Though the future of the MCU’s Hulk remains uncertain, Mark Ruffalo still has a few ideas for upcoming releases, one of which involves a fan-pleasing clash between two of the Marvel brand’s biggest stars.
The actor was recently in attendance at C2E2 in Chicago, where where he was asked by panel moderator Clare Kramer about the Professor Hulk persona. As you likely recall, Bruce Banner made the transformation into Professor Hulk, aka Smart Hulk, during the five-year time jump near the beginning of Avengers: Endgame, essentially resolving the hero’s internal battle with the Jade Giant offscreen.
When Kramer asked about the possibility of actually showing the emergence of Professor Hulk in a future film, Ruffalo seemed all for it, before quickly slipping in his suggestion for a Hulk vs. Wolverine showdown:
“To be totally honest with you, I want to see the movie where Banner and Hulk ultimately have to battle it out and then the Professor is sort of the brainchild of that. Kevin Feige, are you listening? We want Professor Hulk. The only person in the universe that Hulk is afraid of is Banner and I want to see the ultimate showdown between the two of them. And maybe Wolverine.”
As it stands, Professor Hulk’s sole MCU outing remains last year’s Avengers: Endgame, in which the character had to share screen time with the biggest cast of any Marvel movie to date. You could therefore argue that Bruce’s latest persona still has plenty of untapped potential, and it’s currently looking very likely that we’ll see more from the gentle giant in the upcoming She-Hulk TV show.
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That being said, we wouldn’t bet on Ruffalo’s Hulk vs. Wolverine idea happening anytime soon. For one thing, we don’t expect Logan to make his MCU debut for a couple more years at least, and by that point, it’s quite possible that Banner will have already left the franchise.
Indeed, as the MCU moves into a new era, most, if not all, of Bruce’s fellow Phase 1 heroes look to be nearing the ends of their respective runs if they haven’t dropped out already. Meanwhile, Hulk seems on the verge of passing on the torch to a new star with the She-Hulk Disney Plus series.
So, does that mean Bruce too is on the verge of retirement? It’s quite possible, though if the fan demand is there, then surely there’s nothing stopping Marvel from revisiting that mysterious five-year gap in Hulk’s tumultuous journey somewhere down the line.