Infinity War and Avengers 4 have been advertised as the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it, hinting at the deaths of some major Marvel characters at the hands of the mighty Thanos and his Black Order. While it's not clear if Hulk will make it through the battle alive, actor Mark Ruffalo hinted on social media that he won't be returning to the role. However, the actor's contract with Marvel Studios has not been fulfilled, leading many to believe that the Hulk could appear in the next phase of the MCU.
In a new social media post, Mark Ruffalo posted a picture of himself in the motion capture gear that he says he found on Reddit. The actor is seen walking and carrying a bindle, which several fans think is a nod to the original Hulk TV Series. The actor captioned the photo with, "saw this on Reddit. Haha. My last day on IW. The final exit." Fans have taken Ruffalo's comment of "the final exit" to mean that he's not coming back as Bruce Banner or the Hulk.
Obviously, the post could just be from the final day of filming Infinity War or Avengers 4 and that's all that Mark Ruffalo means by that. It's been reported that Ruffalo is still under contract with Marvel Studios, so we could possibly see the actor return as the Hulk in the next phase. But, that will almost certainly not include a standalone movie since Universal still has the rights to distribute any movie focused primarily on the character. That could change in the near future, but as of right now, that doesn't seem very realistic.
Chris Hemsworth's contract with Marvel Studios is complete and he has admitted that he would like to return as Thor at some point. Hemsworth and Taika Waititi had so much fun making Thor: Ragnarok that they've discussed the possibility of a 4th installment. That's far from official news, but if they did, Mark Ruffalo would almost certainly have to return as well. The onscreen chemistry between the two, even when Ruffalo is in motion capture gear, is a big component of why Thor: Ragnarok works as well as it does.
Mark Ruffalo might be done with the Hulk character for now, but it's unclear what the future holds. Ideally, a standalone Hulk movie would be what Marvel fans want to see, but as previously noted, that probably will not happen any time soon. Infinity War and Avengers 4 may be the last time that we see Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner on the big screen, which may be the result of a battle with Thanos and his Black Order that ends in death. We're only a few short months away from Infinity War hitting theaters, so hopefully we'll get some answers then. For now, you can check out the picture of Hulk wrapping production below, from Mark Ruffalo's Facebook page.