Marvel Studios could turn Hulk into a villain for Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The giant Green Goliath has been part of the MCU since almost the beginning, as Edward Norton first played the character of Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk. That was the only appearance by Norton, though, before Mark Ruffalo took over the role in 2012 with The Avengers. Ruffalo has reprised his role in four films since then, and his last, Avengers: Endgame, ended him in a much different place than he began.
The most significant change that Hulk underwent in the culminating Phase 3 film was the merging of Bruce Banner and Hulk to create Smart Hulk. The experiment managed to give him the brains of Banner and the brawn of Hulk, making him one of the most powerful characters in all of the MCU with his combination of smarts and strength. However, he lost some of his muscle in the end when he used the Infinity Stones to bring everyone back to life who was previously snapped.
Smart Hulk now has permanent damage in his right arm, which could limit what he is capable of doing, but we also know that he's not the only Hulk in the MCU. Thanks to Avengers: Endgame creating different timelines and confirmations that a multiverse exists, there are unlimited numbers of Hulks that could be brought into the MCU. As some are theorizing, this could lead to a different version of the Hulk known as Maestro being used as a villain in Phase 4. That's the subject of the latest Screen Rant video, which you can find at the top of this article.
Peter David and George Pérez created Maestro in 1992 for Marvel Comics. He comes from Earth-9200, and in this alternate universe, Maestro is a combination of Banner's mind and Hulk's strength just like Smart Hulk, but with a more evil mindset. This is from massive amounts of nuclear radiation that came from a war hundreds of years in the future. He rules over what is left of the human race on his Earth and becomes a dictator. Even though he is not part of the main continuity in Marvel Comics, he has crossed paths with several major characters in various events, such as Spider-Man and Wolverine.
Hulk as a villain is one area of the character that the MCU has yet to attempt, but it would be a neat new direction for a version of the character to take. Marvel appears to have jumped past possible Planet Hulk and World War Hulk adaptations at this point, but a version of those stories where Maestro is the ruler of an alternate Earth who then comes to the main MCU timeline could be a fascinating story. Of course, an alternate version of Hulk could be a bit too much for audiences to take and may not even be in Marvel's plans at the moment. But, it would give Ruffalo a completely different iteration of Hulk to play, so if he has a desire to switch it up, then maybe Maestro is exactly what Phase 4 of the MCU could need.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019