The Marvel Cinematic Universe has changed a great deal in the past 12 years.
Back in 2008, Iron Man was still considered a B-list comic book character, and Terrence Howard and Edward Norton were playing the part of Rhodey/War Machine and Bruce Banner/Incredible Hulk, respectively.
Fast forward to 2020, and things couldn’t be more different. For one, Iron Man has graduated into the elite tier of comic book heroes – a reputation cemented by Robert Downey Jr.’s pitch-perfect performance in Avengers: Endgame – while somewhere down the line, Marvel Studios quietly replaced Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle, and Edward Norton with Mark Ruffalo.
The latter star enjoyed a three-movie arc that began with Thor: Ragnarok and culminated in the aforementioned Endgame. But Mark Ruffalo is now dropping hints that he could one day return as the Hulk in a future MCU movie.
Ruffalo dropped the tease during an interview with Variety, in which he also recalled the moment when he tried to convince Marvel Studios and director Joss Whedon that they had the wrong guy back in 2012, when he was chosen to play Bruce Banner in The Avengers in lieu of Edward Norton.
Citing his lack of experience in the superhero genre, Ruffalo held his hands up to admit that, when
The Avengers Marvel Studios made the call, he was scared and uneasy. In fact, it wasn’t until Joss Whedon and RDJ delivered some words of encouragement that he signed along the dotted line.
I did try to talk them out of casting me. I said, ‘I don’t know if I’m the right guy, I’ve never done anything like this.’ Between Joss and Robert, they were pretty convincing that I could do it. I was scared. I was really scared. I’m still scared. The technological aspect of it makes it really hard to work that way. I struggle with it all the time. But my motto is to make fear your friend. Just keep pushing yourself into those places where you feel scared or challenged.
As for what the future holds, Mark Ruffalo is keen to fill in the blanks peppered throughout Hulk‘s MCU saga. Such an endeavor would involve a Black Widow-styled spinoff for the Jade Giant, and lord knows, we’ve debated the possibility of a solo Hulk film ten times before.