HULK Star Eric Bana Seemingly Closes The Door On Returning As Bruce Banner In DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE

HULK Star Eric Bana Seemingly Closes The Door On Returning As Bruce Banner In DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE

Hulk star Eric Bana appears to have closed the door on reprising the role of Bruce Banner in Deadpool & Wolverine and reveals why he agreed to play the character back in 2003. Read on for details...

By JoshWilding - May 03, 2024 04:05 AM EST
Filed Under: Deadpool & Wolverine

Ang Lee's Hulk was released when the superhero movie genre was very much in its infancy. It joined a small club of early 2000s titles that includes BladeX-MenSpider-Man, and Daredevil, but the filmmaker's unique approach to adapting the Jade Giant for the screen split opinions. 

Quite literally attempting to bring a comic book to life in a movie, the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon director didn't lack ambition with his approach, but the technology wasn't really there to pull off either his vision for the character or those comic book panel-inspired screen splits. 

A moderate hit at the box office with a $245 million haul, the movie remains a disappointment in the eyes of many, including Lee himself. Five years later, Marvel Studios released The Incredible Hulk, and retained elements of this Green Goliath's origin story (albeit with Edward Norton replacing Eric Bana). 

Bana has already said he "can't see" himself playing Bruce Banner in Avengers: Secret Wars and has now shot down the possibility of unleashing The Hulk in this summer's Deadpool & Wolverine.

"I can't see that happening. I'm sorry, Jess," he said on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show. "Hugh's a very close friend of mine...still can't see that happening."

It feels a little bit like he's deflecting here, especially as his answer is so similar to the one he gave back in January. Then again, it's possible Bana is just sick and tired of being asked about a role he's no doubt put behind him seeing as more than two decades have passed.

Elsewhere in the interview, the actor was asked whether working with Lee was a bigger draw than playing The Hulk. 

"A hundred percent. Yes," Bana admitted. "At first, I was like, 'No way. It's not my kind of bag. I don't think this is me,' and then we thought more and more about it, and I just, because also I didn't have a script when I said yes, so I was like, 'Well, what's this gonna be like?' so I really, really was putting all my chips in the Ang Lee basket on that film."

"I knew was it's gonna be very, very different, and also, back then, it wasn't a thing. The Marvel universe hadn't started yet."

He added, "You didn't go and do those films thinking you were gonna do more than one movie. That paradigm didn't exist, so you're right. It was very, very much driven by wanting to work with someone like Ang."

Something tells us Bana isn't going to be swayed by the lure of a cameo in Deadpool & Wolverine or Avengers: Secret Wars, meaning the odds of us seeing him share the screen with Norton and Mark Ruffalo are looking increasingly slim.

Check out the full interview with the Hulk star in the player below.

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TheMetaMan - 5/3/2024, 5:00 AM
Love this dude. Although his Bruce Bana was rather bland I loved him as Hector in Troy!!!
TheVisionary25 - 5/3/2024, 6:10 AM
@TheMetaMan - I admired the ambition of them trying to do something different and more psychological especially at the time with Hulk but it didn’t really work for me.

Need to see Troy but I always enjoyed his portrayal of Nero in Star Trek 09 and I quote this line constantly lol…

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dragon316 - 5/3/2024, 8:05 AM
@TheMetaMan - isn’t that how Bruce banner is in books? It’s only reason I watch live action hulk show was for hulk not banner Bruce banner was boring for me
NathanielX - 5/3/2024, 5:03 AM
The perfect Iluminati line up would have been Bana,Stewart,Fox's Mister Fantastic, Ghost Rider, and Blackbolt,
Doomsday8888 - 5/3/2024, 5:06 AM
He's so handsome, yo.

I loved that movie, truer to the Hulk's myth than anything MS cooked in all these years, underrated gem and quite mature, plus the artistic choices of Lee were quite...fascinating.

The catchy!
Mrtoke - 5/3/2024, 6:03 AM
@Doomsday8888 - Universal still owns hulk so marvel can't do hulk like he deserves
Doomsday8888 - 5/3/2024, 6:14 AM
I mean, they absolutely can, otherwise we wouldn't have 2008's Incredible Hulk, they are not making another Hulk solo movie because they don't want to give any money to Universal since they hold the rights to distribute any Hulk movie.

I don't think this covers the TV side tho, either way, i think the rights have reverted back to MS? I remember reading something like that, maybe that's why they're planning a WWHulk movie (according to rumors).

It's a complicated thing but nothing excuse them for their sorry ass work in terms of storytelling, they had plenty of time across different MCU movies to tell a proper Hulk story and they f*cked it up all the same.

And then you have MCU dick-riders hugging my nuts and telling me how the MCU characters are so much more accurate to the comics compared to the FoX-Men, lel, keep your gutter trash Thor and Hulk bastiches.
Vigor - 5/3/2024, 6:25 AM
@Doomsday8888 - "the MCU characters are so much more accurate to the comics compared to the FoX-Men"

Truest statement you've ever made
Doomsday8888 - 5/3/2024, 6:34 AM


For real tho, i don't have a problem with y'all, we still have an old saying here "De gustibus non est disputandum." this is to say that we all have out own perspective on things, personal taste and art is subjective but not every part.

It's fun for me to talk with you guys on stuff i'm passionate about, i've been bickering about the FoX-Men on this site since day 1, lol, made plenty of friends at the end of the day, most of em are not even here tho. :(

What i don't like and don't tolerate is intellectual dishonesty, cause it takes all the fun away, not giving to Caesar what belongs to Caesar makes your argument/opinion/post worthless in my eyes, not even worth "fighting over".

Like if someone were to say that an amazing movie like X2 is inferior to the shittiest MCU Ant-Man movie. :P
What more can be said? Nothing, nothing at all, i'd rather focus my attention on other users. :3
Vigor - 5/3/2024, 6:58 AM
@Doomsday8888 - lol I'm never gonna live that 1 down am I.
Doomsday8888 - 5/3/2024, 7:02 AM
Not in this lifetime i'm afraid! :P

But...there are more important things in life, bigger battles to fight. ;)
Mrtoke - 5/3/2024, 5:34 PM
@Doomsday8888 - but Disney bought marvel after that hulk movie in '09. They don't wanna give universal any clout when it comes to hulk so that's why he's been a minor character after the first avengers movie which was probably being worked on around the same time ironman was being made.

And especially since universal put in a bid for fox just to mess with Disney, I don't see hulk being anything more than an under utilized side character.

As for Thor, they have no absolutely no fricking idea on how to portray him cause its been ass for the most part.
WhateverItTakes - 5/3/2024, 5:22 AM
Eric Bana>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Mark Ruffalo
ProfessorWhy - 5/3/2024, 5:26 AM
I think that Justin Long would be the ideal Bruce Banner
Jacory - 5/3/2024, 7:27 AM
@ProfessorWhy - not a bad choice at all. Edward Norton was my most ideal pick. These days though, I was thinking Freddie Highmore.
ProfessorWhy - 5/3/2024, 12:08 PM
@Jacory - Freddie is a phenomenal actor
ObserverIO - 5/3/2024, 5:48 AM
I think he and Ang both did great. As did Connelly and Sam Elliott. It's actually my second favorite Sam Elliott performance next to A Star Is Born.

It'd be great to see him briefly show up in the multiverse saga at some point.
SuperiorHeckler - 5/3/2024, 6:14 AM
@ObserverIO - For all its many, many flaws, it's difficult to imagine Ang Lee's HULK getting bitch-slapped in under 10-seconds by Thanos during the INFINITY WAR opening. 😏
THEKENDOMAN - 5/3/2024, 6:00 AM
It would be nice to see Eric in the role, but if not, it won't make any significant difference, and I dont think many people will care.
tmp3 - 5/3/2024, 6:04 AM
Forgettable Banner, but he’ll always be the MVP of Troy. Dude was perfect as Hector
SuperiorHeckler - 5/3/2024, 6:07 AM
Even as a simple cameo, Disney/MARVEL doesn't want anyone contrasting the current aging, harmless p@ssy Mark Ruffalo who continues to pick-up a paycheck for showing-up to play Mark Ruffalo. 😐
TheVisionary25 - 5/3/2024, 6:08 AM
I’m not really a fan of that film or of his Banner either ( found him to be bland) but I wouldn’t mind if we get him in the MCU in a different role…

I think he could make an interesting Norman Osborn.

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bobevanz - 5/3/2024, 7:07 AM
I swear to God this movie will suck ass if it's all nostalgia bait
NoAssemblyReqd - 5/3/2024, 7:38 AM
It’s hilarious that entertainment media so loves going to the endless well of stories about stuff that isn’t going to happen.

Next headline: “Bill Pullman confirmed to not be in the running for role as Dazzler”
WeaponXCII - 5/3/2024, 7:44 AM
While the film itself was a little… bizarre, it’s still among all of those late ‘90s to early 2000s productions mentioned, so I would still like a return to his portrayal; I hope that there’s more than he’s letting on.
bkmeijer1 - 5/3/2024, 8:38 AM
Yeah, I don't see it happening either. Still, I think he could make a good Maestro. I appreciate the Lee movie was very comic book-y, but Maestro wouldn't be the same as that Hulk though
QuietStorm - 5/3/2024, 10:50 AM
I dont know anything about him outside of his acting roles. But Eric Bana just always seemed like one of the coolest mfs on the planet. I hope he does come back in some capacity.
JonC - 5/3/2024, 11:18 AM
ultimately he was good in the role and it was a good film, where it failed is that it wasn't a blockbuster and didn't bank a lot of money. Again, only invest in what you can pull off.. if you have to tell a lesser story about hulk at a lower budget than do it if its going to make a profit, otherwise, you have no cash going forward to build upon it.
PaKent - 5/3/2024, 12:53 PM
1 cameo less = 1 joke less
NinnesMBC - 5/4/2024, 1:18 AM
An underrated comic book movie and so is he. I always liked him in any role he booked. Secret Wars still has ways to go so I hope that maybe they can arrange something with Eric Bana.

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