How many Marvel Comics characters will make an appearance in Captain America: Civil War? More than we know is the answer but we can cross at least one big one off the list in the Hulk.
In the Marvel Comics crossover event known as Civil War, for which Captain America 3 takes its inspiration and themes from, Hulk was not a factor. In fact, he wasn't even on Earth during the events. Given the parallels between the key events of the comics and what's been adapted to the big screen so far in the 12 films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date, it's easy to see why it might be a good decision to not have an over-sized, out of control beast in the picture - especially in a story that involves politics, military and characters who generally can't stand up to the Hulk. And we just saw that in Age of Ultron anyway.
Speaking during a roundtable interview session at the Venice Film Festival, Mark Ruffalo tells BadTaste.it (Google translated) that all the previous talk from him and Robtert Downey Jr. about Bruce Banner/Hulk appearing in Captain America: Civil War wasn't just a playful tease but was actually part of the original plan. It's not anymore though because Marvel has other plans.
"Because it's still missing is not known where. I thought that I would be in the film, but in the end evidently believe that reveal what happened Hulk is something too big, and Marvel wants to use this information later. My character had been inserted in the script, but then it was taken away.Who knows, maybe Hulk will never return. However, they want to keep the revelation of what happened a secret, because it is something really big."
The key points stick through the double-translation and the highlight is of course Ruffalo's tease about there being some big revelation to come about what happened to Bruce Banner/Hulk after the conclusion of Avengers: Age of Ultron. It's not as simple as Banner being in hiding again. Something happened and it's part of some other future story. Ruffalo has three movies left on his 5-picture deal with Marvel Studios (his Iron Man 3 cameo does not count towards this) so he will be back, especially with the first Avengers helping re-establish Hulk as a worthy fan-favorite superhero - one who some fans still want to see get another chance at a solo movie.
Interestingly, Ruffalo was spotted with the Civil War cast during the final weeks of shooting on location in Germany so we suspect something was shot with the actor. Even if it's a post-credits button, we wouldn't be surprised to still see Banner make some sort of appearance. Maybe he's been captured by General "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt) who makes his long-awaited return in Captain America: Civil War after first playing the character in 2008's The Incredible Hulk (where Ed Norton played Bruce Banner).
Or maybe Hulk's off-world and there's still some chance of a Planet Hulk/World War Hulk storyline coming into play. Probably not though. Definitely not anytime soon, says Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige.
With Sony's Spider-Man joining the MCU at the last minute before production began on the next Cap adventure, a lot of resources and effort went into fitting his story arc into the film and that gives even less time to Hulk and other characters in the massive ensemble piece. Where do you want to see Banner appear next?
Marvel's Captain America: Civil War is directed by Anthony & Joe Russo and produced by Kevin Feige, and stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, Tom Holland, with William Hurt and Daniel Brühl. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee serve as executive producers and the screenplay is by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely.
Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man– July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Black Panther– July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019.
Source: BadTaste.it (hat tip Steve K)
Incredible Hulks #624 cover by Dale Keown