The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been going strong for nearly 10 years now, with its two original stars – Iron Man and Hulk – debuting back in 2008. With the contracts of some of our favorite characters coming to an end, fans are constantly debating who could replace our favorite heroes. Whether it is for Iron Man, Captain America or Thor, fans everywhere are speculating about their replacements (War Machine, Winter Soldier, Jane Foster, etc.).
But there seems to be one major Marvel hero that fans seem to be forgetting – Hulk. Actor Mark Ruffalo has a six-film contract with Marvel. He has already finished three, The Avengers, The Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Thor: Ragnarok (his post-credits cameo in Iron Man 3 did not count). His fourth and fifth appearances are to be in Avengers: Infinity War and the still untitled Avengers 4. That leaves just one film remaining for the burly, green giant.
It’s very likely that Mark Ruffalo will not renew his contract after his 6th and final film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, considering that he is now an Oscar-nominated actor and will likely continue pursue his career in serious dramas. With the departure of Bruce Banner, there will be a major gap in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Here are 5 characters who could potentially replace Bruce Banner as the brute of the Avengers during Phase 4…
1. Teddy Altman / HulklingYoung Avenger Teddy Altman is known as Hulkling due to his shapeshifting abilities. Teddy is able to take the form of different heroes, using their powers as his own – with limits, of course. This comes from his Skrull heritage, which can actually tie in to the rest of the Universe since the Skrulls are set to appear in Captain Marvel.
In the comics, he typically copies the abilities of Hulk to make him extra strong. He is normally seen in his Hulk-like form with a pair of wings on his back to make him fly. He is a very useful and interesting character, plus I would love to see his relationship with Wiccan grow on screen. Fans have been pushing for years to see an LGBTQ character in the MCU, and Producer Kevin Feige has promised that we will finally get our chance within the next decade. Perhaps Hulkling is already being set up at Marvel Studios.
2. Jennifer Walter / She-HulkJennifer Walters actually gained her abilities from Bruce Banner, which would make sense given that they are cousins. Jennifer needed a blood transfusion to survive, and only Banner was there to give any blood that matched. Though she survived, she gained
super strength just like her cousin, but at a smaller scale. However, her ability to control her anger and rage arguably makes her a better fit for the Avengers than Hulk himself.
She-Hulk is not as big and monstrous as the Hulk himself, but she is one of Marvel’s strongest characters. In addition, she has a lot of ‘moral fiber,’ which will help add to the mix of new characters when we reach Phase 4.
3. General Ross / Red HulkGeneral Ross is already a character who has appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in both The Incredible Hulk and Captain America: Civil War. Though he is only a human now, in the comics he became the villain Red Hulk, a red version of Hulk, hell-bent on defeating Banner.
However, Ross’s character later turned back to good by joining the Thunderbolts, a team of reformed villains that became active after the Civil War. On this team, Ross was able to become a force for good once more. Many fans have been dying to see a Thunderbolts movie, with a similar theme to Suicide Squad.
It was actually revealed a year ago by the Russo brothers, who directed Captain America: Civil War, that they originally included General Ross in their movie because they wanted to include Red Hulk. However, this part of the script was cut in later drafts. It is good to note that they are strongly considering adding Red Hulk to the MCU, and have been for years now.
4. Amadeus Cho / The Totally Awesome HulkCurrently, the Hulk in the comics is a man named Amadeus Cho. Whereas Banner is the Incredible Hulk, Cho is the Totally Awesome Hulk. Sounds a bit cooler, don’t you think? This version of Hulk, as you can imagine, is a lot cooler, and is significantly younger, which will give us a new twist to how we see the Hulk archetype if they choose to use this character.
Best of all, one could argue that Amadeus Cho has already been partially set up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as his mother, Helen Cho, played a role in Avengers: Age of Ultron as the doctor that is forced to help Ultron create Vision. At the end of Age of Ultron, she is shown working at the new Avengers facility. If they choose to introduce Amadeus Cho, his pre-established mother would be the way to do it.
5. Luke Cage / Power ManLuke Cage is often described as one of Marvel’s strongest humans. His super strength may not be as incredible as Hulk’s, but he is still one of the biggest brutes no matter who he is with. If Marvel wants to keep a brute on the team but doesn’t want to simply copy the Hulk, Power Man would be the way to go.
Luke Cage is already a prominent member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having appeared in Jessica Jones, The Defenders, and his own show, Luke Cage. If Marvel chooses to follow the character’s route in the comics, Power Man may one day become an Avenger, possibly giving his actor Mike Colter an impressive movie deal.
Who do you want to see replace Hulk? Let us know in the comments, and thanks for reading!
[Top Photo Credit: Marvel Studios, Marvel Television]