You may not love either of the solo Incredible Hulk films, but you can’t deny that Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner/Hulk was one of the stand-out characters in The Avengers. Both fans and critics praised his performance and are eagerly awaiting more of him. In just a few months we will, and Ruffalo gives us some insight on what to expect in a conversation with Empire:
“I think he’s definitely matured a little bit since the last one […] He’s become more acclimated to this thing and to being part of the team. I think he feels more a part of them all. But in this particular take on it, it’s a much more character-driven version of The Avengers than the first one.”
Age of Ultron is character-driven and that’s exciting but unsurprising, especially with regard to the Hulk and his possible relationship with Black Widow (not to mention the exploration of her backstory). We’re really excited to see what Ruffalo does with the material.
If anything, he seems to really understand both of his characters – Dr. Banner and Hulk:
“There’s a battle going on between these two opposing egos that live inside him […] He’s definitely worried that the day is going to come when the Hulk gets the best of him, and maybe won’t release him, maybe won’t give him back. The Hulk knows this too. There’s a moment in here where he, begrudgingly, decides to go back to Banner. Who knows where these things will go, but as Bruce is able to impress his will on the Hulk, going into The Hulk and being inside the Hulk when he’s raging, The Hulk’s will is also growing and able to impress upon Bruce. That makes for some wild things. We’re laying the groundwork for that here. It’ll be interesting to see if that ends up being what would be the next Hulk movie.”
Ruffalo presents a very mature look on his role. It also sounds promising for some great scenes. The Hulk permanently taking over Banner is something that’s explored in the comics but I doubt we’ll get anything more than just scratching the surface of this idea in the films. It might make a good premise for a solo film but Ruffalo doesn’t seem as eager for that.
“Traditionally you’re watching a guy who doesn’t want to do the very thing that you want him to do. It’s hard to take for two hours. I don’t know how many times you can use that same framing for it, but now he’s maturing and there’s a cool dynamic growing between Banner and The Hulk. And the CGI is so much better. The stuff we can do now, you can do a real performance. I’ve been working with Andy Serkis [at his Imaginarium studio] and he has it set up where you go in there and you just start working on a character. It is so exciting to me, because I can do whatever I can imagine, with a team of people of course.”
He admits that there’s a lot more to help carry a solo Hulk film these days but he makes a good point for why it can be difficult as well. We saw how well he worked in a team-based movie but we also know that the two previous solo films weren’t received as well.
Of course it could be a matter of director, timing, the studio, anything really, but at some point you have to ask when enough is enough. We don’t want to lose Hulk, and especially not Ruffalo as Hulk, but it might be best to keep him in team films – or perhaps a duo film? I know plenty of fans would love a “Science Bros” or Hulk and Widow film.
No matter what happens, we love Ruffalo as the Hulk and we can’t wait to see more from him.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is directed by Joss Whedon and stars Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Elizabeth Olson, Aaron Johnson, Cobie Smulders, Paul Bettany, and James Spader. It’s set to hit theaters on May 1st.
Do you like Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner? Do you want to see him in his own standalone film? Let us know in the comments!