Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner a.k.a. The Incredible Hulk may not be returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2016 after running off at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, but he will be back to team-up with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok.
In the meantime the rest of the Earthbound Avengers feud amongst themselves this summer in Captain America: Civil War, paving the way for newcomers like Ant-Man to enlist in Earth's Mightiest. And to emphasize the shared universe aspect of the MCU, and to help get money to pay for a 60-second Super Bowl spot, Coca-Cola and Marvel teamed up to pit Ant-Man vs. Hulk against each other.
The very first time live-action Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hulk (no Mark Ruffalo in this one) share the screen together is in an advertisement for Coca-Cola, specifically, the Coke Mini.
Moments ago, the 60-second “Coke Mini” spot debuted during the Big Game, and it celebrated the blockbuster refreshment of Coca-Cola’s smallest package option—the 7.5-ounce Mini Can. Through an epic battle between two of Marvel’s most popular Super Heroes—The Incredible Hulk and Ant-Man—the spot conveyed one simple, yet undeniable truth: Sometimes you just want a little Coca-Cola.
The airing of the Coke Mini Super Bowl ad (watch up top!) kicks off a virtual hunt for Marvel-themed Coca-Cola Mini Cans, which feature six of the world’s best-known heroes – Hulk, Ant-Man, Black Widow, Captain America, Iron Man and Falcon.
Each day through February 14, Coca-Cola will release hidden clues (known as “Easter eggs”) through its social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. Each individual “Easter egg” will unlock a limited number of cans and provide young adults direction for the chance to obtain a limited edition six-pack of their own. Marvel-themed, limited-edition Coca-Cola Mini Cans are not available for sale in retail outlets – and only available while supplies last.
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) February 8, 2016
It's a smart promotion to use big screen recognizable heroes and to see them working together (with Paul Rudd involved), but it's odd not to tie this into Captain America: Civil War in some way. Then again, we can see why Marvel wouldn't want to downplay the stakes of Civil War with a lighthearted promotion. They were smart to use Ant-Man since his film is the most recent release in the franchise, and since he's getting a sequel co-headlined with the Wasp, and of course, he's back for Captain America: Civil War with a brand new costume. Check out the Captain America: Civil War Super Bowl TV spot to see for yourself!
The movie 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. Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” is directed by Anthony & Joe Russo and produced by Kevin Feige. 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 will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.