She-Hulk: Mark Ruffalo Talks Bruce Banner/Hulk Evolution, MCU Future

Mark Ruffalo is an anomaly of sorts when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe because he's the only major Avenger actor entered in a recast since Edward Norton left the role following Universal's 2008 Incredible Hulk. Given Marvel's current deal with Universal, the character can only appear in MCU projects where the character isn't the main focus, which explains his predominant auxiliary presence since that includes the current Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. Ruffalo spoke about Hulk's first MCU appearance on a TV show and his future with the character. The following does contain spoilers on the series.

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(L-R): Mark Ruffalo as Smart Hulk / Bruce Banner in Marvel Studios' She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

"It was something that I've always sort of wondered: How does Hulk or Banner live their lives?" Ruffalo said upon joining She-Hulk. "I mean, if he is living on his own, like, how does he not hit his head on doorframes? It just opened up a whole world that's really funny and playful that I was craving after COVID. It was light. It was playful with other people. It wasn't in Zoom. It was like a desperation for me when I got to it, to have that kind of experience after being locked down and imprisoned, in a way." In the series, Bruce is able to retain his human form thanks to an inhibiting device he invented. Riding in the car alongside his cousin Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany), an alien spacecraft forces her to swerve and crash. As she pulls him to safety, both are cut, and Bruce's blood ends up in Jen's wound, granting her Hulk powers.

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(L-R): Mark Ruffalo as Smart Hulk / Bruce Banner and Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer "Jen" Walters/She-Hulk in Marvel Studios' She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

Given the events of episode two, "Superhuman Law," Hulk finds himself back on the Sarkaaran spacecraft. Sakaar was where Hulk found himself trapped in battling Thor (Chris Hemsworth) during the events of 2017's Thor: Ragnarok. "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," Ruffalo said. "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. I do think that the trip to Sakaar is a good place to start and what that means to the idea of what the fans have been asking for — this idea of Planet Hulk or World War Hulk or just the journey that Banner and Hulk have to make to come to peace with each other. That's really interesting to me, and I do feel like there is some interest in exploring that down the line."

She-Hulk: Mark Ruffalo Talks Bruce Banner/Hulk Evolution, MCU Future
(L-R): Mark Ruffalo as Smart Hulk / Bruce Banner and Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer "Jen" Walters/She-Hulk in Marvel Studios' She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

For more on Ruffalo talking about how making She-Hulk is different than MCU films, working with Maslany, joking with Norton about comparing Hulk to Hamlet, how long he sees himself still in the role, and more, you can check out the full Variety interview here. New episodes of She-Hulk stream Thursdays on Disney+.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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