With the upcoming Disney+ She-Hulk series shooting soon, fans have been wondering in what way the Bruce Banner Hulk would be involved. Well, according to The Hollywood Reporter, actor Mark Ruffalo, who played Marvel’s Green Goliath in five feature films, is at least in early preliminary talks to reprise his role as Bruce Banner for the new series. He revealed this little bit of permanent info at an appearance at Chicago’s C2E2 Convention.
It would be difficult to do a comics accurate version of She-Hulk’s origin story without referencing Bruce Banner. In the original Marvel Comics, Jennifer Walters was actually Bruce Banner’s first cousin. Her father was a police officer, and Jennifer got shot by a criminal who had a vendetta against him. As Jennifer had a rare blood type, the only available blood donor was Bruce. Seeing as she would have died without the transfusion, Banner took a chance and donated his gamma-irradiated blood to save his cousin’s life. She survived, but became the Savage She-Hulk as a result, although she would later learn to control her transformations and keep her intellect intact in a way it would take Bruce years to do.
If the Disney+ series wants to keep Jennifer’s origin story the same, it would seem that the best option would be to get Ruffalo to make at least one appearance in the series, presumably in the first episode. There could be other ways to keep her classic origin story intact without Ruffalo’s involvement of course. Her origin story could be told in a kind of vague flashback, where we never see Banner’s actual face. Or, they could take the MCU Spider-Man route, and just never show her origin. They could simply opt to mention the details of how she got her powers via an exposition dump. But clearly Kevin Feige is aware that the option fans want to see the most is to have Ruffalo make a guest appearance.
If Ruffalo does indeed make an appearance, most fans assume it will likely be a one-off. One would imagine that Marvel Studios wouldn’t want She-Hulk’s first ever live-action incarnation to be overshadowed by her famous relative. The best option would be to have a few appearances by the Hulk, but not enough where he hogs the spotlight. So in this way, it would be similar to how Supergirl’s iconic cousin only makes sporadic guest spots on her own television series.
Speaking of Supergirl, her version of Superman is now spinning off into his own series. This could conceivably happen as well with Ruffalo’s Hulk. The deal that Marvel Studios has with Universal, which distributed the 2008 Incredible Hulk movie, precludes them from making any solo Hulk films. However, that deal might not extend to television. Since neither the 2003 Hulk nor the 2008 Ed Norton films really clicked with audiences, maybe a TV series starring Ruffalo for Disney+ might be the best option for the character? As we’ve learned these past few years, when it comes to Marvel Studios, anything is possible.
Featured Image: Marvel Studios / Marvel Comics