As Marvel Studios continues to add to its ever-growing roster of new characters, fans can't help but wonder if the incoming class is also replacing the MCU's original group of extraordinary people who are still standing. Not only did Sam Wilson's Falcon become the new Captain America, but Hawkeye seemingly set up Kate Bishop as Clint Barton's replacement, and leading up to She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, fans were wondering if that trend would continue with Mark Ruffalo's Hulk due to the introduction of Jennifer Walters.
But now, two episodes into She-Hulk's nine-episode run, that doesn't appear to be the case at all.
Not only does Smart Hulk seem to have an arc of his own in the Disney+ series, but when asked after Marvel's rumored plans for a World War Hulk movie, Mark Ruffalo didn't deny the project's existence, admitting, "Anytime they want to do it, I'm here."
As speculation for a solo Hulk film continues to grow, Ruffalo shared more of his thoughts on the Hulk's future and what he would like to see from his character moving forward.
Mark Ruffalo Talks World War Hulk Possibilities
According to Entertainment Weekly, Mark Ruffalo is already thinking about the Hulk's future and its possibilities, saying, "Five years from now it could totally morph into anything" and even referencing "World War Hulk:"
“The cool thing about this world is that it could just be anything. Five years from now it could totally morph into anything, whatever’s pertinent at the time. I almost see him going back to ‘Berserker Hulk’ or ‘World War Hulk’. It could go anywhere. That’s the exciting part — I’ve played five different versions from beginning to now, and that’s kept it interesting for me and I hope interesting for other people.”
Ruffalo's tenure as the Hulk has ranged from the angry, smashing Hulk in 2012's The Avengers to Smart Hulk in 2019's Avengers: Endgame. But audiences almost saw another version.
The "Berserker Hulk" Ruffalo referenced was a deformed, gray, and unhinged incarnation of the character that was initially planned for Avengers: Age of Ultron and was the result of the Scarlet Witch messing with his mind.
World War Hulk, on the other hand, would involve additional versions of Hulks beyond those of Bruce Banner, Jennifer Walters, and Emil Blonsky's Abomination.
Ruffalo claimed that he's also open to exploring the missing chapter of the Hulk's journey spanning Infinity War and Endgame, saying, "I think there's almost a standalone story to be told for just those two years:"
“I think this is a good entry into that time period, that two years between Infinity War and what happened in Endgame — there’s a gap where we don’t know what happened to him and all of a sudden he’s a professor and he is no longer Banner after he couldn’t turn into the Hulk. I love how we start to open up that world, but I think there’s almost a standalone story to be told for just those two years. How did we go from a Banner who couldn’t turn into the Hulk anymore to all of a sudden this fully integrated version? This is a really nice way to introduce that story, but I also feel like it doesn’t satisfy exactly what happened in that time period. I think there’s a lot more to say about it.”
World War Hulk Announcement on the Way?
The jump from Bruce Banner being at odds with the Hulk in Infinity War to Smart Hulk in Endgame was one of the latter film's biggest surprises. And, while She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has already taken steps to fill in those gaps, fans would agree with Ruffalo in that "there's a lot more to say about it."
As for the World War Hulk name drop, it's certainly worth noting that this isn't the first time the actor has referenced the rumor; and since Ruffalo has a reputation for spoiling projects, his comments are worth paying attention to.
Leading up to She-Hulk's release, the World War Hulk rumors suggested that the film was in active development and set to start production following She-Hulk's run on Disney+. If true, will Marvel announce the project as part of She-Hulk's final post-credits scene?
Also, since Attorney at Law already teased the return of Hulk's Ragnarok past on Sakaar, some have wondered if the reports concerning Hulk's Skaar will play a key piece in the World War Hulk puzzle. If so, Banner's role as a father might also lead to Ruffalo's desired deep dive into how the character merged his two personas into Smart Hulk.
It's possible that MCU fans will learn more about the studio's plans for Ruffalo and the MCU's potential for additional Hulks during Marvel Studios' D23 panel on Saturday, September 10.
New episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law debut on Thursdays on Disney+.