The world needs another solo Hulk film.
After the green behemoth stole the show in “The Avengers” by ripping jets apart and bashing Norse gods around, fans have been clamoring to get 120 minutes of solo Banner/Hulk action on the big screen. Who knew that with the casting of Mark Ruffalo in the role, Marvel Studios created a new, more relatable and nuanced Bruce Banner? But it happened, and now, it’s time he was given a chance to shine.
In a recent interview, Ruffalo stated that Marvel is finally tossing around the idea of filming another gamma-fueled flick, though there’s not much more than that. “When we did ‘Avengers 1,’ it was basically, ‘no,'” the actor stated. “Now, I think there is some consideration for it, but still nothing definitive — not even a skeletal version of what it would be.”
Well, we have a pretty definitive idea of what this story should be, and it’s one that actually came in reaction to Ruffalo/Hulk’s scene-stealing portrayal of the jade giant. To that end, we present the arguments for why Mark Waid’s recent run on “Indestructible Hulk” is the perfect launching point for a new Hulk film.
In the “Indestructible Hulk,” S.H.I.E.L.D. and Bruce Banner reach an agreement: S.H.I.E.L.D. provides Banner with the facilities, help and tech he needs to create world-improving innovations. In return, whenever Banner finds himself a little stressed out, S.H.I.E.L.D. gets to drop the Hulk on any of their big problems. That high concept is so simple yet brilliant, you can practically see the trailer play out in your head. Unlike the previous Hulk movies, which had very little in the way of set-up, this one idea alone feels big enough to hang a whole feature film on.
This premise also works because it would give Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner a lot of screen time, with plenty to do. Past Hulk films have treated Banner like a necessary evil, something audiences have to muddle along with until the next Hulk-out. This set-up, which positions Banner as a kind of mad scientist/loose cannon/super spy combo, would give Ruffalo plenty to work with and it would allow for the character to do more than just, you know, run and mope. Ruffalo’s performance was integral to making Hulk work in “Avengers,” so a new Hulk movie could not short change the actor.
Yes, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s had its reset button hit, but Coulson’s building the agency up again. By the time Marvel would be ready to do another solo Hulk film, most likely in Phase Four, it’s entirely possible that S.H.I.E.L.D. will be back in a big way and ready for Agent Hulk. Placing Hulk within S.H.I.E.L.D.’s parameters worked so well in “Avengers”; it gave the character a sense of structure and purpose — not to mention the palpable tension of having a ticking gamma bomb traveling on a flying aircraft carrier. “Indestructible Hulk” would provide the perfect way to elevate the profile of some small screen S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Banner needs a science team, and Agents Fitz and Simmons from “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” are perfect candidates to provide Banner the helping hands he needs — as well as push a few of his buttons with their back-and-forth banter.
The no-nonsense S.H.I.E.L.D. director played a big role in Waid’s run, and she’d be perfect to do the same in “Indestructible Hulk.” Cobie Smulders has yet to receive screen time proportionate to her bad ass-ness, and this film’s premise the just the thing to remedy that. Just like Captain America and Black Widow in “Winter Soldier,” imagine a film where Hulk and Hill have to fight their way through missions deemed too impossible for S.H.I.E.L.D. to handle. Hill’s been a supporting character for way too long now; it’s time she becomes a co-lead.
Waid’s “Indestructible Hulk” features a number of guest stars that could turn into some great big screen cameos. First, of course, is Tony Stark, who appeared early on in the comic’s run. Stark and Banner have an undeniable chemistry together, and any Hulk film has to get Iron Man into Bruce’s lab for at least one sharply-paced scene.
The more interesting cameo, however, could come from another one of Marvel’s small screen super heroes: Daredevil. In the source material, Banner has a man on the outside waiting to release confidential S.H.I.E.L.D. documents in the event that the scientist is double-crossed by the agency and doesn’t make one of his regularly scheduled check-ins. That man is eventually revealed to be Matt Murdock, a.k.a. the Man Without Fear. An appearance by Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock in “Indestructible Hulk’s” post-credits scene would be an incredible (pun intended) Easter egg, firmly tying the Netflix and film strands of the MCU together.