It has been awhile since fans of the MCU have seen the Hulk, but Bruce Banner hasn’t been forgotten. The Marvel icon is set to make his theatrical comeback come November when Thor: Ragnarok reaches cinemas. However, based on Mark Ruffalo’s most recent comments, the MCU seems to have more in store for the Hulk than fans may expect.
Recently, Ruffalo stopped by D23 in Anaheim over the weekend to promote Avengers: Infinity War with his MCU co-stars. It was during the actor’s trip that he spoke with Fandango, and Ruffalo told the site the Hulk’s new storyline will only begin in Thor: Ragnarok.
"There's a huge change for Banner and for Hulk. It isn't resolved in the first Infinity War, it sort of culminates into the second Infinity War,” Ruffalo explained. “Thor 3 is the beginning of a lot of changes for Banner and for Hulk."
Ruffalo would not fess up to any more details about his character’s change, but fans are now buzzing about the storylines Bruce may undergo. The hero will return in Avengers: Infinity War following his impending Thor outing, but fans do not know how the Hulk will be used in the ensemble flick. There was no footage of Bruce’s alter-ego shown during the D23 teaser of Avengers: Infinity War, but fans have seen set photos of Bruce with Doctor Strange and Tony Stark in the past few weeks.
If the Hulk’s change is expected to begin in Thor: Ragnarok, then fans can try to map out Bruce’s next steps from there. After all, fans know the film will partially adapt the famous Planet Hulk storyline which sees Bruce/Hulk come to a truce to survive on Sakaar. There’s a chance the MCU may try to move forward with a World War Hulk storyline, but fans are not quite sure what impetus would spark the Hulk to turn on his Avengers friend. Thanos could force the hero to do his bidding, but the Hulk’s major change could simply come with how powerful he’s become. Living on Sakaar will have exposed the Hulk to some powerful radiation; When you combine that boost with Bruce’s intellect, the Hulk could become the Avenger’s black horse in their universal war against Thanos.
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Avengers: Infinity War and its as-yet-untitled sequel are filming back-to-back for a May 4, 2018 and May 3, 2019 release, respectively.
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Avengers: Infinity War is described by Marvel Studios as the culmination of everything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Iron Man in 2008. The movie is filming now under directors Anthony and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
The expansive confirmed cast includes Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bethany, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Pom Klementieff, and Josh Brolin as the villain Thanos.