Marvel Studios has announced an ambitious plan for its upcoming MCU Phase Four that includes both original films (“Black Widow,” “The Eternals,” and more) and, for the first time, television series (“WandaVision,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”). While the handful of Phase Four projects will jumpstart the next MCU storyline following “Avengers: Endgame,” they currently have no confirmed plans to star Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner/Hulk. The actor recently told ComicBook.com there is “probably more” Hulk coming in the next MCU phase, although the specifics of what that entails are unknown.
When asked where he would like to see Banner/Hulk go next, Ruffalo already had a desired character arc planned. “I’d like to see him hang out with some of the new folks, you know?” he said “Maybe be like a guru to some of the younger ones.” Ruffalo was sitting next to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige at the time, who chimed in, “That’s a good idea.”
After the MCU Phase Four begins with the prequel movie “Black Widow,” it will jump into new territory as brand new superheroes are introduced into the film universe via “The Eternals” (which features a cast that includes Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, and Kumail Nanjiani) and “Shang-Chi” and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (actor Simon Liu is playing the title superhero). These new franchises present many a new character for Banner to mentor in the future. The next MCU phase will also include sequels for the “Thor” and “Doctor Strange” franchises. Banner appeared in the last Thor adventure, “Thor: Ragnarok,” which has led some to wonder if he might pop up in “Thor: Love and Thunder.”
Ruffalo had a major role in this year’s record breaker “Avengers: Endgame,” in which Marvel fans got to see his iteration of Smart Hulk on the big screen for the first time. Ruffalo has spent the majority of his recent career solely starring in Marvel movies. One would have to go back to Best Picture winner “Spotlight” in 2015 to find Ruffalo’s last dramatic film. The actor is returning to drama this fall with Todd Haynes’ “Dark Waters,” in theaters November 22. Ruffalo’s work in “Endgame” can be streamed on Disney+ starting November 12.