The decision to portray the Incredible Hulk as more intelligent in Thor: Ragnarok than in previous Marvel Studios films was fueled in part by a desire to make the role more interesting for actor Mark Ruffalo to play.
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"Yeah, that was really, just like with Chris, just wanting make it more interesting for Mark to play that character," director Taika Waititi explained in a new interview with CBR, "because in the films he just said one or two words and just destroyed everything, and that was the version of Hulk I think that everybody knows."
"But this version -- the smarter version -- it's just become so much more interesting and engaging," he added, "because he's been the Hulk for two years. He's a hero on this planet and he's had more time to just sit with himself and feel comfortable in his own skin."
Waititi expanded on the Hulk's arc in the film, comparing him to Marlon Brando's character in Apocalypse Now. "And now you can see Hulk sitting still and being kind of like a big silverback," he said. "There's there's this moment when he's in the hot tub in his apartment – he just feels like General [Colonel] Kurtz in Apocalypse Now. He's just sitting there, just contemplating things and you can feel him probably ruminating over all sorts of stuff inside his head. And that introspective, that very still version of Hulk, I think is way more fascinating than the guy that just destroys everything."
Thor: Ragnarok is already proving to a critical success, and is projected to open domestically this weekend with somewhere north of $100 million. Waititi has already expressed interest in doing another Thor movie.
Opening nationwide Nov. 3, Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Cate Blanchett as Hela, Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, and Karl Urban as Skurge.