The future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Bruce Banner, a.k.a. Hulk, remains uncertain. After the events in Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Green Goliath (played by actor Mark Ruffalo) distanced himself from the rest of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, stepping onto a ship and setting course for an unknown destination. The fact that the big guy doesn't have his own movie in Marvel Studios' Phase 3 makes his role in the events to come even more mysterious.
The third Captain America movie, Captain America: Civil War, is currently filming in Atlanta. Several photos and videos have been taken at the film's set and a large number of key Marvel characters will play a part in the movie's story, which is inspired by writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven's limited series from 2006. Until now, two of the most powerful Avengers have been no-shows in Civil War: Hulk and Thor. Now it seems there's a chance Banner and his super-strong counter-part could appear.
According to The Daily Beast, Ruffalo says he hasn't seen a script or heard anything official about being involved in the super-soldier's upcoming movie, but actor Robert Downey Jr. spoke to him about the project:
"I was talking to Robert Downey the other day, and he said, ‘Ruffalo! I heard you’re coming out here,’ and I said, ‘OK! I’ll be there,'" said Ruffalo, with a chuckle.
It seems like Downey's comments were a joke about the frequent rumors and posts speculating that Ruffalo's character will be a part of the big movie or receive his own standalone film. That said, working in a Bruce Banner cameo would hardly be impossible. After all, Marvel president Kevin Feige stated that Ruffalo is "on board" for all of the Avengers movies (Ruffalo is signed on for at least 4 movies) which build up to Infinity War, and according to actor Chris Evans Civil War does just that.
Considering how Hulk stole the show in The Avengers' Battle of New York and had a prominent role in the sequel to the team-up movie, it wouldn't be surprising if the studio does find a way to incorporate the fan-favorite character. Tony Stark often discusses bigger issues with Banner, so the idea of Stark reaching out to Banner for his opinion on the big argument with Steve Rogers wouldn't be far-fetched. Yes, Banner is on the run, but given Stark's resources it's possible he could know Banner's whereabouts and isn't telling the others because he respects Banner's decision to distance himself.
Then again, since Captain America: Civil War is already packed and has a lot of ground to cover (the big debut of Spider-Man and Black Panther, Steve Rogers and Tony Stark's conflict, and Infinity War build up), it would be understandable if Marvel had Ruffalo sit this one out. Even Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury, the man who first teased the possibility of the Avengers back in Iron Man's credit scene, won't be involved in Civil War.
Even if Hulk doesn't appear in Civil War, fans can take comfort in knowing the titan will surely appear in at least the first part of Infinity War, and it's safe to say Marvel is aware moviegoers would love to see the green guy throw at least one punch at the universe's big bad, Thanos. As for what's in store for Hulk after Infinity War, there have been rumors for quite some time about Planet Hulk. If Marvel does take that approach, one can only assume it'll eventually lead to World War Hulk. Back in 2014, Feige previously said there are "no plans for Planet Hulk any time soon," but Phase 4 will presumably begin in 2020, which isn't exactly "soon."
Ant-Man opens in theaters July 17, 2015; Captain America: Civil War on May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange on November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5, 2017; the Spider-Man reboot on July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok on November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 on May 4, 2018; Black Panther on July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel on November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 on May 3, 2019; and Inhumans on July 12, 2019.
Source: The Daily Beast