Captain America: Civil War (or, as some fans are jokingly calling it, Avengers 2.5) will be featuring a lot of heroes from around the Marvel Cinematic Universe - but not everyone will get to take part in the fun. One of the names notably absent from the cast list is Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner, a.k.a. The Hulk, who audiences last saw flying away to parts unknown in Avengers: Age of Ultron. We’ve speculated on where Hulk might be seen next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but according to a new rumor, Marvel may have something in the works for Hulk in the upcoming superhero conflict after all… and it could involve a fellow beefed-up member from his supporting cast.
We Are Wakanda is reporting word from their sources that Captain America: Civil War will introduce another Hulk being into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although the website didn’t identity which Hulk character it will be, MCU Exchange has their own sources that say General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, a role being reprised by William Hurt, will be following in his comic book counterpart’s footsteps and become the Red Hulk. Not only that, but there will apparently be a fight between Hulk and Red Hulk in the film that is "supposed to rival the Hulkbuster fight from Age of Ultron." Ross’ inclusion in the film was announced last month, but what role he’ll play in the conflict hasn’t been disclosed. However, given how he felt about Hulk and most superheroes in the comic books, one can imagine that he’ll be in favor of people with special abilities registering with the government.
Even though this information should be taken with a grain of salt, the idea of Ross becoming the Red Hulk is intriguing to say the least. For decades in the comics, Ross used the military resources at his disposal to combat Hulk. It was only in 2008 that the general underwent a procedure that transformed him into the very thing he hated to combat his foe. A few of the ways Red Hulk differs from the Green Goliath is that Ross retains his intelligence in Hulk form, and rather than get stronger as he gets angrier, his body emits more heat. Although he’s become a more heroic figure in recent years, he still finds himself at odds with everyone’s favorite green monster on occasion.
Because the Captain America: Civil War casting announcement didn’t list Banner as part of the lineup, if he were to show up, it would likely a minor drop-in to surprise the audience, which is why the Hulk vs. Red Hulk fight sounds dubious. As for Ross, with Captain America already dealing with Zemo, Crossbones and the heroes who are ideologically opposed to him, throwing Red Hulk into the mix could be overkill. That said, if Ross were to somehow be transformed (possibly by Zemo’s hands) and start causing chaos, it would be the perfect motivator to get all of the heroes to work together to defeat him. This would also be cause for Banner to come out of hiding to fight the man who tried to weaponize him. Even if Red Hulk doesn’t show up in the Captain America threequel, there’s always the possibility he could be introduced later on in Phase Three or in Phase Four.