Well, it seems the rumours were true: Hulk and Thor are going on a roadtrip! Recent reports had suggested that Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner/Hulk would be joining Chris Hemsworth’s Thor on some sort of cosmic adventure in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, and now Ruffalo has confirmed that in an interview with USA Today.
It had also been reported that Marvel had made the unconventional call of hiring New Zealand comedy director Taika Waititi (Things We Do In The Shadows), to punch up the film’s fun factor as its apocalyptic story had apparently got just a bit too grim and dark for their liking. That lightening of the mood certainly appears to be happening as Ruffalo teased a bit of the buddy-comedy dynamic of the movie.
“I don’t know what the story is yet, but it’ll be (Loki) and Thor, and then I’ll be in there here and there. But I don’t know any of the particulars quite yet. I’ve talked to Taika (Waititi, the director) a little bit and I like where it’s headed. … Chris (Hemsworth) and I have a really good time together, we goof off and play around when Tom Hiddleston is around. So it’ll be a lot of funny back-and-forth, especially with Taika, he does that really well. It’ll have that kind of antagonistic Odd Couple-thing going on.”
Of course there were parts of the initial rumours that had some fans speculating that this would finally setup the “Planet Hulk” solo film that everybody has been clamouring for for ages, but Ruffalo is not too hopeful on the Green Goliath getting his own movie anytime soon, mainly due to the fact that Marvel still don’t have sole distribution rights on the character yet.
“[It’s] not any closer… Actually, it feels even further away. It’s not Marvel’s property, it’s Universal’s property. I don’t know. It seems really problematic.”
“I’ve been around long enough to be OK with it. There’s only so much that’s in my power and I’m not going to agonize over what is not in my power. I definitely try to limit that to my kids and the things that really matter to me.”
But just because it seems unlikely right now, doesn’t mean that Ruffalo wouldn’t be onboard in a heartbeat if that situation were to change, especially since a solo Hulk movie would give the Oscar-nominated actor room to truly dive into what makes the character tick. So many classic and fantastic Hulk comic book storylines over the years have been about the balance between the Banner and Hulk psyches, and that’s something we’ve never really seen explored fully on-screen yet.
“I’d love to do it, it’d be really fun. There’s a lot still to do with the character. I always try to think about different places we could go with him.”
“When you get off of the planet Earth, you can start playing with that stuff a little bit. I’m angling for it. I don’t know if it’ll happen now, but at some point, I’d like to see it happen. When I was doing Age of Ultron — doing the Scarlet Witch acid trip scenes — it really took me a long time to figure out what the Hulk would be afraid of. And then I realized, it was Banner. That relationship is what we’re all so into, but we’ve never seen them in the same scene together — you’re either one or the other, or somewhere in between. But I always imagined that that could be pretty exciting if we could pull it off. In the Marvel Universe, there is some precedence for it. I remember as a kid, seeing a few of the comics that’d have this multidimensional thing, so there’s a lot of ways to do it … if we could find the right context to use it.”
Of course in the comic books, they’ve taken the Banner/Hulk split personality to extreme literal levels as the two personalities have actually been physically divided into two separate physical beings before, leaving the Hulk a raging monster without Banner to control him. They’ve also combined personalities in the past, giving us an incarnation of the Hulk known as The Professor, who has the physical gifts of the savage Hulk, but with Banner’s intellect firmly in control. There are a lot more permutations and various different Hulk personalities that the movies have never even come close to touching on, so there’s definitely a lot of material to mine there, especially for an actor as talented and versatile as Ruffalo.
The actor will be skipping Captain America: Civil War – because Marvel are apparently “saving” Hulk for other stuff – but will be in Thor: Ragnarok, which releases on 28 July 2017, before playing a presumably big role in The Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 & 2 in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Last Updated: November 3, 2015