Back in 2003, before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a thing, award winning director Ang Lee delivered to us Hulk, starring Eric Bana as Bruce Banner. The film presented a story that focused on Banner’s relationship with Betty Ross (played by Jennifer Connelly), who is indeed a significant love interest for the scientist in the source material. She’s also the daughter of General Ross – Banner’s enemy.
Then, came the MCU, and director Louis Leterrier delivered a variation on the relationship theme again. This time, Edward Norton played the scientist, while Liv Tyler filled the role of Betty in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. Like in the last movie, her father was still chasing the titular hero but this time, he did so using Abomination, a Hulk-like character from the comics and one of his arch-enemies.
After that film, however, Mark Ruffalo finally stepped in, replacing Norton and going on to play the role throughout numerous outings in the MCU, with the actor still on board until at least Avengers 4. But what if the studio had gone with the Spotlight star a bit earlier? Like for The Incredible Hulk. That’s what this new fan poster imagines, as it puts Ruffalo’s version of the Jade Giant in Leterrier’s 2008 pic.
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While it certainly wasn’t as successful as most of Marvel’s other films, Norton’s romp was far from a bad time and a perfectly enjoyable watch. The actor did some good work as Bruce Banner, too, and Leterrier orchestrated a couple of genuinely fun set pieces. It’s too bad then that The Incredible Hulk is often forgotten about and overlooked when it comes to the MCU, but at least everything worked out alright in the end.
Ruffalo’s done a terrific job as the character and has gone on to become a true fan favorite. We may never get another solo Hulk film due to rights issues, but we can at least look forward to seeing Banner back on screen again in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, which will supposedly act as the final two parts of a new trilogy of sorts for the Hulk, one which kicked off in Thor: Ragnarok.