The Hulk went MIA in The Avengers: Infinity War due to the Green Goliath actually wanting to teach Banner a lesson, and now Mark Ruffalo offers the conflict between the Green Goliath and Banner will play out in Avengers 4.
“We went back and forth a lot in the movie… with Banner. Do we repeat the Hulk coming at the last minute or do we try something new? I think at that point we were all thirsting for Banner to be his own hero for once,” Mark Ruffalo told the Marvelists podcast. “There is a conflict brewing between Banner and Hulk that’s been going on since the beginning.”
Mark Ruffalo then went on to explain how they eventually came up with the idea to put Banner and Hulk at odds in Infinity War, which was due to Joss Whedon.
“It all came out of this question that Joss Whedon asked me. When Hulk sort of gets the fairy dust from Scarlet Witch sprinkled on him in Avengers 2, Joss asked, ‘What is Hulk afraid of?'” Ruffalo revealed. “And that was a hard thing for me to answer because what is the strongest, fiercest thing in the universe afraid of? What can he possibly? And I realized, it’s Banner. The only thing Hulk is afraid of is Banner.”
Mark Ruffalo then says things between Banner and Hulk will come out in The Avengers 4.
“And that has become something we have been riffing on since Avengers 2. We played with it a lot in Ragnarok, and it continues to be teased out in Infinity War 1 and Infinity War 2,” he said.
It’s pointed out that Hulk in the MCU has gone through a transformation where at first he was a lot more simpler in the first The Avengers movie, but by Thor: Ragnarok, he was a lot more cognitive. So where is the character going?
“I can’t really talk about it because I have had a hand in where it’s all going,” Ruffalo said. “I will say that I want to see this conflict carried out and see where that takes us. Can they come to terms with it? Do they ever get a moment?”
Regarding a great moment, Mark Ruffalo actually says a scene between the two characters duking it out in Banner’s mind would be cool, which is something straight out of the comic books (he also said seing Hulk in a suit would be cool as Mr. Fixit Grey Hulk was brought up teaming with Wolverine).
“I always thought it would be great to see the two of them in some sort of subspace where they get to battle it out with Banner’s brain as its own super power like some psych-weaponry or psi-weaponry against Hulk’s brute strength, and have these two characters battle it out. I always thought it would be like the ultimate comic book ending… or opening to these characters,” Ruffalo said.
It’s then remarked there was a What If? comic book where the Hulk gets Banner’s brain, where Mark Ruffalo says they did do that in the comics with Professor Hulk (which many fans are hoping and speculating appears in Avengers 4).
“The Professor. Well, they’ve done it in the comics. The Professor. They’ve actually melded the two of them together,” Ruffalo said. “There is an infinite way you can go with it, and then the beauty is we can change it at any point. That is the beauty of these comics, the beauty of what Kevin [Feige] has created with letting each director have their own vision and idea, and twist it and turn it, and bring people back to life or not back to life.”
In addition to Professor Hulk in The Avengers 4, fans have also come up with additional theories ranging from the Hulk using the Infinity Gauntlet to the Big Guy meeting his maker, to Banner being a Skrull and more.
The Avengers 4 has a May 3, 2019 release.