Mark Ruffalo on the foe Hulk needs for a stand-alone movie

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Image Credit: Jay Maidment

Ever since The Avengers debuted two years ago, fans have been demanding: When is Mark Ruffalo going to get a stand-alone movie as the Hulk?

With Marvel Studios recently announcing a slate of seven untitled movies that spans into 2019, it’s possible we may get an answer to the question at Comic-Con this week.

If a Hulk movie isn’t among them, the answer is probably: Never. At least, not with Ruffalo in the lead, since he has been open about the fact that his own age, 46, starts to become a problem for a superhero—especially if we’re looking more than five years down the line.

Ruffalo follows Eric Bana and Edward Norton as the third actor to take on the character in recent years, and in an interview with EW, he weighed in on the possibility of starring in a solo Hulk movie.

The actor said he has been giving it a lot of thought (and we’re guessing he wouldn’t be doing that if it weren’t at least a possibility.)

In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man will grapple with Hulk in Tony Stark’s ginormous “Hulkbuster” armor. But Ruffalo’s view of Hulk’s greatest foe is not what you might expect …

EW: There were two previous attempts, and each one was missing something. But fans have adored your version of Bruce Banner. So what’s your feeling about what Hulk would need to have another stand-alone movie?
MARK RUFFALO:
I understand the hesitation. It’s a particularly hard character to make a movie about because he doesn’t want to be there, generally. It’s hard to make a movie about a guy who doesn’t want to be there. And he doesn’t want to do the very thing that you want him to do.

Right. Which is Hulk out.
So it gets a little frustrating as an audience, and there’s only so much of that. I think they set it up nicely now that Banner’s turning 46 years old, and there comes a point where it’s like “how much more running can I do for myself?”

How does getting older change Banner?
Whatever you hate about yourself or you don’t like, when you get to be 46 years old, you start to say, “Okay, no.” Obviously, you can never really get away from yourself, so you start to live with some of the things you think are so bad. And maybe they’re not that bad. Maybe those things are what you need to do whatever you were never able to accomplish.

So a solo Hulk film would be not about trying to rid himself of the Hulk, but coming to terms with it as a strength instead of a dangerous flaw?
I think that’s the ticket forward for Banner, to start to figure out where we go with him, to keep that story interesting. I think there’s a whole relationship with Banner and Hulk that needs to be discovered. There’s a very cool thing happening: Hulk is as afraid of Banner as Banner is afraid of Hulk.

That’s what we’ll see in Avengers: Age of Ultron and possibly going forward?
It’s in the comics. But because you haven’t really been able to get inside of Hulk’s head, because the [cinematic] technology wasn’t available to make it nuanced enough to do that, and now it is. So now I think there’s a way to do it. Both of these guys are obviously the same guy, and they have got to come to peace somehow with each other. And I think that this confrontation is building along the lines of this film.

I like that. I like that the thing that scares the fearsome Hulk is Banner—a puny human.
He’s terrified of him.

Well, that’s when he goes away, isn’t it?
What makes Hulk afraid? It’s himself. It’s a version of himself that’s weak. It’s a version of himself that’s vulnerable. It’s a child inside of him. It’s very interesting, and I’m stumbling on this. And I don’t know if this is where the next version will go. But if it is in the cards that we’re doing the next version of this, I see some fertile ground there.

Sounds like you’ve been giving it a lot of consideration.
I’ve been mulling this over now for a few years. And I haven’t pushed for it because I honestly didn’t know what hadn’t been done. And this time, there’s an interesting confrontation on the horizon between these two.

They’re fighting over the same body. Who lives and who disappears.
It’s existence. They’re fighting over existence, you know?

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