The movie Avengers: Infinity War affected the heroes and the fans alike in a massive way. It left the Marvel Cinematic Universe writhing in pain and gasping for air while the fans looked in utter desperation at the Shock and Awe tactic the Russo Brothers used as an ending for the movie. It was surely Game of Thrones level cliffhanger which had us biting our nails and our heartbeat slowing down as we made sense of what just happened.
The movie affected everyone as it killed a lot of heroes and left a permanent mark in the pages of history as one of the greatest superhero movies ever made. It silenced the naysayers and critics who always used to take potshots at MCU for having movies without real stakes or lasting consequences. While the movie did offer some form of story and development for each and every hero, the Hulk took a step backward. If you have watched the movie, you would know what we mean to say.
So the big question that arises now is – How does Infinity War affect the Hulk’s future in the MCU??
Spoiler Alert: MASSIVE Spoilers for Infinity War up ahead….
Infinity War pitted virtually almost every known Marvel Cinematic Universe Superhero against Thanos and his armies. As the mad Titan came looking for his Infinity Stones, the Avengers, Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Panther were forced to play their hand in stopping the Titan from completing his Infinity Gauntlet and wiping out half of the universe.
The trailers did show us a glance of the heroes that will be taking part in Infinity War. Bruce Banner was shown fighting alongside others as well. Yet the movie did not show us the Jade Giant in action. Why is that??
Bruce Banner did fight Thanos in his Hulk form during the very beginning of the movie but that was all we could see of the Green Goliath. Bruce Banner was defeated by Thanos and humiliated so badly that even he got scared of the Mad Titan and refused to come out.
As a result, Bruce Banner was forced to wear the Hulkbuster Armor (a clever marketing tactic) and fight on his own. While the move would look like Marvel trying to take out Bruce Banner from the fight to even the odds for the Avengers, the original intention of the Studio has finally come to life. Marvel intends to use Infinity War to help the Hulk further evolve as a character in the MCU.
How does the Hulk evolve?
The Hulk blindsides Thanos on the Asgardian Refugee ship and is soundly defeated. A scared Hulk is then transported back to Earth by Heimdall using the Bifrost. It is there where we learn the Hulk is scarred and won’t come out of Banner. There is a reason why.
When the Banner first appeared in the MCU, it showed him as a raging monster that could only cause chaos. In Thor 3, the Hulk became more intelligent, being able to keep Banner at bay and taking control of his mind. In Infinity War, the transformation is even more drastic. Banner is starting to acknowledge the Hulk persona as a separate entity in his body and is starting to converse with him. The Hulk is now totally scared of the Mad Titan, thus painting the Green Giant as human as the MCU possibly could.
Right now, the Hulk is scared. Banner needs to help him realize that to err is human….even for the Hulk. Banner and Hulk hated each other. Then they hesitantly accepted their tense co-existence. The Hulk then took over Banner’s body and stopping the other persona from wresting control of his mind.
The final transformation will be Banner letting the Hulk know he actually cares for him and is looking out for him. When the Hulk accepts the fact that he is not alone in this fight, the Strongest Avenger will bounce back and challenge the Mad Titan again. A rematch may be in order.
Well, time will tell how Marvel deals with Hulk’s storyline but one thing is for sure they won’t disappoint Hulk fans in the next one. The relationship between Marvel studios and Hulk fans is already kinda rough as it’s almost clear that there will not be a Hulk solo movie. Earlier at D-23, Mark Ruffalo squarely blamed Universal for this as it doesn’t wanna play ball with Marvel. He said:
“I just want to make one thing perfectly clear today that a standalone Hulk movie will never happen. Because Universal has the rights to the standalone Hulk movie and for some reason, they don’t know how to play well with Marvel, and they don’t want to make money. I figure I’ve got two or three more years left before I’m too old to play the Hulk.”
After Ruffalo made his feelings public, Marvel responded by extending an olive branch to him and he landed a part in Thor: Ragnarok which according to Ruffalo was the beginning of a new Hulk trilogy. He said:
“So basically, Kevin Feige pulled me aside before this, and said, ‘If you were gonna do a… if we were going to do a standalone Hulk movie, what would it be?’ And I said, ‘I think it should be this, this, this, and this and this, and ends up like this.’ And he’s like, ‘I love that. Why don’t we do that in the next three movies, starting with Thor 3 and then we go into Avengers 3 and 4.’ And I was like, ‘That sounds great!’ And so we are at the beginning of this arc.”
Although, there isn’t a full-fledged Hulk movie on the horizon, but Marvel offered the best it could given the circumstances. And definitely, there is something amazing in store for the green monster in Avengers 4.
Avengers: Infinity War is already out in theaters. It is directed by Russo brothers who are well-known for handling big comic-book ensemble movies such as Captain America: Civil War. It is produced by Marvel boss Kevin Feige along with a set of executive producers including God of Marvel comics Stan Lee, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and Michael Grillo. The screenplay has been written by a talented duo – Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
The cast is insanely good as it features some of the biggest stars under single roof including Josh Brolin (Thanos), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Pratt (Star Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Sebastian Stan (Winter soldier), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Bradley Cooper (voice of Rocket Raccoon), Vin Diesel (voice of Groot), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Jeremy Reiner (Hawkeye), Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Strange), Benedict Wong (Wong), Tom Holland (Spiderman), Letitia Wright (Shuri), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlett Witch), Karen Gillian (Nebula), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Dave Bautista (Drax), Paul Bettany (Vision), Samuel Jackson (Nick Fury), Cobie Smulders (Mariah Hill).
The official film synopsis reads:
“As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain”.
Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet — the evil Thanos. On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artifacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. The fate of the planet and existence itself has never been more uncertain as everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment.