Mark Ruffalo Talks Hulk, Says Solo Movie is "a Tough Nut to Crack"

Tuesday, 17 February 2015 09:32 Written by  iamrogue
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Mark Ruffalo Talks Hulk, Says Solo Movie is "a Tough Nut to Crack"

One of The Avengers' sundry accomplishments was its approach to the Emerald Avenger.  After two whiffs, it was the first movie to actually get Hulk right, so much so that the fearsome smashmonster and his scientific alter-ego pretty much stole the whole movie.

Whilst the rest of Earth's Mightiest Heroes have been up to their thighs in adventure since, audiences have to wait until this May's Avengers: Age of Ultron to see Dr. Bruce Banner letting his anger out again. 

In a new interview, Mark Ruffalo is talking about what we can expect from the Gamma-irradiated beast in Joss Whedon's sequel, including his role on the team, who designed the contingency plan for when Hulk goes off the reservation, and working with Andy Serkis on new and improved motion-capture for the character.

Of course, Ruffalo also provides a few hints as to what Marvel has in store for Hulk beyond Age of Ultron, acknowledging that a solo Hulk movie is "a tough nut to crack."

“I think he’s definitely matured a little bit since the last one,” Ruffalo tells Empire, promising that the sequel shakes up the status quo in a big way. “He’s become more acclimated to this thing and to being part of the team. I think he feels more a part of them all. But in this particular take on  it, it’s a much more character-driven version of The Avengers than the first one. It gets a little deeper into each character. S.H.I.E.L.D. is not happening anymore, so there’s not that much time spent with the S.H.I.E.L.D. stuff.”

Loki's shenanigans notwithstanding, The Avengers introduced a Bruce Banner who actually has a better grip on his Gamma-irradiated other half, but Avengers: Age of Ultron promotion has shown off plenty of a brawl between Hulk and Iron Man, making it pretty clear that the good doctor loses that grip this time.

“Hulk is the kind of wild card,” says Ruffalo.  “He’s the loose cannon of the group. He’s more like an atom bomb. You could guess where he’s going to go but he could go either way. I think that there is, obviously, the day when everyone expects it to go wrong and that day comes. And they’re ready. And Bruce designed the contingency plan. As much as you feel Bruce has some mastery over it – certainly, with ‘I’m always angry’ and he can turn into it at will – I still feel that there’s some part of him that doesn’t completely trust it and doesn’t completely trust himself.”

“There’s a battle going on between these two opposing egos that live inside him. He’s definitely worried that the day is going to come when the Hulk gets the best of him, and maybe won’t release him, maybe won’t give him back. The Hulk knows this too. There’s a moment in here where he, begrudgingly, decides to go back to Banner," the actor explains, teasing an intriguing direction for the character down the line.

"Who knows where these things will go, but as Bruce is able to impress his will on the Hulk, going into The Hulk and being inside the Hulk when he’s raging, The Hulk’s will is also growing and able to impress upon Bruce," he says. "That makes for some wild things. We’re laying the groundwork for that here. It’ll be interesting to see if that ends up being what would be the next Hulk."

And what will the "next Hulk" be?  There's no solo Hulk in Marvel's massive Phase 3 plan, which now includes Spider-Man.  Nonetheless, many fans are holding out hope for a Hulk sometime in the future.

They might be waiting a long, long time.  “It’s a tough nut to crack,” Ruffalo admits of a Hulk standalone“Traditionally you’re watching a guy who doesn’t want to do the very thing that you want him to do. It’s hard to take for two hours. I don’t know how many times you can use that same framing for it, but now he’s maturing and there’s a cool dynamic growing between Banner and The Hulk. And the CGI is so much better. The stuff we can do now, you can do a real performance. I’ve been working with Andy Serkis [at his Imaginarium studio] and he has it set up where you go in there and you just start working on a character. It is so exciting to me, because I can do whatever I can imagine, with a team of people of course.”

A long-ago rumor asserted that Hulk would join Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but writer-director James Gunn has publicly disavowed that notion.  Captain America: Civil War is turning into an all-out Marvel extravaganza featuring Cap, Iron Man, Black Widow, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Falcon, and more, but there's been no indication that Hulk will partake in next year's superhero slapfight, so the earliest we see Hulk smashing after Avengers: Age of Ultron could be Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 in May 2018.

Marvel Studios always has a few surprises up its figurative sleeve, though, and we still don't even know where Bruce Banner ends up when the credits roll on the next Avengers, so stay tuned for news on Ruffalo's green future.

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