Joss Whedon And Mark Ruffalo Clarify 'Hulk' Comments; Plus Whedon Talks DC, 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' And 'Star Wars'

Joss Whedon said it's "nonsense."  Mark Ruffalo said it's "not in the works." Yet the idea of a standalone Hulk movie, maybe even a Planet Hulk movie, keeps coming up. The rumor gained real traction when Latino Review said The Avengers 2 would set up a Phase Three standalone movie with Hulk on a planet by himself, setting up an Avengers vs. Hulk showdown in The Avengers 3. That rumor was then seemingly obliterated. However, both Ruffalo and Whedon have recently clarified their thoughts on the whole thing. They haven't changed their tunes, but each – especially Ruffalo – has left the door open a bit.

After the jump, read what the director and star had to say about Hulk as well as Whedon's thoughts on a DC Cinematic Universe, how S.H.I.E.L.D. is going and Star Wars Episode VII.

Ruffalo originally commented on the situation on Twitter and said:

A lot of folks have been asking about the Next Hulk. The next time you see my Hulk it will be in the Avengers 2. No plans for stand alone....I am not giving up on another stand alone HULK. But it's not in the works right now. One never knows what the future will bring.

People apparently misinterpreted that quote and said Ruffalo denied doing a solo Hulk movie, to which Ruffalo responded with this:

If Hulk was going to be in Phase Three, it probably won't be in the works now. But it would be set up in The Avengers 2, which brings us to Joss Whedon.

Whedon did an new interview with Deadline where he was asked to comment on the idea once again:

I didn't actually  read World War Hulk so I'm not sure how I'd adapt it.

Mark and I loved the Hulk and went over and over the concept of rage and how it should manifest, and that part of it was fascinating to both of us. But when it comes time for the Hulk he has to put on the silliest damn pajamas you ever saw, a tiara made of balls, and a bunch of dots on his face and growl around like an idiot. The real heart of the experience ultimately becomes playing Banner, and the thing that people fell in love with was Banner because I think Mark has you from the first time he shows up.

The Hulk is the most difficult Marvel property because it's always about balance. Is he a monster? Is he a hero? Are you going to root for a protagonist who spends all his time trying to stop the reason you came to the movie from happening? It's always a dance. I don't think the first two movies nailed it, but I don't envy them the task. It was easier to have him in a group than to build everything around him. I don't think there would be any problem getting a movie together that had enough Banner, even if there was also Hulk. But if he was only Hulk for the entire movie I think Mark at some point would go, why am I here? I would be less inclined to pursue a storyline where the Hulk is only ever the Hulk.

Who do you believe in all of this? Obviously Marvel isn't actively concentrating anything in Phase Three seriously right now, except Ant-Man, so anything is possible. Then again, it would kick off in Avengers 2 and Whedon saying he hasn't read World War Hulk doesn't bode well. Plus the Ain't It Cool News story seemed definitive.

In that same (expanded) interview with Deadline, Whedon talked about a bunch of other geeky topics.

On DC attempting to emulate the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

I don't keep that close an eye on it. But I loved Batman Begins so much and thought Christopher Nolan nailed Batman in a way that nobody ever had. It couldn't be more different from The Avengers, and the Marvel and DC universes are different animals. If they actually crack the code which has not been done in terms of creating a shared sensibilities where all the movies are interesting and come together, I'm going to be thrilled. I have no fear that we're going to be stepping on each others' turf.

On the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show fitting into the MCU:

 That was fun to do, but again, too much work. The idea of the Little Guy is something that I am very fierce about, and there has never been a better Little Guy than Clark Gregg. That intrigued me, this world around the superhero community. It's the people whose shop windows get blown up when the Destroyer shows up. It's the more intimate stories that belong on television that we can really tap into the visual style and ethos, and even some of the mythology, of the Marvel movies. I think we've put together another really great ensemble headed by Clark. And how much it's actually seeding or hinting or reacting to what's going on in the movies is something we'll let play out as we go. For me the most important thing is that people fall in love with it on its own merits, rather than constantly asking, "Is there gonna be an Avenger?" Well, there's not gonna be a Hulk because that guy's too expensive.

On Star Wars, did he take a meeting with Lucasfilm?

No, all of this happened long after I was committed to The Avengers, so there was never any question. There was just a peep of sadness from me. But I think, in all honesty, that JJ Abrams is the guy for the gig and I couldn't be happier about that.

Head to Deadline to read the rest of that article, which includes some info on Whedon's abandonded Wonder Woman film and, of course, Much Ado About Nothing.