When We Last Saw the Hulk...
In [The Avengers](movie:9040), we saw that Bruce Banner had raged out of control on the helicarrer and came close to squashing Black Widow before being engaged in an epic one-on-one fight with Thor:
But this was all dismissed as Banner being manipulated by Loki or was due to the fact that Banner's fear took over, leading him to turn into the Hulk and lash out at whoever was there...in this case, Black Widow and Thor.
But in the final battle of the film, we see Bruce Banner punch a leviathan in the face, just as he finished turning into the Hulk.
It was a pretty epic moment as Bruce gives us the impression that he does, in fact, have control over the green beast inside of him when he says:
"That's the secret, Cap. I'm always angry."
Of course, if I were [Black Widow](movie:1070824), this line would lead me to question the true motives of why he just tried to kill me, but hey, whatever works for the development of the story.
The Battle for Control
Well, interestingly enough, Mark Ruffalo recently did an interview with Empire and spoke about some very interesting character developments for Bruce Banner aka Hulk (or is Hulk aka Bruce Banner?) in this year's sequel to the Avengers, [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035).
Read the excerpt of what Ruffalo had to say:
"There’s a battle going on between these two opposing egos that live inside him. He’s definitely worried that the day is going to come when the Hulk gets the best of him, and maybe won’t release him, maybe won’t give him back. The Hulk knows this too. There’s a moment in here where he, begrudgingly, decides to go back to Banner. Who knows where these things will go, but as Bruce is able to impress his will on the Hulk, going into The Hulk and being inside the Hulk when he’s raging, The Hulk’s will is also growing and able to impress upon Bruce. That makes for some wild things. We’re laying the groundwork for that here. It’ll be interesting to see if that ends up being what would be the next Hulk movie."
Well, well, well. Looks like our big, green, rampaging machine is not so in control as he would have us believe in The Avengers. I wonder at what point this comes along too, because apparently, the Avengers have prepared for this, hence, the Hulk-Buster armor we see in the trailer.
What's interesting to note is that this contingency plan was put into motion by non-other than Bruce Banner himself. So it'll be interesting to see what other contingencies the Avengers might have had in place as I would hope they would not put all their eggs in this basked. I mean, we saw how flimsy Iron Man's armors can be at times, like in [Iron Man 3](movie:24391). We wouldn't want them taking a risk of overlooking some serious design flaws in a suit designed to battle the Hulk.
All jokes aside, it wouldn't surprise me to see that a second alternative to the Hulk Buster armor not succeeding would be to strap down the green beheamoth and launch him into space, thus leading to a solo Hulk film based on the ever-so-popular comic storyline: Planet Hulk.
I know that Marvel's head-honchos have played coy, acted dodgy, and/or flat-out dismissed this project but that's because everyone is probably neck-deep in developing the other 10+ projects they've got in the works already, not to mention the addition of Spider-Man joining the MCU (check out my article on that here: Spider-Man is in the MCU! Now What?).
It should be noted that in the same interview, Ruffalo does speak about a solo-film when he says:
"I can make The Hulk as real as any other character I’ve ever played and in ways more nuanced, more interesting. It’s boundless."
So, my assumption is that we won't see a solo Hulk film until after all the Infinity War stuff has come and gone and we see the plans for Phase FOUR of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.