. It’s hard for me to separate the performances from the movies. I liked avengers more than The Incredible Hulk which I liked more than Hulk (2003). And my knee-jerk reaction would be to rank the portrayals of Banner in that order.

        • This is one time where an opinion is wrong.

          • Yours, Nintendo zapper?

            How sporting of you to admit that.

        • I’m right there with you. Ruffalo’s a fine actor but Norton was top notch. It’s a shame that everyone will now identify Ruffalo’s Bruce with how his characterization should be depicted. While Banner is actually a bit of a mix between Bana and Norton.

        • At first I was like: “Blasphemer!” but then I thought about it, and I think I get where you’re coming from in the sense that Ruffalo’s Banner is not very like classic Bruce Banner at all.

          I like the character he’s created, but he does have a pervasive wry humor about his plight that Banner doesn’t typically embody.

          Personally I find it a nice change of pace though; Banner’s tortured soul aspect can get a bit tiresome (but then that has been the core of the character for decades).

          Just out of curiosity (since I’ve tended to respect your comments on screenrant) was there anything specific you found annoying about his performance? Or is it just general lack of appeal?

          • A fair question…

            I did not DISlike Ruffalo’s portrayal; as you say, it is simply a variant characterization, and I appreciate that different (modernized?) approach. My annoyance comes from my basis for liking the character in the first place: He is the 20th/21st century updating of the Jekyll/Hyde literary trope. As I love Victorian horror and thoroughly enjoy the duality of this/these character(s), I was thrilled when I discovered and read up on Banner/Hulk, after realizing what he is/they are.

            Simply, Ruffalo’s portrayal (whether because the character was written that way or because Ruffalo interpreted him as such) brings too much of Hyde to Banner’s personality, as I perceive the character(s).

            I found Norton’s and Bana’s portrayals left the two personalities more distinctly separated, thus more intact. This appeals more to me, BUT I can certainly appreciate that many people prefer Ruffalo’s Banner.

          • Nick Rexx,
            You hit the nail on the head bro. It was simply that humor that Ruffalo had throughout. I loved it from an acting standpoint. He made a character that blended well with the rest of the group. Ruffalo probably would have made a great Dr Strange.
            But personally I like my Banner’s tortured.
            In the comics Hulk and Banner are portrayed not so much as a scientist whose super power is transforming into a giant green man, but more along the lines of two men, who can’t stand each other, sharing a body. They are very aware of one another as separate people.
            Now that I think about it my issue isn’t with Ruffalo’s portrayal of Banner but more so how the Hulk is written in general. I would love for that dynamic to be shown in AoU. That Bruce can never ‘control’ the Hulk, but the two can maybe compromise on who gets to use the body and when. Maybe show a calendar in his lab with green hi-lighter marking the Hulk days.

          • Nico Rexx…

            I apologize for the delayed response…WordPress decided to be an a$$. I had a nice, well thought-out answer for you, but…sigh.

            Anyway, the SHORT answer is this: Ruffalo brings too much of “Mr. Hyde” to Banner’s personality. Norton and Baba, IMO, kept the two personalities more distinct, thus more intriguing to watch onscreen. I didn’t DISlike Ruffalo in the role…just liked him a lot less than the other two (three including Bixby).

            • AUGH!!!

              Bana, not Baba…

        • I almost agree with you.

          I would say..
          1. Norton
          2. Ruffalo
          3. Bixby
          4. Bana

          You have to include Bixby because they did make the TV movies with him.

          Norton was the perfect combination of concern/uncomfortableness “him” and the quiet demeanor.
          Ruffalo pulled off his quiet demeanor quite well also but seemed to be too comfortable with the Hulk.
          Bixby was good too but I think Bana’s Banner was way off.

          • Sorry. I meant….

            oncern/uncomfortableness WITH “him”

    • Give him a Netflix series!

  2. Considering that, as it stands, Marvel only have RDJ for the next two Avengers I’d say that If they want to have Planet Hulk and WWH to have a dramatic impact on these characters relationship, as played by these actors, then they probably should just bite the bullet and get it started now. The concept Art from AoU shows that its at least possible that they are setting up PH

    • What if they played off of the bromance and to set up RDJ stepping out of the role had hulk smash ironman. That’s what gets him launched into space. Nobody would see it coming. And people would talk about it forever.

      • Wow, that would definitely be something.

  3. is there now an unwritten rule against SOLO non continuity movies from marvel?? How about make Planet Hulk for ohhh….I don’t know…HULK FANS?

    the technology is there, the fan base is there. make the standalone movie and give the HULK his big moment (properly that is).

    just one fans opinion.

    • ‘Planet Hulk is the way to go… With all the tech available nowadays plus the Gladiator themes are ‘in’… Sending Hulk out of earth is very dramatic for fans (We would die to see him come back to the screen again) and gives more space for new onscreen heros…

    • While it is a great story, at this point all it would do is confuse the general movie going audience. They need to stick with continuity being the most important thing.

      When this incarnation of Hulk has run it’s course, THEN is the time to give him the boot into outer space.

      • Continuity, yes. That is important. And Hulk really is a one-trick pony anyways: gets mad, gets green, busts things up. So what? And the space thing just does not fit for what I myself would want to see in a marvel film: plot, drama, something with a bit more meat to it than WW Hulk or Planet Hulk. It’s OK to like those stories in the comics, but there is so much more wide-ranging things to be done with Marvel characters than that, with more give and take than just another break things up and make alot of noise-type movies. Characters need more depth than that to hold the audience’ interest. Keep Hulk as a supporting character only.
        You want to do something not yet done, get Hank Pym up there and flying in the Avengers as Giant-man or Goliath (and Wasp with him).

  4. umm..can i get the world war hulk cartoon first marvel?

    • +1

    • Cartoons are stupid and cheezy. Don’t settle for what entertains children.

      • Cartoons are not just for children, have some respect for animators.

        • Cartoons are for children and have been sold as some sort of alternative to live action film for adults. Would you like them to reduce Avengers 2 to a cartoon? It’s cheaper and easier, but it would not be as good and it would produce far less revenue. What started out with the first Heavy Metal has gotten way out of control. I like 6 animated “movies” and only 6. I just can’t stomach any others.

          Animators produce their visions and tell people that they can make characters do things that actors can’t do. For example, superhuman ridiculous flips, course altering in mid air, and other impossible stunts are made to create a more lively story. But there is a reason these type of things do not happen with actors. It’s because people cannot do them. Therefore, animators should follow those rules if they want to actually tell a story that doesn’t make a guy like me roll his eyes throughout. They are cheesy and insulting.

      • I want to see the secret invasion first!

  5. They definitely can’t do Planet Hulk now. They’ve barely established him as a character yet. But they should definitely head in that direction. That’s something to think about for phase 5 or 6.

  6. I Have a theory the plan has always been for Avengers 3 to be Thanos. Guessing I would say that Thanos and the Infinity Glove-Gauntlet Undo All reality in the MCU. That will be Marvels plan to recast and put new people with new story arcs into the future movies.

  7. ‘They’ve barely established him as a character yet’…??? i desagree; Hulk is one of the oldest & most recognised hero Marvel has… ‘Planet Hulk’ would be the smartest road to go with dat character… With ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ & a ‘Planet Hulk’ Marvel could expand the universe even more…

    • Movie-Wise they’ve barely established him as a character yet. Remember most moviegoers don’t read comic books.

  8. The Planet Hulk story is cool but I agree that it doesn’t translate to the movies very well. World War Hulk on the other hand could work. I don’t really care how they get to that point though.

    Just like Batman vs Superman, Marvel will want to have heroes fighting each other too (yes, I remember Thor vs Hulk in the Avengers). Just like the comic books, the studios will continue to copy each other. I’ll continue to pay to see all these movies either way.

  9. Just have Hulk cause some collateral damage in Avengers 2, then try to get a Solo hulk movie in phase 3 where he causes more collateral damage, then have the opening of Avenger’s 3 be them blasting the Hulk off into space, only to have Thanos show up shortly after.

    That clears up the roster for new Avengers, PH can be a phase 4 movie, then Avengers 4 can be WWH (maybe with some Civil War tie ins… depends on how they continue with the current Civil War threads).

  10. I don’t think the MCU is ready for aWWHulk (or Civil War movie fir that matter). Not enough “history” or characters. And since Planet Hulk flows into WWH I don’t see it happening any time soon. Unless they want to drastically change the story flow (which wouldn’t be unheard of).

    • No Civil War show either. hat’s just a confused mish-mash.

  11. I don’t mind whatever Hulk story adaptation they make so far as it makes sense.

  12. I don’t think they should do a Planet Hulk movie , The Incredible Hulk 2 villains should be The Leader and Red Hulk.

    • +1

  13. AoU will have plenty of ‘collateral damaged’ caused by Hulk (when he’s controlled by Ultron?) and, in the end, will leave Tony and the others feeling that Banner can’t totally control the big green guy. Avengers 3 of course will be about the biggest direct threat in Thanos and unleashing Hulk will be needed in that fight but the battle will end with the Avengers leaving the Hulk in space as a way to deal with him. Drama with Tony’s and Banner’s BFF ending (which will have been built up through the two movies) with Stephen Strange consoling Stark decision. There’s the gateway to Planet Hulk in the cinema timeline.

    • Totally agree with you. In fact, I also believe we can see a crossover from Guardians in that solo Hulk movie (that is, once their sequel comes around). It makes perfect sense since they’re already in space, why not come across the big green guy, right? But I’m sure we won’t see this happening until the 3rd or 4th phase.

  14. I’m okay with this. I don’t get why everyone is clamoring over PH, there are plenty of better Hulk stories to pull from. Or come up with new ones. It would be very hard for them to get it the way people envision it in their heads, especially this early in the game. The universe hasn’t expanded enough for it, and an out of continuity movie like that wouldn’t be the best business move Marvel could take.

    More-so, even if they can make it work for a cinema release much would need to be changed. Though honestly a lot should be changed. Bendis’ Illuminati was a rather dumb idea to begin with but how it was used in PH was atrociously out of character for all involved (WWH had this problem as well). WWH had some entertaining to look at “smash” but the from a story (and use of some characters) perspective was a mess, especially trying to adapt to a different format.

    And it’d be hard to really get people to care. With why they are sending him away or sympathize with the Hulk (and care about the new characters for that matter). They’d need to force up some excuse for a rampage, beyond what he’s done so far, to justify it (and that’d be backtracking the character and all too soon covering the same ground). Otherwise it just makes the ones who do it look like jerks. Honestly it’s hard to be faithful to the comics and not alienate those who aren’t JUST fans of the Hulk. It could all too easily sour the image of new franchises Marvel is hoping to establish (or the Hulk himself).

  15. Seems im in the minority but I dont find planet hulk remotely interrsting. I like how bannet /hulk interact with the other avengers. Hulk solo movies havent been very interesting nor would new ones be any better if its always the same “misunderstood monster” routine.

  16. I loved Planet Hulk, the graphic novel, but without Silver Surfer and with “John Carter” memories still too raw, it’s best to wait. I do think they could do a Planet Hulk movie by mixing in more banner (Maybe the hulk “dreams” in Banner mode…

  17. Marvel’s dumb. We’ve gotten 3 films with a silent dumb Hulk. Why doesn’t he talk!? Hulk is a genius and Planet Hulk is what it will take for people to take the Hulk seriously. The Hulk is the character, Bruce Banner is more of a glorified sidekick. His importance in films is only because of the actor playing him.

  18. While I would love a Planet Hulk -> WW Hulk it would be too long of a story to tell/show in a movie. In addition, the timing isn’t right for the events and there are issues with characters being own by other studios that are involved in the storyline. Thus there are major hurdles to overcome to make it happen.

    Having said that Hulk is Hulk without banner but is a walking, smashing and more importantly talking and thinking Hulk. In that sense I see no issue with Mark acting out the character even if it was Hulk all the time. The problem may lie in that people will see Hulk and not Ruffalo.

  19. Need to establish She-Hulk / Red-Hulk first?

    • Too many confusing Hulks, too one-dimensional, not important characters you can do much with.

  20. I find it kind of interesting that so many of the stories Marvel seems to want to gravitate towards are one that have happened in the last 10 years.

    Marvel has more than half a century worth of history; I’d love to see some more updated takes on older story arcs personally.
    After all, even though I know a specific event spawned “Planet Hulk”, there’s still a LOT more Hulk History that was considered when the Wise Council made that not-so-wise decision.

    • Older story arcs, agreed. And not just for The Hulk.

  21. More Banner? I want too see a Hulk movie. Mark is so selfish. lol

    • +100

  22. With Hydra in control, Marvel should segue into Dark Reign. Have the villains run things. Although Loki is the only cross property villain they have right now. Its an amazing storyline and can help move into Civil War, which needs to happen.
    Asgard on Earth and Norman Osborn’s Siege, and Annihilation would make for amazing films as well.
    And if Cap dies in some random cop-out way, without Crossbones and Agent 13 taking the shots… I honestly would give up on CBMs.

    • +1000000

  23. Two things:

    1) There’s no reason you couldn’t inject more Banner into the Planet Hulk story.

    2) Making Banner & Stark “bros” is the exact kind of thing Whedon would do just before Tony has to decide to launch him into space in order to break our hearts at the end of one of these movies.

  24. There was a scene in Planet Hulk, (the series not the cartoon) between Hulk and his wife Caera in which she asks to see Hulk’s ‘weaker’ form. He reverts back to Banner and they embrace.
    That scene alone would a beautiful ‘human’ side to the Hulk, and is why I personally would love to see PH made.
    It’d be like Avatar plus Gladiator…But starring The Incredible Hulk.

    • I know everyone is cautious about the idea, because it’s too similar to John Carter…

      While I personally loved John Carter and think it was all the fault of marketing… I think what the marketing was missing was The Hulk. That puts him in an environment where people can associate with him. Most earth based stories cause the audience to disassociate, because he’s borderline villain.

      However, I don’t think PH can be done without at least one earth bound Hulk movie (outside of Avengers) happening first. He needs back-story, which is why the constantly soft rebooting is unfortunate.

      • They should honestly retcon the Hulk slightly by putting in a throwaway line about him not reverting back to the same human form each time before he learned to better control the Hulk.

        That could be exceptionally terrible, or fix a lot of continuity, depending on how effectively it’s executed.

  25. It’s a shame the two stories are linked the way they are. I’ve read both Planet Hulk and World War Hulk and I have to say I’d much rather see War adapted than Planet.

    War, at least, takes place on Earth with familiar surroundings and lots of established heroes taking part throughout.

  26. yeah b/c making a planet hulk movie would be too mature, have too much cool action and a deeper moral message then any of marvel’s current garbage.

    marvel needs to grow a pair and stop making their movies for kids, they should take a page from amazing spiderman 2 and the x-men movies – fun WITH mature themese >.<

  27. Marvel will announce:

    The Inhumans

    Thor 3

    Cap3: Shield of Shadows

    The Incredible Hulk 2

    Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes

    Doctor Strange

    Black Panther


  28. I bought my Hulk comics mostly back in the 60s, including number 1. I dare say that over the last 50 years there have been many versions of both Hulk and Banner so there is no way to say any given actor is “closer” to being the “real” one.

    I never read the Planet Hulk comic(s) so all I have to go on are the descriptions here. It sounds awful, kind of like a Transformers movie with just a bunch of fighting. It would get boring really fast. I think Marvel is too good to stoop that low.

    As to heroes fighting each other, I thought it was cool to see the Hulk. vs. the Thing (probably around FF#25 or so) when I was 10 years old. Marvel isn’t going to waste their time making a movie like that. At most it will just be a few minutes long, as it was with Thor fighting Iron Man in the Avengers movie.

  29. World War Hulk is too big a story for just a single movie. It is a duology at least. One movie would ruin the story, therefore, it is not the time for it. By the time it is time for it, the Avenger actors will have all been replaced.