Marvel will kick off its massive Phase Three next year with Captain America: Civil War. The movie will include almost all of Earth's Mightiest Heroes from this summer's Avengers: Age of Ultron, with just two exceptions: Mark Ruffalo's Hulk and Chris Hemsworth's Thor. Both of those beloved characters will return in Thor: Ragnarok, which starts production in Australia next summer. While doing press for his Golden Globe nominated performance in Infinitely Polar Bear, Mark Ruffalo shed some new light on where we'll find Hulk in an interview with Ain't It Cool News.
We last saw Hulk in Avengers: Age of Ultron, when he stole a QuinJet and took off for parts unknown, fearing he's lost control of the green monster inside him. All we know about his appearance in Thor: Ragnarok is that both Hulk and Thor will embark on a cosmic road trip, but there still isn't much we know about the overall story. The actor revealed that Hulk is still "on the run," and he is starting to remove himself from all of humanity, while the Hulk mentality is starting to "meld" with Banner.
"He's on the run. I think that we carry that through. It's not just a matter of taking himself to some remote place and hiding. Now he's removing himself from humanity altogether. I'm not sure where we're going to head with that, but I'm sure that's probably still very much alive within him. It's very subtle, but the Banner/Hulk consciousness is beginning to meld a little bit. Who decided to leave? Was it Banner or Hulk? It's not really in the (cinematic) mythology of Hulk up until that moment to be that conscious and pro-active. It's interesting, right? I think it's really exciting where we could go with it. Now I feel like we're kind of in No Man's Land. I mean, the comic books have kind of broached the subject, but we're moving away from the traditional Hulk/Banner relationship. We're starting to mess with it a little bit. Now we're going to see how far we can push the limits of it before people get sick of it!"
After Thor: Ragnarok, it is believed that the Green Goliath will show up in Avengers: Infinity War Part I and Avengers: Infinity War - Part II, slated for release in 2018 and 2019 respectively, but beyond that, little is known about Marvel's plans for this iconic character. Fans have been clamoring for a solo Hulk movie ever since he first appeared in Marvel's The Avengers, but that can't happen right now, since Universal Pictures still owns the rights to the character's stand alone films. In a separate interview with Yahoo, the actor was asked about the possibility of a stand alone Hulk movie, but he doesn't seem too optimistic about that project, for now.
"I think they've been working on it. Marvel and Universal famously don't get along very well, and so that's working against us, definitely. But I know for a fact that everyone is holding out hope that one day we can do it. But the nature of the relationship right now, it's a little prohibitive. And I hope that that changes, that changes with regimes, it changes over the course of time. But right now it doesn't look particularly promising."
A "regime change" at Sony is exactly what helped Marvel finally land the rights to Spider-Man for use in the MCU, but those hoping for a Universal Pictures regime change, you might not want to hold your breath. Universal is coming off a record breaking year at the box office, becoming the first studio in history to release three films that grossed $1 billion worldwide in the same year, Furious 7, Jurassic World and Minions. What do you think about these new Hulk details?