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Mark Ruffalo Holds Out Hope For ‘Hulk’ Solo Movie — One With a Message

Mark Ruffalo isn’t always angry, but when he is, he’s usually sporting a certain shade of green, and standing with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Ruffalo makes his Marvel once again in next summer’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Right now, however, he’s at the Sundance Film Festival with his new movie Infinitely Polar Bear, in which he plays a man with bipolar disorder. Speaking with Total Film, Ruffalo said he hopes to continue making movies with powerful messages, and that he wants to bring that attitude to his studio projects — including those at Marvel.

“As artists we have an ability to reach a lot of people in a deep way, and we have a responsibility,” he said. “What we have to do as storytellers is to take science and make it relatable. I think we have to tell the story of the positive and what we’re going to try to do. Give them alternatives but don’t make it a polemic.”

“I’m in The Avengers, but if you took my screen time it would come to about 10 minutes, along with the 12 other people I’m sharing the screen with, so my input’s kind of limited on that,” he added. “But if we get to a standalone Hulk movie, I’ll have a much better chance to do that. I’m just learning now how to find my voice and bring it into the studio world.”

Although the Hulk’s appearance in 2012’s The Avengers received “a phenomenal response” from audiences,” the last we heard, Marvel has no plans for a solo film. However, as Ruffalo said last year, “One never knows what the future will bring.”

His next announced appearance as the Jade Giant occurs in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, hitting theaters on May 1, 2015.


  • Guest

    I would guess that a Hulk film is a possibility for Phase 3, especially if the character is received as well has he was in the first film.

    With Iron Man films out of the picture at least until Avengers 3, a Hulk movie might help make the third phase not so tipped in favor of new properties.

  • Chuck777

    The Hulk is a weird property. He’s very much better suited to a TV show than movies, if not for the fact that Banner has to turn into the jolly green giant (which costs big bucks to make look good).

    I think Planet Hulk would be a cool movie.

  • Crusty Irishman

    Planet Hulk > World War Hulk would have been an awesome pairing to have in Phase 3 (Hulk movie + Avengers 3) … guess we have to “settle” for the Mad Titan instead. ;)

  • Guest

    Given the “problems” that plague the Hulk, I’m surprised their isn’t more talk of bringing in the Hulk’s other incarnations to mix things up: smart Hulk, Mr. Fixit, etc.

    We haven’t seen the Hulk physically separated from Banner, which could be interesting for a film, nor have we seriously gone down the road of Red Hulk and She-Hulk… all legitimate directions.

    I’d also like Tim Black Nelson as The Leader to show up at some point…

  • James Veber

    Wasn’t the problem with the last Hulk movies that they tried to actually say something with a character that is a lot more interesting to just watch smash things? I would like to see another solo hulk movie but I kind of think Ruffalo is too good of an actor for it. Or at least he thinks he is.
    Did that come off to snarky? I’m sorry.

  • sado_23a

    Mark Ruffalo made quite an impact for so little screen time. I’d watch him in (almost) anything. Smart guy. An actor I have immense respect for off-screen.

  • penguintruth

    Let Ed Norton do the solo films and Ruffalo the team films.

  • joecooler2u

    Hulk is a hard one to do movies with. He plays better off of other characters which is why he was so perfect for Avengers. A cool idea to give him an equal villain of sorts is have Thunderbolt Ross become Red Hulk and have a Green vs Red Hulk with Banner somewhat in control of Hulk (have it be the smarter Hulk)and having to use his brains to overcome a stronger Red Hulk. I’ve never been crazy about typical Hulk villains and the villains make the heroes. But since Red Hulk started out as a villain why not introduce him and have some differences between the two?
    Then there is the Planet Hulk/World War Hulk story idea they can play with. I also wouldn’t mind showing different incarcerations of Hulk such as Mr. Fixit, Smart Hulk, Banner Hulk etc. Giving him someone to play off of would be nice – She-Hulk, Red She-Hulk, some Avengers guest stars etc.
    Otherwise Hulk is much better suited for TV than movies if you take the drifter concept of moving from city to city and Banner trying to conceal his identity because he’s a wanted man. It doesn’t have to be big budget, just make him a bit more dangerous and scary like Lou Ferrigno was in the old Incredible Hulk tv series.

  • solstica

    Mark Waid did the legwork for the perfect Phase 3 Hulk film.

    Have him join SHIELD and do the whole Hulk Smashes, Banner Builds thing..

  • Todd

    I don’t know why people keep saying a solo Hulk movie is hard to do. The Incredible Hulk was fine so just follow that formula again.

  • Chuck777

    Maybe as a consequence of the fight with Thanos, everone on Earth realizes just how messed up it is to keep Hulk on Earth, so they send him packing to Planet Hulk. Then, a few years later, he returns for World War Hulk!

    I think we definitely need a catalyst for that event and some big rage monster pummeling Thanos aught to do it more than Hulk beating Ultron down.

  • Terri Paxton

    I agree that getting him to consult with SHIELD as Banner on the gamma radiation from all those alien artifacts seems promising. And wasn’t Betty Ross the red Hulk? I’d love to see that interaction, I’m sure if Betty was turned into a hulk, Bruce would go hulk to rescue her and be in serious overdrive to find a cure for her. Seems to me they have lots of good story ideas and I’m sure he could pull it off.

    I think seeing him ‘in control’ as the hulk like he was in Avengers is great too: not just the mindless monster. He wasn’t really in the TV series: I don’t recall him ever hurting the innocent in those. He mostly flattened the bad guys, yet Banner always sought to free himself.

  • Sammy Lane

    I can hear HULK after he’s done with Thanos and says…”Puny purple mad man..YOU GO SMOOSH NOW!”.Ha!

  • Chuck777

    Or better yet – “RAWR! HULK WEAR GLOVE NOW!”

  • Ray Butler

    I seen The Avengers at the cinema and was expecting Downey Jr to own it, to my surprise I considered Ruffalo as Hulk to have stole the show, he was brilliant and I kinda thought Downey Jr may be somewhat pissed about that :p

  • Ray Butler

    Eric Bana and Ed Norton are no slouches either :p

  • TruthisRequired

    Well Mark has changed his views on starring in Marvel films. On the Bill Maher show in 2012 he stated he was not interested in the superhero franchise and would never watch them.

    I wonder what changed his opinion???

  • SlyDeathsHead

    The Incredible Hulk was a good movie. I think it only underperformed as bad as it did because it came too soon after the first Hulk movie. If it were released after the Avengers or even after Captain America and Thor, there would have been more possibility of hyping up the general audience. Now that there is a lot more interest in the character, I think they should definitely give it another shot.

  • Remy LeBro

    They should obviously make a new Hulk movie. Base it off the premise of the recent Indestructible Hulk. Banner wants to reestablish his reputation as a scientist. To be on the level of Tony Stark in the scientific community. The internal fight with the Hulk story has been done several times already and this would be a more fresh movie. Or save it for a third installment. Because where could you really go from there? Just a thought.

  • You know I’m right

    Mark Ruffalo is a government stooge who’s been coerced into returning to his Hulk role as part of a broader campaign to PSYOP and disarm Americans.

  • Steven O’Neill

    Here’s a message: Hulk, SMASH

  • Deryk Dawe

    Betty Ross was the Red SHE-Hulk

  • Deryk Dawe

    A lot has been said about how the first two Hulk films didn’t resonate with audiences because they were tonally too dark. Hulk was a misunderstood monster. But in Avengers, he’s an aspirational hero who interacts humorously with others… The perfect answer to fit that in a solo Hulk movie is sitting unused right in front of us: Rick Jones!

  • Billy Beefcaked

    Fuck you and your liberal commie progressive bullshit Marko!

  • Nathan Hoover

    The medicine isn’t working.

  • John Drew

    @Chuck777:disqus not really sure what you’re talking about. Both Hulk movies, despite their reviews, did very well in the box office.

  • John Drew

    @joecooler2u:disqus I think I replied to @Chuck777:disqus about the samething. Both Hulk movies did very well. Ang Lee’s film had mixed reviews but did well in the box office and the reboot had great reviews and did well.

  • John Drew

    @raybutler:disqus Nah, I doubt he’d even care – he still getting the biggest check.

  • John Drew

    @SlyDeathsHead:disqus Neither one of the Hulk movies under performed both movies grossed a total of 700,000.00 in the box office. They only considered under performers when they don’t make back the money used to produce them. Both movies made back their money and then some.

  • John Drew

    @TruthisRequired:disqus a lot of actors don’t watch the films their in. Most of them care about the scripts they get to read for. He might be talking from the point of what he gets that is artistically challenging as opposed to just being in a series of films. Mark probably isn’t contractually obligated to do an x-number of films while Robert Downey Jr. is. Mark may read the next script and not like and won’t sign on but in then again he probably read the latest installment, loved it, and signed on for another film.

  • Ray Butler

    Don’t underestimate the size of Downey Jr’s ego ;)

  • Jeff

    Most of the actors in the Avengers just want the paychecks and the profile.

  • Guest

    Yes Mark, then lets all hold hands and sing Kumbayah while while we’re at it. You want to make a difference? A movie (especially one about a comic book character) is not the place to do it. Otherwise, just shut your mouth, accept your grossly inflated paycheck, and dance monkey. I just want to see Hulk smash things.

  • anthonybgonzalez

    If Ruffalo had his way he’d ban gamma radiation

  • SlyDeathsHead

    I’m not an expert on movie budgets but from I’ve heard it usually takes at least double the production budget for a film to break even to make up for the cost of advertising, the percentage taken from theaters, the cost of distribution, and the fact the studio gets a way smaller percentage of the international box office among other things. I believe even Batman Begins wasn’t set for a sequel until it did really well on DVD. And that film actually surpassed the production budget domestically unlike the Hulk films.

  • Mitch Cumstein

    Uggh!! Ruffalo is a raging liberal so his idea of a Hulk movie with a message probably has Hulk fighting global warming or traditional marriage or worse yet (GASP!!) lower taxes and a balanced budget.

  • Jester1137

    The problem with Planet Hulk is that Mark Ruffalo would basically just have a cameo.

    Don’t get me wrong, I want to see that movie.

  • Angel

    I don’t want to sit through two hours of Mark Ruffalo doing his shtick. I excused him for Avengers because the green guy was front and center. But the Ruffalo version of Banner is not a draw for me.

  • Angel

    You’re such a nerd, Sammy. ;)

  • Angel

    The first Hulk was the best version. It was psychological AND action packed. Eric Bana did the best at portraying an emotionally withdrawn scientist. My only change would’ve been to take out those cut scenes that Ang Lee used to constantly remind us of Hulk’s comic book origins.

  • Angel

    Ruffalo was acceptable. Eric Bana would’ve been best.

  • John Drew

    @SlyDeathsHead:disqus Depends – not all moneys come from the Exec Production (Distributors like FOX, Disney, etc). Some Producers have bonds and other backings to help pay for films. Again, the Hulk didn’t flop – both films are considered favorable by critic.

  • John Drew

    @raybutler:disqus Actually Downey has managers, lawyers, and his personal agent that barter for his position on film. Meaning he knows what he’s getting right before he gets on set. Why? Because he no longer reads for scripts like most up and coming actors have to. Since he’s signed to a contract he’s given “perks” much like the benefit package in any normal worker / employee relationship. So, again I doubt his ego has anything to do with it. Downey’s gonna get his regardless because he’s the one being vetted for the role.

  • Andrew

    Peter David did a good point bringing to Hulk more themes than smashing…

  • joecooler2u

    I was more into Ed Burns take on Bruce Banner and felt they got Hulk more right in Incredible Hulk than Ang Lee’s Hulk, plus Abomination was a more interesting villain than Bruce’s father and some gamma dogs. Financially the movies were OK but not good enough to warrant sequels. I think if they do another Hulk solo movie they need to bring in some interesting characters for him to play off of and really the villains make the movie. The better the villains the better the movie seems to be. Batman with Joker, Dark Knight with an even crazier/darker Joker. Spider-Man 2 with Doc Ock. Avengers with Loki. Hulk really was in his cool zone in Avengers because he stood out playing off the other Avengers and Loki. The only thing is does Hulk really have an A-list villain?
    I mean comic fans might say so but mainstream audiences and even casual fans might be hard pressed to name a Hulk villain. Often times Hulk is seen as the bad guy even in the old Incredible Hulk show he wrecked havoc everywhere he went and the biggest enemy seemed to come from within. Though I think a Thunderbolt Ross turning into Red Hulk could be a damn cool Hulk villain and have Red Hulk turn good at the end just like in the comic storyline.

  • Sean Thornton

    An insanely horrible idea: the Hulk as a political activist. (And a note to Marvel: bring back Ed Norton. He was the best Hulk.)

  • John Curiel

    The Hulk I would really like to see is probably between the Gray Hulk (Joe Fixit) or the Green Scar. That’s what I want see in the big screen.

  • cucumber chips

    i think the best route would be a hulk-ironman film hulk seems to like iron man {avengers} i think since stark and banner left together at the end of the avengers a hulk-iron man movie would make alot of sence ,also it would expand the marvel universe a bit who wouldnt want to see a hulk vs iron man movie?

  • Danny

    Ed Norton burned that bride after he did The Incredible Hulk. No chance of him ever coming back, unfortunately.

  • ComicChuck

    I think he should be the pin that holds the original trilogy to the new trilogy, if Thor, Captain America and Iron Man are very possibly going to exit after Avengers 3 then Hulk will be important to hold the series together… They are slowly rotating the roster already I guess.

    A Hulk film based on Planet Hulk and filmed in the style of Avatar (The quality cgi for giant aliens) or John Carter for that matter.. But all CGI no human aliens, I think they always look a bit to Star Trek.

    For that matter, more monstrous heros for the MCU would be cool, a CGI She Hulk, Lyra, A-Bomb, Man Thing etc would really give diversity and a monster movie feel to the series… In fact you could go full on horror.

    An Avengers: World War Hulk would be epic, but it needs to end a run, ideally I’d go Avengers 3 then Hulk 2: Planet Hulk, Then a series of Planet without a Hulk and end with Avengers 4: World War Hulk, I’d pay for Thor And Ironman to cameo, just so Hulk can kill them off ;)

    Or maybe leave that till phase 5… Not enough avengers have been introduced yet, Hulk needs more challenging friends and more family, I’d also like to see a villain team up first, run the red hulk storyline, give hulk more development.

    So maybe a Hulk: Rise of the Intelligencia, introducing the leader, A-bomb and She-hulk, a Hulk: revenges of Thinderbolt Ross, introducing Red Hulk and Red She Hulk and giving the Intelligencia more story…

    I dunno, with 5000 films to make, I guess they can come in any order ;)

  • Anon

    Not sure where those people in the comments got their figures from. Both Hulk films have been a flop at the box office, grossing no more than $250m worldwide, each. When you factor in the marketing budget for each film, which will be way over $100m, the cinema revenue, and % to other companies, there’s barely any profit left, if at all. So you can see why Marvel is/was hesitant to make a sequel.

    The Hulk found his way into popular culture through the TV show (I think) and it’s very hard to translate a character to film when they’ve been established on TV. It must be a psychological thing in the audience. However, The Avengers will have significantly improved his screen presence, with it’s much improved CGI and Ruffalo’s brilliant performance. I think the best and more notable sequel would be the Planet Hulk storyline, which presents even more problems.

    A Planet Hulk film would feature little of Banner (Ruffalo) which is what made The Avengers’ Hulk so popular. It would also have a very similar format to John Carter. Whilst I though it was a good film, It was a major flop, i.e. not a safe bet for the next Hulk sequel. As well as not having the right set-up for the illuminate.

    The Planet Hulk storyline (In my opinion) would have to be heavily reworked for the film to work. You’d have to significantly alter the prologue and draw out the beginning to make better use of Ruffalo. Banner already started learning how to control the Hulk in the Avengers which makes it less likely the illuminate would be forced to launch him into space. You need to rework his department.
    Having said that much of this is subject to change. AoU is stated/rumored to bring fall-out amongst the characters, which may provide enough instability to justify Planet Hulk. And the small amount of dialogue in The Avengers could be built upon enough to make a Planet Hulk movie feasible. It shows more depth to the character, whilst also allowing him the gift of speech, which is important in the Planet Hulk storyline.