One Avenger Is Set To Return in Future MCU Projects

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The Avengers gathered together on the promotional poster of 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

Credit: Marvel Studios

Rumor has it that we can expect to see a lot more of one Avenger in the MCU.

Four years on from Avengers: Endgame (2019), the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t exactly in the strongest position. With the conclusion of the Infinity Saga came the departure of three of its biggest stars – Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), and Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow).

Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man getting ready to fight Thanos in Endgame
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Will Officially Kill off Two Avengers This Month

While quality follow-up films could have easily made up for these losses, many fans feel that the quality has also dipped. Some installments – such as Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) and Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 (2023) – have received praise from fans and critics alike, while others – such as Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) and Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) – were dubbed disappointing, at best.

As we continue to plow our way through the Multiverse Saga, it’s becoming clear that we may not have to worry about Marvel’s flops for too long. It seems increasingly likely that Avengers: Secret Wars (2027) will involve a major reset, allowing Marvel Studios to prune its lineup, choosing the heroes it wants to keep and replacing (and even recasting) those already lost in the current canon.

Pepper Potts, Valkyrie, Scarlet Witch, Captain Marvel, Mantis, Shuri in 'Avengers: Engame'
Credit: Marvel Studios

There are rumors abound about who we can expect to see in the film, from Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) to former Spider-Men Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.

We’ll have to wait until 2027 (or, most likely, later, considering the ongoing SAG-AFTRA Strike) to see how this all plays out. There are plenty of Marvel projects to keep us busy in the meantime – and some of these may even include a familiar face.

(L-R) Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk boarding SHIELD Helicarrier in The Avengers (2012)
Credit: Marvel Studios

According to industry insider @CanWeGetSomeToast, Marvel is eyeing up Mark Ruffalo to return for additional installments as Bruce Banner, AKA The Hulk.

Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner/Hulk is a bit of a different story. Kevin Feige is conscious of how the rights situation with Hulk always kept him as more of a supporting character rather than one of the mains.

With everything Marvel has set up in She-Hulk and #CaptainAmericaBraveNewWorld, there’s definitely a plan in place for MORE Hulk in the MCU’s future.

Ruffalo famously stepped in to replace Edward Norton as Bruce Banner after The Incredible Hulk (2008). Since making his debut in The Avengers (2012), Ruffalo has already appeared in nine additional Marvel projects. His latest was in the Disney+ original series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, alongside Baner’s cousin, Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany).

Until now, Banner has very much acted as a supporting character. This is partially due to character rights, which have prevented Marvel Studios from fully utilizing the role – however, Marvel legally won back the distribution rights this summer.

President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, is reportedly well aware of the current perception of Hulk, and the studio has allegedly already started putting plans into place to maximize the character’s potential.

Hulk and Ant-Man Marvel product placement for Coca-Cola
Credit: Marvel Studios

As one of the three surviving OG Avengers left in the MCU, the most obvious next appearance for Bruce would be in Avengers: Kang Dynasty (2026). However, considering the major reshuffle going on behind the scenes at Marvel Studios right now, as they focus on quality over quantity, this may be more of a wait-and-see situation. Watch this space.

Would you like to see more of Mark Ruffalo in the MCU? Let us know in the comments!

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