Marvel Actor Refuses to Return As Hulk, Has No Plans For MCU

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Mark Ruffalo as Hulk in Avengers: Endgame mcu

Credit: Marvel Studios

Sometimes, playing super heroes isn’t what actors enjoy, and one particular actor has no interest in reprising his role as Bruce Banner/Incredible Hulk.

Ancient One Endgame
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Hulk has been one of the main Avengers since the very beginning but has surprisingly gotten the least amount of screen time. It’s not Marvel’s fault, as the hero has some extra contracts from Universal Studios that prevent the hero from getting his own movie. That might soon change as the contract has reportedly ended, but nothing has been confirmed.

Mark Ruffalo has been the main actor starring as Banner and Hulk in several MCU projects with the actor recently starring in Tatiana Maslany’s She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, which introduced Bruce’s cousin, Jennifer Walters. She-Hulk surprised fans by revealing that Hulk has a son named Skaar from Sakaar, the planet Hulk lived on for a few years after Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).

Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Now, Hulk’s future is up in the air. Ruffalo made it clear that his role in She-Hulk was to “pass the torch” for the newer hero to take his role eventually, but that doesn’t mean fans have seen the last of Hulk. With two Avengers movies on the horizon, Hulk can easily make a grand return in future projects.

Sadly, one iteration of Hulk won’t be returning. Eric Bana, who starred in Ang Lee’s Hulk (2003), won’t be making a return. Most of the time, this wouldn’t matter, but Avengers: Secret Wars (2026) will be a movie dedicated to different variants. With the Multiverse Saga coming to a close, special cameos will definitely happen.

hulk avengers battle of new york
Credit: Marvel Studios

Bana’s Hulk wasn’t a fan favorite due to the movie taking on a more serious approach to the source material and focusing less on the comics and more on creating dynamic relationships. This didn’t sit well with fans and led to the movie’s failure, leaving Bana never returning for a sequel. In an interview, the Australian actor admits that he has no interest in returning for any Marvel projects due to his line of work:

“I think my body of work since then speaks to the answer to that question.” 

Eric Bana as the Incredible Hulk
Credit: Universal Studios

Another aspect of the movie that was questionable was the poor CGI, as Marvel didn’t have the proper technology to make the Hulk look good to viewers:

“I think we did some motion capture stuff, but they realized that it wasn’t really helping them given the technology at that time. It was so raw back then, because it was still so early for all that stuff. So I didn’t really have too much to do in terms of playing the big guy.”

Edward Norton as Bruce Banner
Credit: Marvel Studios

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While we won’t see Bana return, that doesn’t mean that other actors who starred as Hulk couldn’t have a cameo. Edward Norton might put aside his differences with Marvel Studios and have a fun cameo in the MCU, poking fun at his one movie inside the MCU, or Marvel could focus on other Avengers for more cameos.

Did you want to see Eric Bana have another try at Hulk? Let Inside The Magic know what you think!

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