With Bruce Banner/the Hulk making his first appearance in the MCU since Avengers: Age of Ultron in Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige talks about the role of Hulk moving forward into this crucial period in Marvel films, particularly the next two Avengers installments.
Ever since Joss Whedon's first Avengers team-up in 2012, it's felt like the true wildcard of Earth's Mightiest Heroes was the Hulk. The big and not so jolly green giant is a wrecking force of destruction used for both good and evil throughout his appearances. Where Steve Rogers and Tony Stark have had their characters developed with their own trilogies in the MCU - to the point where we know how their motivations and how they'll act, the Hulk and where he stands remains curious, as does his long-term future. This makes it exciting that Mark Ruffalo teased the idea of the beginning of a crucial arc for the gamma giant in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers sequels. Together, these form a trilogy for Banner and the Hulk.
While promoting the release of the Hulk-heavy Ragnarok, Screen Rant was able to ask Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige about Bruce Banner's role in the upcoming two Avengers sequels. With Thor: Ragnarok trailers indicating we'll be seeing a more evolved, smarter Hulk in the future, Feige teased the direction that the studio will be taking the character.
Screen Rant: Mark Ruffalo recently said that Thor: Ragnarok is the beginning of a new character story for the Hulk. Now going into Avengers: Infinity War, the Hulk has evolved, he’s gotten smarter. Will we see that evolution continue? Maybe even a different shade of a color for the Hulk?
Kevin Feige: Anything’s possible. It is something when we were talking to Mark about this movie and trying to get him excited and getting him to agree to be in this movie, I did pitch to him a potential, sort of three movie arc for the character starting with this and that is what we ended up doing. Now, I won’t say where it goes, but it’s the continuing evolution of the relationship between Banner and Hulk and you see a side of it here. There’s a great line. He [Banner] says, “it’s different this time, usually it feels like we both have a hand on the wheel, but this time he was driving and I was locked in the trunk.” Are they ever going to be able to resolve that?
It's certainly an exciting time in the MCU, as everything is building towards what is sure to be an explosive peak in the near future. More importantly for Hulk fans, it's an exciting time for Mark Ruffalo and the character, who has been sidelined along with Thor for the last five Marvel films and had to sit and watch while everyone else duked it out in Captain America: Civil War. It's time for the two to share the spotlight, however, as Ruffalo hasn't even been the star of a film in the universe (Edward Norton got to do that in The Incredible Hulk before being replaced).
We know where the Hulk stands by the end of Thor: Ragnarok, and we'll share more on that soon, but beyond that we don't know what's in store for Banner and the Hulk as Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe wraps up and concludes the 22-movie story in 2019. There are many stories - and a few different skin colors and costumes - from Marvel Comics yet to be utilized in the movies, so who knows. We're ready for a full-on smart Hulk though, to give the "other guy" some real dialogue.
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019