Thor: Love and Thunder is set to tie together more than a decade of MCU history, using characters from as far back as the first Thor film all the way through 2019's Avengers: Endgame. However, while this will include characters like Jane Foster and Valkyrie, one player that won't be back this time around is Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk.
Ruffalo's ties to this franchise go back to his time in Thor: Ragnarok, as the Hulk became the Grandmaster's champion on Sakaar before Thor rescued and recruited him for the battle against Cate Blanchett's Hela. This film also highlighted a new friendship between Valkyrie and both sides of Bruce Banner's personality, which added a new layer of camaraderie for what would later be known as the Revengers.
Hulk and Valkyrie then reunited for a moment in Avengers: Endgame as Banner sought Thor's help for the eventual Time Heist, showing that their relationship was still going after so much trauma and pain. And as it turns out, Valkyrie actress Tessa Thompson sees that friendship as one that isn't going away anytime soon.
Valkyrie Star on Hulk Friendship Post-Endgame
Thor: Love and Thunder star Tessa Thompson spoke with Brandon Davis of ComicBook about Valkyrie's friendships after the events of Avengers: Endgame.
When asked about which of the heroes she keeps in touch with, Thompson mentioned that Bruce Banner was definitely on that list. She sees Valkyrie and the Hulk as close friends that will text one another and be in group chats with one another to make sure the other is doing well:
"Oh, definitely Bruce Banner, the Hulk… They’re really good friends and they’re pen pals and they text each other and they’re on various group chats, but they definitely check in. They’ll FaceTime each other occasionally and just to see how the other is doing."
Ruffalo & Thompson's Heroes Still Close
Although Mark Ruffalo almost certainly won't be part of the cast of Thor: Love and Thunder, his friendship with Valkyrie is one that holds plenty of weight as the MCU moves into a post-Endgame story.
The two shared an emotional beat at the beginning of that movie as the Hulk and Rocket looked for Thor, with Valkyrie admitting that the God of Thunder was in a bad place after Thanos eliminated half of all life in the universe. While this was the only moment that showed them interacting after Thor: Ragnarok, Thompson is certain that Valkyrie and Hulk didn't drift apart after they helped save the universe.
While Ruffalo and Thompson's heroes now both work on Earth full-time, there don't seem to be any upcoming projects that would naturally include both of them in the story. But considering how close of friends they are, according to Thompson, it hopefully won't be long until fans see the "angry girl" and "big guy" interacting with each other once again.
Thompson will return as Valkyrie in Thor: Love and Thunder, which debuts on Friday, July 8; Ruffalo's Hulk will return in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, which premieres on Disney+ on August 17.