When The Incredible Hulk was added to the MCU in 2008, the franchise was still in its infancy and few could have imagined what it would grow into.
Since Mark Ruffalo replaced Edward Norton as Bruce Banner in 2012’s The Avengers, the third MCU film has never quite fit in with the rest of the franchise, with only William Hurt’s Thaddeus Ross serving as a connecting thread for many years.
Now, ten years later, the MCU has acknowledged the change by having Mark Ruffalo’s Banner make a joke about it in the new She-Hulk show.
The comedic elements of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law are being used effectively, both in the show’s fictional universe and in the occasional fourth-wall-breaking moments in which Tatiana Maslany’s Jennifer Walters addresses the audience directly.
Mark Ruffalo, on the other hand, has made a casual remark that is actually quite deep. It alludes to the long-overdue recognition of the actor swap that happened between his first and second MCU appearances.
Banner makes this remark while discussing Emil Blonsky, aka the Abomination, who made a surprising return to the MCU in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and is now appearing in She-Hulk, played by original actor Tim Roth.
Walters’ lawyer is asked to represent Blonsky in his parole hearing as part of the plot revolving around Roth’s character’s return, but she initially declines because of a conflict of interest stemming from the events of The Incredible Hulk, in which the Abomination and the Hulk fought.
But Ruffalo’s Banner assures her everything is fine and they’ve moved on from the matter, adding sarcastically, “That fight was so many years ago, I’m a completely different person now—literally.” Walters, who is looking directly at the audience and laughing, helps to set the tone.
Fans Hoped To See Edward Norton Reprise His Hulk Role In The Multiverse
When Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness promised a number of cameos from alternate universes’ versions of Earth’s mightiest heroes, many fans assumed it was a chance to see Norton reprise his role as Banner, with the hope that Marvel would use the multiverse to explain away the actor’s transformation.
Furthermore, many people speculated that Marvel might use the multiverse to explain the actor change.However, that did not occur, and it appears that even though some fans would like to see Norton reprise the role, it is not likely that this will occur in the future.
This does not rule out the possibility that Banner and the Hulk will experience additional shifts in their relationship in the future.
Recent rumours have suggested that the rights to the Hulk may be returning to Marvel Studios. If this turns out to be true, then it may finally be possible for the Hulk to star in his very own second film—something that has been out of the question for many years.
There have also been a lot of rumours about the Hulk’s son being introduced or hinted at during She-Hulk, and there have been some suggestions that the World War Hulk storyline could also be played out, and that is something that Mark Ruffalo himself sees happening in a later phase of the franchise. He stated to EW: