Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker Taika Waititi has talked about the Hulk’s (Mark Ruffalo) surprising baby speech ability in the film, explaining what drove him to give the character the ability to speak a bit better. Joining his fellow Avenger, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), as he tries to save Asgard from total doom in the hands of Hela (Cate Blanchett), the raging green monster appears to have developed speaking abilities similar to a toddler’s – but definitely an improvement from before.
It has been a while since we last saw the Hulk (or Bruce Banner) following his sudden take off by the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Fortunately, the Ragnarok panel plus its newly released trailer at the recently held San Diego Comic-Con brought some new details as to what he has been up to. While we still do not know how exactly he ended up in Sakar, we found out that he has been on the planet for quite some time without going back to his human form when Thor meets him in the battle arena. The God of Thunder may be happy to see his “friend from work,” but his supposed co-worker doesn’t seem to be all thrilled to meet him, at least at first. With Banner’s intellect slowly manifesting towards Hulk, however, his consciousness and apparently, speaking abilities, are becoming useful to the Green Goliath as well.
In an interview with IGN during SDCC, Waititi explained that Banner’s and Hulk’s polar opposite demeanors prompted him to find a way to somehow showcase that despite their differences they both exist in a single entity.
“I was always fascinated by the duality of Hulk and Banner, and seeing how their brains could be interconnected. Could we sometimes see Hulk and could we have a bit of Banner’s voice in there? Could we see Banner and have Hulk’s personality through there?”
Further, the filmmaker has shared that Ragnarok will delve deeper in the internal dynamic and conflict between the Hulk and his human body host.
“I think in this film we’re going to see that for the first time, where the two are fighting — really fighting this time — for control of the body. And Hulk talking, this idea of a more cognitive Hulk who can say sentences — that obviously has existed in the comics, but I think it’s something the fans want to finally see. It’s exactly what fans want to see, and what I wanted to see too.”
Banner has always addressed his beasty alter-ego as someone separate from him. Initially, he was even trying to distance himself from him by trying to suppress the green rage monster from appearing. But things have changed over the years and his stay at Sakar seems to have helped him embrace the Hulk to the point that he doesn’t even want to be back to his human form anymore. The question is how much of Hulk’s developing intellect gets retained when he transforms back to being a human, as Banner does not seem to remember much evidently in his conversation with Thor in the trailer.
Waititi’s attempt to showcase how the Hulk is actually a part of Banner the same way Banner is a part of the Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok is a great way to shine a light on a character who may never have his standalone film. It will be interesting how this trajectory will continue as he comes back to Earth to gear up for Avengers: Infinity War and possibly reconnect with his long-lost lover, Black Widow (Scarlet Johannson).
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