The Incredible Hulk (2008) is a unique entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe considering it stars Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/Hulk, a role that eventually went to Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers (2012). Despite swapping out the lead actor, The Incredible Hulk is still a part of the MCU canon, and characters from the film have started to come back to the franchise. Last year saw the return of Tim Roth as Emil Blonksy/Abomination in She-Hulk and Tim Blake Nelson is expected to return as Samuel Sterns/The Leader in Captain America: New World Order. The Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier recently took over for Justin Lin as the director of Fast X, and ComicBook.com had the chance to chat with him at yesterday's trailer launch event. During the conversation, Leterrier talked about being there for the early stages of the MCU.
"I'm happy they're healthy, I'm happy they're alive," Leterrier said when asked about the recent return of both Roth and Nelson. "It's incredible. I was there at the beginning of Marvel. This was a very special time. We created this studio. We created... Yeah, the MCU was birthed out of The Incredible Hulk. Tony Stark walked into The Incredible Hulk and said, 'I'm putting together a team,' and which one is it? Obviously, the Avengers. That was the beginning. No one thought... We had hopes; Kevin and I had hopes that he would become something like this as fans. ... It's kind of like the same thing [with Fast X]. If you do movies, if you bring something as a fan to the fans, if you respect your audience, because you are one of them, it will go a long way. So yeah, I mean, I can't wait for these characters, our new characters, to be 20 years from now in other movies."
Is World War Hulk Happening?
Last year, Ruffalo played Hulk in multiple episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law on Disney+, and fans are curious to know when we'll be seeing the Avenger again. Currently, there's no official word on Ruffalo's next Marvel project, but it's likely we'll see him back in the franchise. In the season finale of She-Hulk, Hulk shows up at a family event and reveals he has a son, Skaar (Wil Deusner). In the comics, Skaar was created by Greg Pak and John Romita Jr. and was one of the biggest characters to spin out of World War Hulk. He is the son of the Hulk and Caiera the Oldstrong, one of the Shadow People who colonized Sakaar. Now, fans are hoping a World War Hulk project is in the works and Ruffalo seems to think a movie is in the cards.
"I don't know. It certainly does suggest that," Ruffalo told Variety. "There has been some conversations about what happened in the two years where Hulk abandoned Banner and the Avengers [on Sakaar], and the emergence of Smart Hulk, which hasn't ever fully been answered. I think maybe we've given four sentences to that time period since then. It's really an interesting, exciting part of the Hulk story and Banner story."
You can check out our full interview with Leterrier above. Fast X speeds into theaters on May 19th.