Eric Bana didn't mind Marvel not calling him to play Hulk again: 'I approached it as a one-off'
The actor looks back at the differences in the MCU movies now compared to his time playing a superhero.
There are many surprises we can expect to see in the Marvel Universe over the next few years, but don't expect Eric Bana to be one of them. The actor recently dropped by the WTF With Marc Maron Podcast, where he admitted that he had no interest in returning to play the Hulk.
Bana, who played Bruce Banner in Ang Lee's 2003 adaptation, was one of the first actors to play the role in a live-action film since 1977 — years before Marvel would attempt to revamp the character with Edward Norton in 2008's The Incredible Hulk and then find its success with Mark Ruffalo in 2012's Avengers.
"It wasn't a quick yes, that's for sure. It took me a while to get my head around it. I wasn't privy to the script prior to signing onto the film. It's one of the only films I have done where that was the case. It just wasn't the type of film that I saw myself doing," Bana told Maron, adding that he saw himself as more of a character actor than "a big green guy."
As Bana notes, superhero films weren't approached the way they are now, with actors signing a five or six-year contract that commits them to playing the role for multiple years.
"The universe as you know it didn't exist back then. You certainly didn't go into a film like that thinking you were going to do more than one. That just wasn't in play," explained Bana. "The expectations were not the way they are now. I approached it as a one-off."
As fans know, Bana's "one-off" performance was just that. Bana revealed to Maron that Marvel didn't call him when they made their 2008 film, but that he also doesn't have any hard feelings about not being known as "The Other Guy" as superhero films just aren't his cup of tea.
"It's why I have re-dabbled in that area," said Bana. "They're not the kind of movie that I race out and see myself so that conversation is something I have with myself if I want to be a part of it."
When Maron asked if Bana had ever talked to Norton or Ruffalo about their Hulk experiences, Bana said that he's only seen Norton's Hulk movie.
"There's not a lot of Hulk entwining here," he told Maron, dashing the dreams of anyone who hoped that maybe the three actors connected about their roles at some point over the years.
"Maybe when you guys are old you'll do a panel together," Maron joked. "The Three Hulks."
Bana, Norton, and Ruffalo on a panel talking about their experiences as a green superhero? Your move, Comic-Con.