Once it had been determined that the relationships with both partner studio Universal and star Edward Norton weren’t working out, Marvel Studios sought to shed themselves of any and all attachment to The Incredible Hulk, a mandate that remained in place for eight whole years until William Hurt’s Thaddeus Ross showed up in Captain America: Civil War.
Mark Ruffalo was first announced to the world as Norton’s replacement at San Diego Comic-Con 2010, and he’s become embedded in the very fabric of the cinematic universe ever since, even though the continued and complicated rights issues mean he still hasn’t gotten his own standalone movie.
However, there was an air of mystery surrounding Ruffalo’s anointment as the new Bruce Banner right up until the day he was presented on stage, as he revealed in new book The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe via CBR.
“I got a call saying, ‘Wake up tomorrow at four o’clock in the morning. Look out your window. If there’s a limo there, you’re doing the part. If not, go back to bed’. I was happy. And I was scared to death.”
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That would have been a real bummer for Ruffalo if he’d woken up and checked outside his windows, only to see nothing. Although, it does make you wonder if there was somebody else in exactly the same position, who gazed longingly into the distance for any sign of a limo outside, only to discover later that day that they’d been beaten to the punch of being named as The Avengers‘ Hulk.