Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Real Reason Eric Bana Didn't Play The Hulk In The MCU

Of all the characters to populate the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Hulk is arguably the one with the most topsy-turvy journey thus far. Edward Norton was the first actor to play the un-jolly green giant in the franchise, but he parted ways following 2008's "The Incredible Hulk" as a result of some well-documented behind-the-scenes drama. Mark Ruffalo subsequently took his place as Bruce Banner and his monstrous counterpart, and the rest is history. However, fans can't help but feel Hulk has yet to make a definitive statement as a solo star on the big screen.

That's not to say there haven't been admirable attempts to turn the Hulkster (no, not that one) into a marquee attraction throughout the years. Prior to Norton's tenure as the monster, Ang Lee gave Marvel's gargantuan green creature a fun outing in 2003's "Hulk." That movie saw Eric Bana play the titular hero, and while some superhero aficionados would have been happy to see him reprise the role in the MCU, it was never an option.

Eric Bana wasn't offered the role

Eric Bana considers himself more of a character actor than a comic book movie star, so chances are he wouldn't have returned to the world of Marvel if he had the opportunity. In an interview with Variety, the actor revealed that Kevin Feige never approached him about taking up the role again, nor did Bana go about chasing it. That said, Bana doesn't know how he'd have reacted if he'd known what the MCU would become, as superhero movies were still finding their groove in 2003. "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."

Then again, Bana just isn't the biggest fan of these types of blockbusters. In the same interview, he even opened up about having reservations when playing the Hulk in Lee's movie. According to the actor, it "wasn't a quick yes" and it took him a while to wrap his head around the concept, especially since he wasn't given the script beforehand. Bana hasn't ruled out appearing in more comic book movies down the line, but they aren't at the top of his list at the moment.