The MCU is about to open its doors to the multiverse in a major way. Starting with Spider-Man: No Way Home, fans are expecting a roll call of familiar faces from Marvel’s past to make return appearances. Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx are back as Doc Ock and Electro in the aforementioned threequel, for example, with Doctor Strange 2 likely featuring a bunch more. Of course, one of the most oft-portrayed characters in the Marvel multiverse is the Hulk, but don’t expect one former Jade Giant to return anytime soon.
Eric Bana has the honor of being the first actor to bring Bruce Banner to life on the big screen, starring as the beleaguered scientist in Ang Lee’s divisive Hulk, released in 2003. When Universal and Marvel relaunched the franchise with 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, they elected to recast the part with Edward Norton, who was again replaced with Mark Ruffalo in 2012’s The Avengers. If you squint a bit, Hulk could vaguely be considered part of the MCU, then, but Bana has ruled out the chances of reprising his role.
While speaking on Jake’s Takes, he revealed that he can’t see himself ever getting a callback for another outing as the hero, saying:
“When I went and did that film, that was kind of like pre-Marvel Universe. That universe didn’t even really exist, so it always felt like a one-time film for me. That world of you go off and do a movie, and there are going to be sequels, that framework didn’t even exist back then. I guess the short answer is no. I never felt like that was something that I was going to reprise or do again. After all this time, I can’t see that happening.”
For his part, Norton has said he’s open to returning to the MCU, though on other occasions he’s criticized Marvel Studios, so we probably shouldn’t hold our breath for that happening, either. While we might not get Hulks from different dimensions teaming up, the Green Goliath’s mythos will still be extended in the near future. She-Hulk is set to introduce Bruce’s cousin Jennifer Walters into the MCU, as played by Tatian Maslany, and reports say that Red Hulk and maybe even Red She-Hulk could be on the way, too.
Mark Ruffalo, meanwhile, might well turn up for a cameo in the show, which arrives on Disney Plus next year, furthering his status as the most prolific – and most popular – Hulk actor. Sorry, Eric and Ed.
Source: Jake's Takes