The Incredible Hulk
The third time is the charm. For the Hulk, that moment came with The Avengers. It may lead to a place in Phase Three.
“People were like, ‘You’ve already had two movies. How is that going to happen?’” Feige said about pre-Avengers Hulk worries. “One of the goals that we talked about with Joss [Whedon] on Avengers was we want Hulk to be cool again.”
Ten years have also passed since Ang Lee and Eric Bana’s (in my opinion) underrated Hulk in 2003, which was rebooted with Edward Norton in the Bruce Banner role for 2008’s more action-oriented The Incredible Hulk.
Each was a modest box-office hit, with lukewarm critical reviews. Neither Hulk was particularly beloved by fans. That changed with The Avengers as Mark Ruffalo stepped into the role of Banner, giving the scientist with a mean, green streak some much needed warmth and humor.
Part of Ruffalo’s charm was making the character of Banner/Hulk more like a lovable kid who is prone to uncontrollable tantrums. It worked. Fans wanted more — a lot more.
In December, Ruffalo told EW he’s up for returning as the character, but worried that if they don’t do a Hulk movie with him relatively soon after Avengers 2, he’ll age out of the role. “You don’t want to be a 55-year-old Hulk,” the 45-year-old actor said.
“If anyone could be a great 55-year-old Hulk, it’s Mark so I’m not worried about that,” Feige told EW.
Rumors that a live-action version of the Planet Hulk comics series, in which the green monster is banished to an alien world, are completely false, Marvel execs insist. “What we’re excited about exploring and expanding is Mark — and Banner’s not in Planet Hulk at all,” Feige says. “The fun of the Hulk is his interaction with humans.”
There’s no script for a solo Hulk movie in the works just yet, but Feige says: “Mark could stand in his own movie. … We’re talking about it. We’re excited to sit down and go, ‘What is a stand-alone Hulk movie?’”
Most Marvel fans would agree: Phase Three could use a heaping helping of green.
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