Just prior to the arrival of Thor: Ragnarok, at a time when rumors of a possible standalone Hulk movie kicked into overdrive, Marvel boss Kevin Feige outlined a three-film arc for Mark Ruffalo’s Avenger, one which would carry over into both Infinity War and the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4.
It is, in essence, a cosmic journey for Marvel’s Jade Giant, all the while allowing the likes of Taika Waititi, the Russo Brothers and Infinity War writing duo Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely to deep dive into the at-times fraught relationship between Bruce Banner and his raging alter-ego.
As anyone who’s seen Avengers: Infinity War will tell you, the opening moments of Marvel’s blockbuster have Hulk get his ass kicked by Thanos, reducing Ruffalo’s Phase One Avenger to a shell of his former self. It’s also the last time we see the Incredible Hulk in all his glory, and there’s a good reason for that, as Markus and McFeely tell Collider (h/t MCU Exchange):
He’s had his ass kicked before, and he loves a good fight. But I think that it’s really reflective of the journey from Ragnarok. These two characters are constantly in conflict with each other over control. And I think that if the Hulk were to say why it’d be Banner only wants Hulk for fighting. I think he’s had enough of saving Banner’s ass.
The question, really, is whether Bruce Banner will be able to unleash the beast during Avengers 4. Of course, if you’ve been paying close attention to Marvel’s 2019 pic, you’ll know that Mark Ruffalo was spotted in mo-cap gear, so perhaps it’s really a question of when, rather than if, Hulk will return.
Look for Avengers 4 to open big on May 3rd, 2019.