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ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: There were two previous attempts, and each one was missing something. But fans have adore your version of Bruce Banner. So what’s your feeling about what Hulk would need to have another stand-alone movie?
MARK RUFFALO: I understand the hesitation. It’s a particularly hard character to make a movie about because he doesn’t want to be there, generally. It’s hard to make a movie about a guy who doesn’t want to be there. And he doesn’t want to do the very thing that you want him to do.
Right. Which is Hulk-out …
So it gets a little frustrating as an audience, and there’s only so much of that. I think they set it up nicely now that Banner’s turning 46 years old, and there comes a point where it’s like “how much more running can I do for myself?”
How does getting older change Banner?
Whatever you hate about yourself or you don’t like, when you get to be 46 years old, you start to say “okay, no.” Obviously, you can never really get away from yourself, so you start to live with some of the things you think are so bad. And maybe they’re not that bad. Maybe those things are what you need to do whatever you were never able to accomplish.
So a solo Hulk film would be not about trying to rid himself of the Hulk, but coming to terms with it as a strength instead of a dangerous flaw?
I think that’s the ticket forward for Banner, to start to figure out where we go with him, to keep that story interesting. I think there’s a whole relationship with Banner and Hulk that needs to be discovered. There’s a very cool thing happening: Hulk is as afraid of Banner as Banner is afraid of Hulk.
That’s what we’ll see in Avengers: Age of Ultron and possibly going forward?
It’s in the comics. But because you haven’t really been able to get inside of Hulk’s head, because the [cinematic] technology wasn’t available to make it nuanced enough to do that, and now it is. So now I think there’s a way to do it. Both of these guys are obviously the same guy, and they have got to come to peace somehow with each other. And I think that this confrontation is building along the lines of this film.
I like that. I like that the thing that scares the fearsome Hulk is Banner — a puny human.
He’s terrified of him
Well, that’s when he goes away, isn’t it?
What makes Hulk afraid? It’s himself. It’s a version of himself that’s weak. It’s a version of himself that’s vulnerable. It’s a child inside of him. It’s very interesting, and I’m stumbling on this. And I don’t know if this is where the next version will go. But if it is in the cards that we’re doing the next version of this, I see some fertile ground there.
Sounds like you’ve been giving it a lot of consideration.
I’ve been mulling this over now for a few years. And I haven’t pushed for it because I honestly didn’t know what hadn’t been done. And this time, there’s an interesting confrontation on the horizon between these two.
They’re fighting over the same body. Who lives and who disappears.
It’s existence. They’re fighting over existence, you know?
“Claiming there is no other life in the universe is like scooping up some water, looking at the cup and claiming there are no whales in the ocean.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson in response to “Aliens can’t exist because we haven’t found them yet” (via we-are-star-stuff)
I think it’s somewhat fair to argue that Marvel is “commodifying” diversity, but c’mon y’all…isn’t that better? Like, if a company is going to commodify something to boost sales isn’t it better that they use diversity and representation to do it. Doesn’t it say a lot that diverse representation is a sound sales-boosting tactic? I know every single decision comic book publishers make is based on sales, but that doesn’t have to cheapen the social or emotional impact. And dammit, it’s better to use that power to release some good into the world.
I feel the same way about this that I feel about companies writing ad campaigns around things like diversity and body positivity: better that these companies put their money-making efforts into these things than what they were previously.
That they recognize diversity as a tool that will help their bottom line rather than hurt it is indicative of progress, to me.