We’re just a few short months away from Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Mark Ruffalo has opened up about how the Hulk fits into the latest sequel. Not surprisingly, he’ll have a very big role. Pun intended.
Ruffalo was part of a wide-ranging interview with Empire, where he talked about everything from Hulk vs. Hulkbuster and the seeds being planted for where the character might go next. Considering Joss Whedon is once again at the helm, it’s not a shock to hear Ruffalo say every character has their own mini-arc for the latest Avengers film. For Bruce Banner, it seems that story is how he dives deeper into what it means to be the Hulk.
Check out a choice excerpt below:
“I think he’s definitely matured a little bit since the last one. 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. I feel that every character has their own cool little thing happening. I had great stuff in the last one but there’s even more stuff in this one. It’s nice, because I know this character now after playing him twice…
Hulk is the kind of wild card. 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. 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. 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 movie.”
Wait, the next Hulk movie? Hmm, though Marvel doesn’t have a Hulk movie slated in the next five years (and everything apparently saw a bump to make room for a new Spider-Man), it sounds like Ruffalo is definitely interested in seeing the Hulk get a third shot at a standalone movie.
Though he admitted it’s a hard character to carry over two hours, Ruffalo said the character development over the past two Avengers films (not to mention how the effects have improved) could open the door to create a new type of Hulk film once Marvel decides to make one:
“It’s a tough nut to crack. 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.
The nuances you can bring… I can make The Hulk as real as any other character I’ve ever played and in ways more nuanced, more interesting. It’s boundless. The technology is at such a place where I can do that in real time. There’s a big giant screen and a bunch of them all over the place and I’m in my stretchy motion-capture suit and there’s The Hulk right in front of me, doing everything I do. You become a puppeteer and you’re creating the way this guy moves and the way he expresses himself, and there’s a facial capture happening at the same time. In the past you would do your face, you’d move your head and you’d do all the scenes with your features and they’d capture that all and scan everything. Then I said, ‘Why don’t I play the scenes and give you that?’ We did that but it was very much taking the information from the actor and then gobbing it all together. Now I can do all of that with every nuance and I hang out there for six hours at a time. Let’s try this, what if he’s like this? All of a sudden you’re building this thing that no-one ever imagined. It’s based on the script but it’s also free. What we can do with The Hulk now… oh my gosh, it’s going to be mind-blowing.”
Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1.