Hulk: Eric Bana has no interest in reprising Bruce Banner role

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Eric Bana, Hulk

Years before the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched with Iron Man, studios were busy getting their own Marvel franchises off the ground with films such as Spider-Man, X-Men, Blade, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, and many more. One of those films was Ang Lee's Hulk which starred Eric Bana as Bruce Banner, a brilliant scientist who is transformed into the Hulk following a lab accident. With its stylistic comic-book approach and not nearly enough of Hulk…smashing, the film didn't exactly win everyone over and the planned sequel fell through when Marvel Studios reacquired the rights to the character several years later, but one can't help but ponder the possibilities if Eric Bana had remained attached to the role.

While speaking the WTF with Marc Maron podcast, Eric Bana discussed his brief time as the Hulk and admitted that it took some convincing to get him to accept the role in the first place.

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.

Nowadays, Marvel Studios typically signs their actors to expansive multi-film contracts, but that wasn't the case for Eric Bana with Hulk. "The universe as you know it didn't exist back then," Bana said. "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. The expectations were not the way they are now. I approached it as a one-off." Bana added that he was not asked to reprise the role for The Incredible Hulk, where Bruce Banner/Hulk was played by Edward Norton, but with Marvel Studios seemingly bringing back characters and actors from films that weren't originally a part of the MCU, is there a chance we could see Bana Hulk-out once again? Well, never say never, but Bana said that superhero movies aren't really his jam. "It’s why I haven’t re-dabbled in that area," Bana explained. "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." Although he sounds reluctant to do so, would you ever want Eric Bana to reprise the role of Bruce Banner somewhere down the road?

Eric Bana also stared a story about Nick Nolte that's too funny not to share. Nolte, who played Bana's father in Hulk, was using an oxygen tank during production for some reason. "He said to me one day — he took a hit of the oxygen and he said to me — ‘I don’t really need this, it just makes them think you’re fucking crazy and they pay attention,'" Bana said, laughing.

Our managing editor Chris Bumbray actually sat down and chatted (via Zoom) with Bana about his upcoming movie The Dry the other day. Check it out below!

Source: WTF with Marc Maron

About the Author

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.