Marvel Finally Acknowledges Edward Norton’s Hulk in the MCU

When The Incredible Hulk joined the MCU in 2008, the franchise was only in its infancy and no one had any idea just what the Marvel Cinematic Universe would become. Partly for that reason, the third movie in the MCU has always seemed a bit disjointed, with only William Hurt’s Thaddeus Ross as a connecting thread for many years thanks to Mark Ruffalo taking over the role of Bruce Banner from Edward Norton from his next appearance in 2012’s The Avengers. Now, after a decade, the MCU has finally acknowledged the change in actor via a knowing quip delivered by Mark Ruffalo’s Banner in the new she hulk series.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is making good use of its comedy aspects, whether it is within the universe itself or via the fourth wall-breaking moments when Tatiana Maslany’s Jennifer Walters addresses the audience directly. However, it is Mark Ruffalo who has delivered one throwaway remark that is a deeper remark in reference to the long overdue acknowledgment of the actor swap that took place between his first and second MCU appearances.


The comment is said by Banner while discussing Emil Blonsky aka the Abomination, who after making a surprise comeback in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is now once again in the MCU in she hulk and is played by original actors Tim Roth. The storyline around Roth’s character’s return sees Walters’ lawyer being asked to represent Blonsky in his parole hearing, but initially she sees it as a conflict of interest thanks to the events of The Incredible Hulk when the Abomination and Hulk duked it out. However, Ruffalo’s Banner tells her it’s fine and the issue has been put behind them, and he drolly comments, “That fight was so many years go, I’m a completely different person now – literally.” The moment is accentuated by Walters looking directing at the audience and laughing.

Fans Hoped To See Edward Norton Reprise His Hulk Role In The Multiverse

When Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness a number of cameos of alternative universe’s versions of Earth’s mightiest heroes, many believed it was promised a chance to see Norton reprising his role as Banner, with a belief that Marvel may use the multiverse to explain away the change in actor. However that didn’t happen, and now it looks like despite some fans wanting to see Norton back in the role, it most likely won’t.

That doesn’t mean that there will not be other changes coming for Banner and the Hulk in the future. There have recently been reports that the rights to Hulk may be landing back with Marvel Studios, and that could finally mean Hulk will get his own second movie, something that has been out of bounds for many years. There have also been numerous rumors about the Hulk’s son being introduced or hinted at during she hulkand suggestions that the world war hulk storyline could also be played out, and that is something that Ruffalo himself sees happening in a future phase. He told EW:

“Five years from now he could totally morph into anything, whatever’s relevant at the time. I almost see him going back to ‘Berserker Hulk’ or ‘World War Hulk’. It could go anywhere. That’s the exciting part — I’ve played five different versions from the beginning to now, and that’s kept it interesting for me and I hope interesting for other people.”

She-Hulk: Attorney At Law‘s first two episodes are available now on Disney+.

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