Mark Ruffalo Not Returning as Hulk in “Captain America: Brave New World”

For a brief moment in time, the Hulk was returning to the MCU.

A bit of confusion during a Q&A with Mark Ruffalo and moderator Anne Thompson at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Sunday set the Marvel-watching world afire when it seemed like Ruffalo was confirming his return as Bruce Banner in the upcoming Captain America: Brave New World. Thompson had asked Ruffalo if he was appearing in director Julius Onah’s upcoming feature, starring Anthony Mackie as the newly minted Cap. Variety reported that Ruffalo had nodded and said, “Yeah,” and replied to Thompson’s follow-up about whether he was allowed to discuss it with, “Yeah, it’s going to be great!”

And for a while there, the MCU fans on the internet were enthused.

But Variety has subsequently learned that Ruffalo will not be in Brave New World. He thought he was agreeing with Thompson that the film is one of Marvel’s upcoming tentpoles. Dream deferred. This news seemed so right for MCU watchers because Harrison Ford, who has stepped into the late William Hurt’s role, playing President Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, might also be turning into Thunderbolt’s alter ego, Red Hulk. (Ford has denied that this is happening in the most Ford way possible, by saying “What is Red Hulk” when asked about it.)

Ruffalo has built a robust legend for his MCU-related gaffes, including accidentally giving away the ending of Avengers: Infinity War on Good Morning Americaone of the all-time great accidental spoilers. Then he did it again for Avengers: Endgame. (Granted, his Endgame spoiler wasn’t quite as definitive as his Infinity War moment.)

Ruffalo is as beloved as an actor can be, yet he’s never had a chance to play the brilliant, conflicted Bruce Banner in a standalone movie. Maybe now that the reaction was so strong to the news he was going to be in Brave New World, Kevin Feige will open the door to a standalone Hulk movie. If not, the Hulk can always just smash through it.

For more on all things Marvel Studios, check out these stories:

First “Deadpool & Wolverine” Trailer Reveals the MCU’s Version of a Super Bowl Showdown, Complete With Claws

Marvel Studios’ “Thunderbolts” Eyeing “Top Gun: Maverick” Star Lewis Pullman for Big Role

“Deadpool 3” Wraps Filming

Marvel Studios Restarts Production of “Daredevil: Born Again”

Featured image: (L-R): Mark Ruffalo as Smart Hulk / Bruce Banner and Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer “Jen” Walters/She-Hulk in Marvel Studios’ She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.


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