The MCU Just Teased a BIG Change to The Hulk

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Mark Ruffalo as Professor Hulk, Avengers: Endgame

Credit: Marvel Studios

Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe has changed the face of super hero movies since Iron Man (2008) debuted, skyrocketing formerly troubled actor Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man) to stardom.

avengers ensemble scene
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Now, with the 27th MCU movie — Tom Holland and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Spider-Man: No Way Home — releasing on December 17, 2021, the franchise has become a force to be reckoned with in popular culture.

Recently, rumors regarding a new Marvel movie — World War Hulk starring Mark Ruffalo in his role as Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk — have been making the rounds online.

mark ruffalo as bruce banner aka the incredible hulk in marvel thor ragnarok
Credit: Marvel Studios

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As one recent article noted, this could portend the unveiling of a brand new MCU villain, even following the debut of Kang (Jonathan Majors) in Marvel’s Loki series:

…Kang’s entrance paves the way for a new big bad to take the throne. But what if the next major threat for the Marvel Universe isn’t Kang, Galactus, or Dr. Doom? What if the next threat comes from within the Avengers’ ranks?

hulk widow
Credit: Marvel Studios

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In Marvel Comics, the “World War Hulk” story arc involves Hulk coming back to Earth after being banished by the Illuminati. During his banishment, he spent time on the planet Sakaar, where he became a gladiator and started an entirely new life. Marvel fans may recall aspects of this plot from Thor: Ragnarok (2017), in which Ruffalo appeared alongside Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki).

hulk mcu
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Per numerous reports, Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios is already in the process of setting the stage for an Illuminati project that could include popular comic characters like Namor, Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards, and Doctor Strange.

As the aforementioned article noted:

If this group tries to contain the various Hulks, there’s every chance it ends worse than it began. With all the Hulks now knowing they are targets for banishment, they might wage an all-out war on those trying to silence them.

Obviously, each character would react differently. For example, Jennifer Walters likely wouldn’t go destroy cities in search of an Illuminati member––but Red Hulk or Skaar would.

maestro hulk
Credit: Marvel Comics

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This could all pave the way for the appearance of the terrifying Maestro Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This antagonist is described as:

Maestro is a fictional comic book supervillain in Marvel Comics’ The Incredible Hulk publications, combining Bruce Banner’s intelligence with the Hulk’s more malevolent aspects. The character was created by Peter David

The Maestro first appeared as a vision in The Incredible Hulk vol. 2 #401. He was the main antagonist in The Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect #1–2 (Dec 1992 – Jan 1993).

Hulk, Ruffalo, Age of Ultron
Credit: Marvel Studios

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While there is no confirmation that the Maestro will be coming to a live-action MCU project, all of the recent rumors could signal that Ruffalo’s beloved version The Incredible Hulk is about to undergo a major change now that the Marvel Multiverse has been broken wide open.

More on The Avengers (2012)

avengers battle of new york
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Following Edward Norton’s portrayal in The Incredible Hulk (2008), fan-favorite Ruffalo took over in The Avengers (2012). The official description of the Avengers’ first ensemble film reads:

Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures “Marvel’s The Avengers”–the super hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel super heroes Iron Man [Robert Downey, Jr.], the Incredible Hulk [Mark Ruffalo], Thor [Chris Hemsworth], Captain America [Chris Evans], Hawkeye [Jeremy Renner] and Black Widow [Scarlett Johansson]. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury [Samuel L. Jackson], Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Do you think Maestro Hulk will appear in the MCU soon?

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