Though a standalone Hulk movie has essentially been rendered a pipe dream by Mark Ruffalo in the past, we recently learned that Marvel is cooking up the next best thing: a three-film arc that began with the launch of Thor: Ragnarok in November.
It’s one that’ll seemingly stretch through until the arrival of Avengers 4 in 2019, by which point Marvel Studios will be ready to usher in the much-touted Phase 4. So far, only Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and the untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 have been name-dropped, but Kevin Feige and Co. have teased that the Marvel Cinematic Universe could take on a new form in two years’ time, which is to say that the current arc of Thanos vs. the Avengers will be all wrapped up.
And while Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk has fast become one of our favorite characters on the Marvel roster, something that’s reaffirmed by the frankly hilarious Ragnarok, we’re still unsure what direction the studio plans to take him in from here. However, if a recently surfaced set pic from the now completed production of Avengers: Infinity War is any indication, we may have just gotten a pretty big clue.
Seen in the gallery below is a photo showing a scene with Iron Man, Wong and, of course, Bruce Banner. The context of what’s happening is unclear, but take a look at that massive grey hand and see if you’re thinking what we are.
Yup, that’s right. It appears as if this hand could actually belong to the Hulk. And, with Banner also appearing here, it might mean that he’s finally separated himself from the green rage monster. True, this motion-capture hand could belong to someone else, like Thanos or even Cull Obsidian, but let’s imagine for a moment that our initial assumption is correct. Not only would it tie into that theory that it’s actually Banner piloting the Hulkbuster armor and not Stark, but it also falls in line with recent comments from Kevin Feige.
On the Ragnarok press tour, he addressed the immediate future of Hulk, and how that aforementioned ‘trilogy’ will delve deep into the relationship between Bruce Banner and his monstrous alter-ego.
I did pitch to Mark a potential, sort of three movie arc for the character starting with Ragnarok and that is what we ended up doing. Now, I won’t say where it goes, but it’s the continuing evolution of the relationship between Banner and Hulk and you see a side of it here. There’s a great line. He [Banner] says, “it’s different this time, usually it feels like we both have a hand on the wheel, but this time he was driving and I was locked in the trunk.” Are they ever going to be able to resolve that?
Poised to shake the MCU down to its very foundations, before Avengers 4 arrives to finish the job in 2019, Infinity War is the culmination of a ten-year movie arc and after that record-breaking first trailer, you can bet that anticipation is at an all-time high now. Not only that, but if the film’s official plot synopsis is to be believed, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will be facing their deadliest showdown ever, meaning that they’re definitely going to need some help from the Hulk – whether he’s still part of Banner or not.