Mark Ruffalo revealed at the Thor: Ragnarok panel at San Diego Comic-Con Saturday that Hulk has repressed Bruce Banner for 2 years and he speaks, too. Following their absence in Captain America: Civil War last year, fans will finally get to catch up with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hulk (Ruffalo) again in November in Thor’s third solo film, Thor: Ragnarok. Of course, it’s been no secret that Hulk was going to play a big part of the film, and the first trailer teased that there was going to be a serious gladiator-style battle between the friendly Avengers team members, at one point.
And while Thor was giddy to announce to the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) in his battle arena on Sakaar that his armored opponent was “a friend from work,” it appears that the God of Thunder’s work buddy has stayed his angry green self for quite a while. During Thor: Ragnarok’s SDCC panel Saturday, Ruffalo said that Hulk has repressed his human alter-ego Bruce Banner for two years, and that Hulk, for the first time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, speaks.
Fans can hear a bit of Hulking speaking, albeit like a 2-year-old, at the conclusion of the new Thor: Ragnarok trailer revealed at SDCC. In the trailer, Hulk says to Thor, “Hulk like fire, Thor like water.”
Hearing Hulk speak is a big step forward for the character. True, in the two non-MCU Hulk solo films, the character could be heard uttering classic two-word Hulk phrases like “Hulk smash!” and “Puny man!” (he also says “Puny god” after his Loki beatdown in The Avengers) but now, he’s actually engaging in conversation.
Whether Hulk’s improves his speaking ability and expands his vocabulary throughout the film is yet to be seen; but clearly, this is a huge start for the character. Perhaps Hulk will speak more in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 – and since he’s reportedly playing a larger role in the films, maybe the extra screen time will give him an opportunity to talk smack with his Avengers teammates.
As for why Hulk stayed mean and green for so long, Ruffalo shared this insight:
“Hulk refuses to turn back to Banner, and he’s actually enjoying his time on Sakaar. He’s enjoying his life for once, and he’ll be damned if he’s going back to Banner.”
Without question, fans will learn in Thor: Ragnarok just how Hulk learned to speak. Banner will get his chance at some dialogue, too, since it’s clear by the new trailer that Hulk finally calms down and reverts to human alter-ego.
It’s hard to say who exactly made the call for the big developments with the Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok, but given the decidedly different tone and approach the film is taking, clearly director Taika Waititi had a lot to do with it. Judging by the outrageously entertaining first two trailers that have revealed plenty of surprises, Waititi is going to take Marvel fans on their wildest and perhaps most colorful adventure yet.
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