World War Hulk: All We Know

Could we be seeing a World War Hulk adaptation heading into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? There sure look like plans for it.

By Rick Gonzales | Updated

world war hulk

Ever since Mark Ruffalo’s Big Green Fighting Machine was effectively neutered in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War and its heartbreaking finale, Avengers: Endgame, Hulk fans have been wondering (as has the actor himself) if they’d ever see the badass green superhero they had all come to love. Well, Hulk fans, your wait is almost over. And, with recent happenings (thank you Doctor Strange and spoilers are forthcoming), we may be seeing the groundwork being laid for what Hulk fans are desperately wanting to see – World War Hulk.


Hulk fans were rightfully pissed and confused as to what was going on with their “smash” -ing superhero when Bruce Banner turned into Smart Hulk in Endgame, all talking and brilliant, but a shell of the big green baddie who wanted nothing to do with “Hulk Smash!” At this point, World War Hulk was the last thing on fans’ minds.

It wasn’t as if an explanation wasn’t planned as to why Banner and Hulk merged. In fact, Banner/Smart Hulk gave a brief synopsis in Endgame that fans reluctantly had to accept – “Eighteen months in the gamma lab, I put the brains and the brawn together and now look at me. Best of both worlds.” Neutered.

Then came the surprising mid-credits scene in Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings. This brought together Shang-Chi (Simu Liu), Katy (Awkwafina), Wong (Benedict Wong), Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), and Bruce Banner (Ruffalo). What was most telling about this scene was that Banner appeared as himself and not the bespeckled green behemoth we had seen in previous films. Could it be? Would it be? Were there plans in the deep recesses of Marvel minds to start leading fans towards a World War Hulk?


Hulk may be neutered, but he isn’t gone. Not by a long shot. Ruffalo has once again slipped into his big green alter-ego and will make his return as Hulk in the Disney+ series, She-Hulk. Announced back in 2019, the series is set to star Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) as Jennifer Walters, who just so happens to be the cousin of Bruce Banner. Walters is also a lawyer, so you may see some courtroom action as well.

But before you get all excited, the one thing we do know about Ruffalo’s Banner/Hulk is that he will be appearing as Smart Hulk at some point in the series. Disney was nice enough to give fans a very quick glimpse of the dreaded form of Hulk in a clip that has the smart one explaining to Walters “these transformations are triggered by anger and fear.” One can only hope that Banner somehow kicks Smart Hulk to the curb so fans can start their journey toward World War Hulk.


(Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness SPOILERS ahead)

No one truly knew what to expect when Sam Raimi took over as director of the new Doctor Strange film. True, he’s had past success in the genre with his Spider-Man films, but Raimi has made a true name for himself within the horror genre and his Evil Dead films. With Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, he found a way to combine his taste in horror with the world of comics. So, how does this have anything to do with Hulk or the possibility of a World War Hulk film? Let us explain. SPOILER ALERT.

Partway through Doctor Strange, we are introduced to the Illuminati. The surprising cameos are led by Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo, Hayley Atwell as Captain Carter, Lashana Lynch as Captain Marvel Maria Rambeau, Anson Mount as Black Bolt, Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier, and John Krasinski as Reed Richards. Needless to say, it was a fun surprise.

Surprise aside, what the introduction of the Illuminati does is make World War Hulk a much better possibility. In one of Hulk’s comic book storylines, it is the Illuminati that sends Hulk away to what begins his Planet Hulk story arc. It takes time and a lot of suffering, but Hulk eventually returns to Earth with a taste for revenge against those who banished him. It is here where World War Hulk begins.


Of course, nothing concerning World War Hulk is set in stone. In fact, the only thing we’ve got going here is She-Hulk and a few jaw-dropping rumors. Here’s what we got so far, nothing is close to being confirmed.

One anonymous user posted in a recent 4chan discussion the direction Marvel could be taking in terms of World War Hulk. According to this user, World War Hulk is happening, but it won’t be one movie, but two. The first movie has Hulk space-bound in search of his son, Skaar. The film will follow the how’s and why’s, laying out perfectly Hulk’s return to Earth.

The second part of the movie, so says the anonymous user, will bring together a number of MCU heroes that will include She-Hulk (Maslany), Captain Marvel (Larson), Captain America (Anthony Mackie), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Sersi (Gemma Chan), Black Knight (Kit Harington) as well as a few others. This user also claims that not every hero will see the end of the film fighting Hulk.

That’s a lot to take in right there. This massive event, if true, is going to need a bit more to set up to make happen. So far, there has been no indication that Banner/Hulk needs to go. Will that happen in the course of the She-Hulk series? Is this where Marvel truly begins to lay the groundwork for a potential World War Hulk film? It would the perfect opportunity. We can only hope, wait and see.

First things first. Can we please get rid of Smart Hulk? We need to see Hulk Smash anything and everything in his path again. Then give us some World War Hulk.