The Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently at a standstill due to the ongoing health crisis, but the chatter surrounding the franchise remains after a plethora of internet-stopping reveals in the past weeks. A huge part of the discussions were centered around the Disney+ shows of the MCU, appearing as a good sign for the future of the monumental franchise.
One of the shows that made headlines in the past few weeks is the She-Hulk Disney+ series. The MCU show previously added It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia filmmaker Kat Coiro as an executive producer and director of the pilot and several episodes. Not only that, the Disney+ series already found its star to play the lead of Jennifer Walters / She-Hulk in the form of Emmy winner and Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany.
At this point, the show is slowly coming together behind-the-scenes, but plot details are still being kept under wraps. Despite that, it is widely expected that Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner, who is the cousin of Walters, will be featured considering the comic book origins of She-Hulk are closely tied to the Hulk. And now, an exclusive piece of info might shed some light on how Banner will be included in the show's narrative.
The Direct has exclusively learned that She-Hulk is set to feature a younger version of Bruce Banner. Marvel Studios is currently casting an actor around the age of 10 years old for the role.
WHAT THIS MEANS
The idea of legacy seems to be the overarching theme of the MCU's Phase 4, and She-Hulk will look to push that concept. It would make narrative sense for Bruce Banner to appear in the Disney+ series, but a younger version of the character presents an opportunity to flesh out the Avenger even more. In conjunction with that, it also has the plot potential of establishing the dynamic between Banner and Jennifer Walters during their younger years.
2008's The Incredible Hulk briefly showcased Banner's origin as an opening montage sequence, but the episodic format of She-Hulk can help enlighten fans with a deep dive into the character's past. Given that this is a show centered on She-Hulk, there's a good chance that fans will witness Banner's past through the perspective of Walters.
Additionally, one facet of Bruce that could factor into the storyline of She-Hulk is his relationship with his father, which hasn't been explored yet in the MCU. For those unaware, Bruce had an abusive relationship with his father in the comics, a dynamic which was adapted by Ang Lee's Hulk from 2003. In that film, fans witnessed the emotional storyline that helped fuel the origins of Banner turning into the Hulk.
That being said, the MCU is known for exploring family-heavy themes throughout the Infinity Saga, with examples such as the familial relationships between Tony Stark and Howard Stark, Star-Lord and Ego, and Thor and Odin. By exploring Bruce's past through Jennifer Walters' story, it gives the franchise a chance to flesh out his character and build on the overarching theme of what's already been presented in past MCU films.
The rights issue surrounding the Hulk has led the character to being relegated into a supporting role in several MCU films, but She-Hulk provides the best chance for Banner to develop while also helping Walters to adjust with her new powers.
Pierre Chanliau contributed to this report.