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Mark Ruffalo has an idea for a standalone Hulk movie inspired by a stage comedy from the 1960s

By Josh Weiss
Hulk Thor Ragnarok

In early March, Mark Ruffalo hinted that Bruce Banner could appear in the upcoming She-Hulk series on Disney+, but if he has his way, it won't stop there. Recently speaking with Variety, the MCU actor offered up his general idea for a standalone Incredible Hulk movie — something that hasn't been attempted since Edward Norton's ill-fated stab at the angry green behemoth back in 2008.

"There's an idea that I think could be really interesting," Ruffalo said. "We've never really followed him into his life. He's always kind of off on the side. He's like the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the Avengers. It'd be interesting to fill in all the blanks about what happened to him in between all these movies."

What Ruffalo suggests is something akin to Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, an existential stage comedy from 1966 that brings two minor Hamlet characters into the forefront. The entire production takes place in the periphery of William Shakespeare's larger play. 

Hulk Mark Ruffalo

It's a really neat idea that would apply nicely to whatever Bruce Banner and his alter ego got up to in the run-up to each of the larger team-up movies. Heck, you could do an entire Planet Hulk project set prior to the character's appearance in Thor: Ragnarok. We'd even be content with a short that explains his Professor Hulk transformation in the five years after Thanos wiped out half of the universe. The possibilities get better and better with each passing MCU Phase.

When it comes to filling in the blanks for certain characters, Cate Shortland's Black Widow (in theaters Nov. 5) will do just that by explaining what Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) did between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Peyton Reed's Ant-Man and the Wasp did something similar by presenting Scott Lang's penalty for helping Cap in Civil War before setting up his ultimate "Time Heist" role in Avengers: Endgame.

Back in March, Ruffalo supported the idea of Banner going "on the run again" and seeing how that tried and true Hulk premise would be affected by the lack of privacy in the digital age. 

And now that Disney owns the rights to the X-Men, Ruffalo's dream of sharing the screen with James Howlett might just become a reality. After all, the two anger-prone characters have fought a bunch of times over the years, and more than that, Wolverine made his world debut in the pages of an Incredible Hulk comic from 1974.

“Maybe Hulk and Wolverine could hook up,” Ruffalo told Variety.

At the current moment, Universal Pictures (like SYFY WIRE, it is owned by NBCUniversal) owns the exclusive rights to making a standalone Incredible Hulk film.

Hulk Avengers Infinity War

During the interview, Ruffalo once again addressed his involvement with She-Hulk. Unfortunately, there's still nothing concrete to announce yet, although it would make a ton of sense for him to have some kind of role, since Bruce and Jennifer Walters are cousins in the comics.

“There’s nothing completely at a place where it’s a done deal," he admitted. "There’s some talk of having Banner/Hulk show up in She-Hulk. If we come up with something good, that would be really interesting. Right now that’s about it. That’s all there is on the table."