Well, it finally happened. Thanks to the fourth wall-breaking Disney Plus series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, the Marvel Cinematic Universe referenced the Edward Norton-sized elephant that’s been in every room since the actor departed the franchise in the wake of The Incredible Hulk.
Mark Ruffalo has of course gone on to make the role his own for over a decade, and there was always a distinct possibility that the self-aware half-hour legal comedy was always going to drop in a wink and a nod, especially when Tim Roth was confirmed to return as Emil Blonsky, who most definitely has not crossed paths with the Hulk that’s been part of the furniture since The Avengers.
While we’ve yet to hear how Norton himself feels about being acknowledged onscreen for the first time since 2008, Ruffalo admitted to Entertainment Weekly that he couldn’t be happier about it.
“I think it’s really funny. It’s just the reality that we all are often dancing around, but it’s true. I actually joked with Ed about this. I was like, ‘It’s like our generation’s Hamlet. Everyone’s going to get a shot at it.’ And there’ll probably be another couple before it’s all over. People will be like, ‘Remember when the Hulk used to look like Mark Ruffalo? Now it looks like Timothée Chalamet.’ “
While the idea of Timothée Chalamet becoming the next Hulk is admittedly far-fetched, we can’t rule anything out when it comes to the world of comic book blockbusters and the recasting process. After all, we got three versions of Spider-Man in the same movie, and there are three different iterations of Batman floating around somewhere at Warner Bros., so we’d be foolish to rule anything in or out with any great degree of certainty.