As exciting as it has been to meet Tatiana Maslany's Jennifer Walters, She-Hulk has also given fans plenty of new plot points to be amped up for when it comes to Bruce Banner's original giant green rage monster. For one, the very incident that caused Jen's big accident was thanks to a Sakaaran ship spontaneously blocking their path while on a road trip.
Why was there a Sakaaran messenger ship just waiting for them? What might they have wanted to tell Bruce about? What secrets are Hulk hiding—or rather, simply not spoken about to anyone?
There are, understandably, lots of questions surrounding the mysterious circumstances. Hulk was missing for two years on Sakaar, or potentially way more, given the odd way time works around there, as demonstrated by Loki's experience on the planet. So, there's a lot of unaccounted-for time, not to mention the five years during the Blip when he merged his two identities.
Now the actor has commented on She-Hulk's big teases and what possibilities might be born out of them.
Episode 2's Hulk Surprise
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Episode 2.
In an interview with Variety, Mark Ruffalo, the actor who brings Bruce Banner to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has commented on his time in She-Hulk, and what the teases in the Disney+ series may be leading towards.
So, given the Sakaaran ship that's appeared twice now, will Hulk's previous time spent on Sakaar in Thor: Ragnorak play a big role in upcoming MCU events? Ruffalo sly admitted that "it certainly does suggest that," and that the "idea of Planet Hulk or World War Hulk" is "really interesting to [the actor]:"
"I don’t know. It certainly does suggest that. There has been some conversations about what happened in the two years where Hulk abandoned Banner and the Avengers [on Sakaar], and the emergence of Smart Hulk, which hasn’t ever fully been answered. I think maybe we’ve given four sentences to that time period since then. It’s really an interesting, exciting part of the Hulk story and Banner story. I do think that the trip to Sakaar is a good place to start and what that means to the idea of what the fans have been asking for — this idea of Planet Hulk or World War Hulk or just the journey that Banner and Hulk have to make to come to peace with each other. That’s really interesting to me, and I do feel like there is some interest in exploring that down the line."
As for how being on She-Hulk differed from his previous experiences working on Marvel Studios projects, he pointed to how it's "been interesting... how the technology has just evolved to make it more free for the actor:"
"The one thing that has been interesting is how the technology has just evolved to make it more free for the actor, to the point now where I can be on any set and play that character. That’s something that hasn’t really evolved until this and the film before it, “Endgame.” At the same time, there’s a machine that’s built up around motion capture that can be a little alienating at times. Just making sure that everyone understands that yes, this is its own beautiful thing, but we still have to be animated by a performance — and let’s not forget there’s a human dimension to this."
Ruffalo also brought attention to how he felt that there "was just [an] endless amount of space" to be funny and goof off, which was very limited when working on the bigger Avengers projects:
"There’s more focus on these characters. We got to just play more. In that way, it’s very different, because with the Avengers, everybody’s there. The storyline’s very terse, and you’ve got to do your part and there’s not a lot of space to goof off. In this, there was just endless amount of space to do that, improvise and focus on the relationship with these characters and try to get the comedy right with that technology."
How Will Sakaar Affect the Future?
Given the setup in these first two episodes alone, it does seem clear that Marvel Studios is gearing up for a big Hulk storyline. With that foundation being laid in She-Hulk, it seems Jennifer Walters may be joining her cousin on some adventures really soon.
To further add to that, in an exclusive interview with She-Hulk's head writer Jessica Gao, the writer confirmed to The Direct that Hulk is off to "handle some off-world things that happened [during his time on Sakaar." The show's director, Kat Coiro, also told The Direct in a separate interview that the spaceship, which has now been seen twice, is "tied into the narrative of [She-Hulk], but it also lends itself to future projects."
Sadly, the rumored World War Hulk project was nowhere to be seen during Marvel Studios' San Diego Comic-Con 2022 presentation. With D23 coming up, if the project is truly in the works, it would likely be announced there—revealing the project halfway through She-Hulk's run would also be a good strategy to garner attention.
Big things are ahead for Bruce Banner and Jennifer Walters, and likely anyone close to them as well. But what exactly will a World War Hulk movie look like? Will Smart Hulk lose control and potentially introduce Earth to Worldbreaker Hulk? Or maybe Hulk's evil variant, the Maestro, will enter the equation at some point.
While viewers wait for more answers, be sure to check out She-Hulk as it airs weekly on Disney+ every Thursday.