A sequel to 2008’s The Incredible Hulk has only ever really been rumored. Nothing is set in stone as far as a potential sequel goes – although the Hulk has had plenty of memorable live action screen time since, having appeared in the Avengers movie and he will no doubt play a huge role in the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron and Marvel’s Phase Three generally.
Hulk is undoubtedly a popular character – that goes without saying. With that in mind, there’ll always be an audience for a Hulk movie and that’s really all any movie needs. Given that there have been an abundance of movies in the past about comic book characters with nowhere near the popularity and renown of the Hulk, the question really should be “why not?”
Ever since Mark Ruffalo first appeared as Bruce Banner in The Avengers, the outcry for a standalone Hulk movie has never been stronger – everybody seems to agree that the actor perfectly embodied the character for the first time in a long time. Yet, contrary to that celebration, it seems that Ruffalo has serious doubts if he will ever step in front of the camera for a solo run with his widely-lauded version of Hulk.
Hulk is in that category just below popular characters like Spider-Man, Superman and Batman – and look how many movies those guys have all had. Howard the Duck, Man-Thing, Tank Girl, Barb Wire, Elektra and Jonah Hex have all had a movie – and that really should be enough justification that Hulk should get his sequel in the MCU.
In an interview with Empire, Ruffalo discusses the current state of his Bruce Banner character when we catch up with him in the beginning of the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. Discussing his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe beyond that film, however, Ruffalo identified a critical predicament for the possibility of another Hulk movie becoming a reality: The character’s innate resistance to give the audience what they want. As Ruffalo candidly explained,
“[A new feature-length Hulk movie is] a tough nut to crack. Traditionally you’re watching a guy who doesn’t want to do the very thing that you want him to do. It’s hard to take for two hours. I don’t know how many times you can use that same framing for it, but now he’s maturing and there’s a cool dynamic growing between Banner and The Hulk.”
When the actor portraying the Hulk has signed a multi-movie deal and is as talented as the brilliant Mark Ruffalo, it seems a damn shame to limit him to appearances as a supporting character. Eric Bana’s effort was unloved, Edward Norton’s was generally applauded but he and Marvel went their separate ways, and Ruffalo came in and did a great job. It’s now down to him to make it his own and it’s hard to imagine him doing anything but making a success of it if he’s given the chance to star in a titular Hulk movie.
Though, at the end of the day, who knows what will become of the great green one. As usual, Kevin Feige and the gang at Marvel Studios are playing those cards close to the chest. But we can always dream, can’t we?
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