It’s been unclear if Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner would hulk out for next year’s Captain America: Civil War. Ruffalo himself weighed in earlier in the summer, indicating that he would return. Now Coming Soon reports that Ruffalo is revising Hulk’s status, while making it clear that while it’s for the best that Hulk is out, no, you may not know why he will be taking a siesta.
“The reason is too great to be revealed in [Civil War],” Ruffalo said, speaking to BadTaste.it. “I was in the script but then they removed my character. They don’t want to reveal where is he and why. I don’t even know if Hulk will be back soon.”
For those of you who have not yet attended the Marvel re-education camps, Captain America: Civil War will be kicking off Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In other words, we are already neck deep in “official” Marvel movies, with no signs of letting up for the next five years. At which point, Phase 4 will presumably arise from the ashes of Phase 3, like Dark Phoenix Jean Grey, to either obliterate or merely enslave the human race. (Unless we aren‘t already subsumed by Star Wars.)
Civil War, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, is said to roughly follow the Marvel Comics storyline of the same name, with Cap and Iron Man at loggerheads over whether superhumans should be tagged and monitored. It will feature most of the other Avengers, including Black Widow, Hawkeye, Falcon, War Machine, The Vision, and Scarlet Witch. It will also be introducing some non-Avengers characters, including Black Panther, Sharon Carter, General Ross, and the recently furloughed Spider-Man, who is presumably there to spin a web, catch Ant-Man, and eat him.
So why stuff all these guys into one movie, but leave out the Hulk? Rumors over a third entry in his own struggling franchise have been mostly shot down. He could possibly wind up in the larger Infinity War storyline, and maybe even feature in Guardians Of The Galaxy 2. After all, Marvel.com unambiguously states that “The Hulk’s body also has a gland that makes an ‘oxygenated per fluorocarbon emulsion,’ which creates pressure in the Hulk’s lungs.” It’s all speculation at this point, but perhaps he just didn’t fit into the plot. Really, how would one even approach the Hulk to survey his opinion on regulating superhuman activity? Even Black Widow would have trouble getting Hulk to “smash once for ‘yes,’ twice for ‘no,’ or punch Thor if you don’t care and just want to go get shawarma.”