This month, for the first time in 14 years, a Marvel Studios project with the word “Hulk” in the title will be released. She-Hulk: Attorney At Law is set to debut on August 18, bringing the MCU to Thursdays for the first time. With the title character Jennifer Walters being a new entry to the MCU roster, the assigned viewing homework for this show focuses on the Hulk incumbent of the MCU, Bruce Banner.
With the addition of Disney+ to the Marvel Studios tool belt, fans have gained access to supplementary content to enhance the MCU experience. Documentary series like Assembled show how different MCU movies and series are made. Preluding series like Marvel Studios: Legends give fans a highlight view of the journey different characters, organizations, and miscellaneous elements have taken ahead of an appearance in a movie or show.
For She-Hulk, a Legends episode focusing on Bruce Banner has been released to tell the story of one of the most foundational members of the universe in under 10 minutes. In eight appearances, Mark Ruffalo is one of the cornerstone pieces of the puzzle and a Hall of Famer still active on the MCU roster.
However, Bruce Banner/Hulk has nine appearances in the MCU. After arguably the most famous recastings in the history of popcorn, Edward Norton’s The Incredible Hulk was left out of the Bruce Banner episode of Marvel Studios Legends.
The Incredible Hulk Omitted from Marvel Studios Legends
When fans hit play on the Bruce Banner episode of Marvel Studios Legends heading into the She-Hulk season premiere, it will begin with Tony Stark greeting Bruce Banner in 2012’s The Avengers. This will completely bypass the hero’s origin film in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.
Notably, The Avengers was Mark Ruffalo’s first MCU appearance as the science bro. Banner was originally portrayed by Edward Norton in The Incredible Hulk before Norton decided not to reprise his role in The Avengers in fear of being locked into the superhero genre – one of the biggest decisions in Hollywood blockbuster history.
This was over a decade ago; the past is history for the most part. For years, the MCU separated itself from elements of The Incredible Hulk outside of Bruce Banner and Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross, played by the late-great William Hurt. More recently, Tim Roth’s Emily Blonsky has returned as Abomination in Shang-Chi In the Legend of the Ten Rings and will also be joining Ruffalo in She-Hulk.