Could we see Mark Ruffalo’s Incredible Hulk from the Marvel Cinematic Universe make an appearance on Disney Plus’ MCU spin-off series She-Hulk?
Like every other major production in the world, Marvel’s production plans for rolling out future television shows on Disney Plus has been all but gridlocked. While some films and TV shows have been given the green light to resume production as of late August, Marvel is still attempting to get its shows back on track.
Two of the most anticipated of those shows, WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier were to debut this year, while Loki was expected some time next year, but with the halts following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, everything remains up in the air for them.
The focus of this piece, however, is a show that has yet to begin production. It’s another popular future Disney Plus series and undoubtedly the most mysterious of these ambitious projects. What is going on with She-Hulk?
For those of you who don’t know who She-Hulk is, allow this writer to give you the short version. Her real name is Jennifer Walters and she’s a prominent lawyer. She is a strong woman with a courageous voice with a knack of saving the world in a room smaller than New York City and without causing billions of dollars of infrastructure damage unlike her cousin Bruce Banner.
Unfortunately, her talent in the courtroom doesn’t make her too popular with criminals and she is targeted by a criminal organization and left for dead.
She-Hulk’s Origins And Who Might Play Her
In the comics, Jennifer Walters is left for dead but is ultimately saved by Bruce – who finds her and gives her a blood transfusion to save her life. The gamma radiation in his blood then gives life to the She-Hulk. Super-fast regeneration, bulletproof skin, and super strength are just a few of her many abilities. (If you would like to read more about her, you can on Comixology.com and this writer suggests you get to reading because her issues are fantastic!)
As for how the Marvel Cinematic Universe will bring the hero to life, there have long been rumors about that. Though many believe her origins will appear as authentic as her debut in the comics, the introduction of the multiverse in Dr. Strange In The Multiverse of Madness – which could segue in and out of different universes and timelines – leaves some uncertainty as to whether the She-Hulk in this series will be from our current canon universe.
As reported by Everything Always, prominent insider Mikey Sutton has revealed that Alison Brie has either already signed on as Jennifer Walters or is the most likely to land the role. If you don’t know, Alison Brie caught everyone’s attention on GLOW – the Netflix original that explores the world of women’s wrestling while showing the many hardships that women faced in the entertainment industry.
Why Bruce Banner could cameo in She-Hulk
We’ve all been wondering what’s next for the Incredible Hulk in the MCU following Avengers: Endgame. Kevin Feige has unveiled the Phase 4 line-up and parts of Phase 5 too, but did anyone see any movies for Hulk to smash his way into?
The Hulk hasn’t headlined in a film since 2008’s The Incredible Hulk (which grossed $264 million). This was the character’s second appearance in that decade, coming five years after 2003’s less-favorably received Hulk (which grossed $245 million). Sure, his next cinematic adventure – The Avengers – brought in an incredible $1.5 billion, but looking at those statistics, it’s clear there was a demand for the Hulk before the era of the MCU, so can you imagine how much interest a Hulk project would draw now? And yet, because those numbers are so far out from what the MCU is used to, perhaps a future on television would be a safer bet – especially when you consider that Mark Ruffalo is an expensive star.
Respect to everyone at Marvel for doing what they’ve been doing for over a decade now, but Hulk has become more like a seasonal fling that recurs every so often instead of a box office staple. Mark Ruffalo is a great emotional actor so exploring the quieter, emotional side of Bruce Banner (instead of another action-packed Hulk adventure) would be a nice compliment to the character and actor.
Film experts have been predicting the fall of he Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it following Endgame. Kevin Fiege’s dream vision of a complete canon series of films essentially reached a crescendo in that film so it’s clear that, in order to keep the original version of this “canon dream” alive in the future, smaller projects on Disney Plus might be the way to do that (while its big-screen iterations evolves into its next generation).
Fiege’s recent claims in an interview with Bloomberg further supports this theory:
“If you want to understand everything in future Marvel movies, you’ll probably need a Disney Plus subscription.”
With that in mind, there is a good chance that Bruce Banner will at least cameo in She-Hulk to bring us Jennifer Walters, the She Hulk. This would allow Ruffalo to continue portraying the role in a new capacity – one that would also help set up the next generation of MCU heroes.
Who’s She-Hulk going to lean on to help her with her powers?
You have to consider that as popular as Hulk is, he hasn’t been portrayed as a hero capable of carrying his own sequels. This isn’t necessarily Hulk’s fault, but Marvel uses him sparingly for a number of reasons. Firstly, this helps keep his mainstream appeal alive with the audience, as he has to make some noise in sequels to other characters’ movies like Thor: Ragnarok and the Avengers films.
Production schedules are catching up but considering that Avengers: Endgame released in 2019 that keeps Hulk from the big screen until late 2021 or mid-2022 (if he even does appear in another movie project) at least – and three years is a long time so people will want to know what he’s been up to.
This tactic would water down his image of the character. The right move would be to add him as a supporting character in She-Hulk. This could allow him to keep making his presence felt until he’s possibly needed in the next Avengers event or if Wolverine comes looking for the green machine.
A recurring role in a limited series could give Mark Ruffalo enough freedom to work on other roles in between his MCU responsibilities, also allowing Hulk to nurture the hero who could become his successor.
Jennifer Walters is going to need someone to help her control her powers, show her how to use them – and how not to use them. Fortunately, Jennifer in the comics doesn’t inherit many of her cousin’s initial anger problems. The only time she is out of control is the first time she changes, but she quickly starts to think like her old self.
This is where Bruce Banner could come in, showing her how the avoid the problems that initially held his Hulk back. And now that he’s managed to merge the two personalities in Professor Hulk, he’d be the perfect teacher.
The only likely replacements to this guiding character would be her father Sheriff Morris Walters or her mother Elaine Walters. She could trust her dad after a reality check, but ultimately Jennifer would need someone to help her find her would-be-assassins if Marvel goes the Trask route.
If we examine a show like The CW’s The Flash – and the kinship between Barry Allen and surrogate father Joe West – then it’s clear that, when done properly, the family/crime-fighting dynamic can mesh well together. That said, Bruce would still be the best choice for that dynamic.
Mark Ruffalo will have to make an appearance if they do go with her original origins story, but then again, there’s always that slight change in story content that rewards us later for a cinematic tradeoff win. This would be the equivalent to getting a variant comic book cover from a separate artist – the inspiration is there but it stands alone as its own entity. The film industry is always that exception to perspective and individual expression.
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Would you like to see Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk appear on She-Hulk? Let us know in the comments below!