Marvel Studios recently brought its first Hulk-centric story in over a decade to a close with the finale of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law on Disney+. Not only did the legal comedy introduce Tatiana Maslany's Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk, into the MCU, but it also saw Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner re-enter the fold.
But now that She-Hulk has come to a close, many have begun to speculate when these characters will be returning to MCU screens, with no further appearances currently confirmed at this time. Although there have been rumors a World War Hulk movie may be in development that will spin-out of She-Hulk.
While the gamma-infused heroes may not have any more MCU roles lined up just yet, two Hulk-related characters have already been confirmed for Captain America: New World Order - Tim Blake Nelson's Leader and Harrison Ford's General Ross.
These connections have led many to speculate that Hulk and She-Hulk will be back for Captain America 4, there were even reports pointing to the latter's return. However, the latest update may spell trouble for Hulk and She-Hulk's next role.
Hulk's MCU Future In Doubt
According to the "Trusted Sources" of the Marvel Studios Spoilers subreddit, Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk and Bruce Banner/Hulk are not currently slated to appear in Captain America: New World Order despite previous rumors.
Insider Daniel Richtman already teased there is "gonna be a lot of Hulk stuff in Captain America 4," a logical conclusion given The Leader - a Hulk villain who debuted in The Incredible Hulk - will serve as the main villain.
Twitter user @WorldWarHulkNew previously reported that She-Hulk will appear in Captain America 4. Insider KC Walsh quoted the tweet, adding some credibility: "When this finally gets officially announced let's see who remembers where it was reported first, just like Nova, Thunderbolts, X-Men '97, etc..."
ScreenGeek also claimed Mark Ruffalo was in talks to return as Hulk for New World Order, reuniting him with The Leader for the first time since 2008's The Incredible Hulk - at which point Edward Norton occupied the gamma-infused role.
When Will Hulk and She-Hulk Return?
Even though the current reports suggest the Hulk-sized duo will not be back for Captain America 4, their absence is far from certain. There remains plenty of chance that either story plans will change, a deal with the actors will eventually be signed, or this report will simply prove inaccurate.
After all, The Leader, who will be the lead villain of New World Order, first debuted in The Incredible Hulk almost 15 years ago and has typically been an antagonist to Hulk in the comics. So, having him go up against the new Captain America with no help from Hulk or She-Hulk, even in a consulting capacity, would be strange.
But for now, as the latest reports indicate Hulk and She-Hulk will not be back for Captain America: New World Order, one can only wonder when they will next return. None of the upcoming projects seem to have clear room for a Hulk inclusion, so the obvious answer is for Avengers: The Kang Dynasty to mark their next appearance.
Mark Ruffalo already revealed, in his usual spoilery fashion, that he is "hearing" there will not be another Avengers flick without She-Hulk, a fact that even surprised Tatiana Maslany. So, that would appear to indicate she will be involved with both The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars, with Hulk likely to come along too.
Obviously, the versions of these characters that join the Avengers ought to be rather different from what was seen on She-Hulk. The theatrical blockbusters will likely lean away from some of the comedic elements and fourth-wall-breaking in order to preserve the movies' tone while keeping the heart of the characters.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is streaming now, exclusively on Disney+.