In early February an epic rumor surrounding the potential future of Mark Ruffalo’s role in Marvel Studios’ franchise led us to believe that after The Avengers 2 in 2015, the Hulk character would get a chance to smash solo once again. The scoop detailed a plan involved The Avengers 2 teeing up a Planet Hulk movie that would in turn factor into the story of The Avengers 3, taking advantage of Ruffalo’s six-picture contract.
The rumors seemed plausible considering the fan support for Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner in The Avengers and the promising words from Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige, who said the Planet Hulk (and World War Hulk) storylines were certainly of interest. However, there’s been nothing but denials and contradictions to this report since.
That original report came from Latino-Review – who were proven reliable with their Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers exclusives prior – but AICN countered by claiming two of their sources say the Planet Hulk rumors are “1000% inaccurate.” The validity of either cannot be proven of course, but the obligatory studio response would be to deny and avoid such claims. Joss Whedon, who’s overseeing Phase Two of the Marvel cinematic universe while also writing and directing The Avengers 2 called the rumors “nonsense” not long after explaining why another Hulk film would be very challenging to develop. He does have faith in Ruffalo’s take on the character however.
The rumors got fans asking Mark Ruffalo a lot of questions on the topic and last week, and he ended up addressing them.
I am not giving up on another stand alone HULK. But it’s not in the works right now. One never knows what the future will bring.— Mark Ruffalo (@Mruff221) March 7, 2013
Just to be totally clear. I did not say there was not going to ever be a stand alone Hulk film. I said there wasn’t one in the works now.— Mark Ruffalo (@Mruff221) March 8, 2013
Ruffalo also re-tweeted a fan chanting “Planet Hulk!” and another about Hulk serving better as a supporting member of an established team. So, which do you want more, Mark?
Note that Ruffalo’s tweets about another Hulk standalone film don’t actually confirm or deny any of the rumors, and certainly don’t rule out any cameo appearance of Bruce Banner. We already know the next time Hulk gets a starring role it’ll be in The Avengers 2 since all of the Phase Two films already have release dates and Hulk isn’t among them. The rumors are specific to Phase Three, and none of those films are in production at the moment. Chances are, Ruffalo has a larger role to play in the years to come beyond being the brute force of The Avengers in each reunion. It may just be quite a few years before we see more.
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes and let me know if you want to see more of Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner outside of The Avengers!
Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015 and Ant-Man on November 6, 2015.