We need more Hulk.
It’s now been two years since Mark Ruffalo got angry in 2012’s Marvel’s the Avengers and provided the version of Bruce Banner fans have been wanting to see on the big screen for years. The Hulk reached his full smash potential and Ruffalo brought the exact right amount of human vulnerability to the green behemoth’s alter ego. The character emerged from the team-up blockbuster a megastar and, aside from a post-credits cameo in last year’s Iron Man 3, there’s been nothing but silence ever since.
But that silence has been broken by the sound of Ruffalo’s most recent comments to Digital Spy. “I think [Marvel] are, for the first time, sort of entertaining the idea of [a solo Hulk film],” revealed Ruffalo. “When we did Avengers 1 it was basically, ‘no.’ Now I think there is some consideration for it, but still nothing definitive — not even a skeletal version of what it would be.”
No sweat, Mark, because we’re here to provide that skeletal version. Here are five Hulk stories we want to see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Near the start of Peter David’s nearly 12-year run on Incredible Hulk, the writer reinvented the brutish anti-hero as a cunning, gray-colored brawler. With this new disposition – and a firmer grasp on the English language – the Hulk traded his purple pants for a white tuxedo and began working as a mob enforcer in Las Vegas. Going by the name Joe Fixit, the ex-Avenger encountered a whole new set of problems – and had a whole new set of skills at his disposal. A Mr. Fixit movie might mean less screentime for Ruffalo, but the actor would get a chance to play a different, smarter incarnation of his alter ego, and we’d love to see that.
Hulk & Strange
Following Doctor Strange’s eventual big screen debut, Marvel Studios should consider pairing him up with a character that could be considered the sorcerer supreme’s spiritual opposite – the Incredible Hulk. As two members of the kooky quartet called the Defenders, these two have an extensive history just ready to be mind in Marvel’s first co-headlining feature film. A story similar to the one told in Incredible Hulk #370-371, where Strange enlists Hulk’s help to fight off an invading sorcerer from another dimension, could form the basis of this trippy team-up. Strange’s powers could also allow him to travel into Bruce Banner’s mind, possibly allowing for readers to get a glimpse at Banner’s traumatic childhood. Really, anything that gives Ruffalo meaty material to work with should be considered.
Another co-lead feature film could introduce Banner’s cousin Jennifer Walters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Captain America: The Winter Soldier showed just how great a movie with platonic co-leads given equally rich character arcs can be, and a film starring Bruce and Jennifer could be done in that same style. Since Walters gained her super powers from receiving a transfusion of her cousin’s blood, Banner has to show up in Jen’s origin story whenever and wherever it’s told in order. Make that the inciting incident for the sequel to 2008’s Incredible Hulk, and give us double the Hulk action.
Now that X-Men: Days of Future Past has proven that super hero films can successfully dive right into time travel craziness, Marvel Studios could experiment with the Hulk’s own time-twisty storyline. In the Future Imperfect tale, a super smart green Hulk gets taken to the future where a beastly dictator called Maestro rules supreme. His trophy room is filled with artifacts like Cap’s shattered shield and the head from Iron Man’s armor – come on, that would be a great visual. There’s a reason why Hulk’s the perfect person to take down the Maestro, though: he is the Hulk. This storyline would allow for Ruffalo to pull triple duty, performing as the Hulk, Bruce Banner, and Maestro. Ruffalo’s got the range to pull this off.
Any discussion of Hulk storylines isn’t complete without mentioning Planet Hulk, the jade giant’s epic foray into intergalactic gladiatorial combat. Seeds for this journey could be planted in Guardians of the Galaxy, and one – the stone warrior – was already glimpsed in Thor: The Dark World. If fans dig Guardians‘ out of this world vibe, Marvel would be wise to take Bruce Banner on a trip to the stars, where he can throw down with some of the strongest bad guys in the universe and become the leader of a rebellion.