Marvel Cinematic Universe analysts continue to promote one undervalued truth: Hulk was never respected enough on the big screen. Despite some people enjoying the Smart Hulk persona overtaking Bruce Banner, others see it as a diminishment compared to how a different generation viewed him.
Those who grew up with the comic books or TV version a generation ago, Hulk was considered the strongest superhero around. Perhaps this was only because some viewers were unfamiliar with all the Marvel superheroes and villains with unlimited states of power.
No matter that the MCU made Hulk into a bit of a weakling compared to Thanos, he still had his amazing moments. Fans think Hulk should get his own film as a bookend.
Mark Ruffalo may be back as Hulk … on Disney+
According to rumors of recent months, Mark Ruffalo will (possibly) be back to play Hulk in Disney+’s She-Hulk, according to ScreenRant. No doubt this means playing Smart Hulk again, a persona not all Marvel fans want to see continue.
Considering Smart Hulk is just Bruce Banner in an oversize green body, the menacing quality of Hulk is now more or less ruined. If going by fan opinion on Reddit, one can see division still exists in the treatment of Hulk in the MCU.
Many saw the Edward Norton version of Banner as far more interesting and vulnerable. Said one user: “I actually think Norton is a better Banner than Ruffalo. He’s got a bookish but edgy quality to him that Ruffalo doesn’t really have. I feel like Norton nails the feel of someone who is basically a bit of a geek, but could snap at any minute. I wish he’d carried on in the role.”
Obviously, they will never get Norton back. So how can Hulk ever be rebooted if the fan wish of a solo movie ever does come true?
Can Hulk be rebooted with Mark Ruffalo?
A lot of possibilities exist in how the MCU could bring Ruffalo back in the Hulk role. With Hulk’s arm damaged from acquiring the Infinity Stones in Endgame and now seemingly retired from The Avengers, a major reboot would have to take place.
Thanks to the multiverse being introduced in the MCU, a reset is possibly easier to do than if planning this several years ago. Maybe fans can even argue the Hulk seen in the MCU was an alternative version rather than the one everyone remembers so well.
Should they ever do that, some years would have to pass to allow the Ruffalo era to slowly settle. However, many analysts think the MCU has more up its sleeve in using Mark Ruffalo for Hulk down the line.
Having Hulk pop up in other MCU franchise films
As many fans on Reddit note above, a solo Hulk movie is impossible any time soon due to Universal having distribution rights to the character, according to ScreenRant. The more likely scenario is Hulk just showing up in other solo films as part of the cast.
This was how Marvel managed to work around the rights issue prior, according to Syfy, by giving Hulk a three-film arc with the other Avengers to give him a satisfying story. Yes, it was a clever legal maneuver to give Hulk some character development without placing him in his own titled movies.
Should Ruffalo return to the role for the big-screen, this may be the most logical way for him to stay visible. Yet, how many fans really want to see the all-powerful Hulk again as they saw before?
Seeing Hulk as the creature everyone feared (with studies of anger) is still missed. Perhaps it requires pressing the reset button to make that happen again … in another decade.