Mark Ruffalo Defends MCU Output With Star Wars Critique

Responding to Watchmen creator Damon Linedlof’s comment about the quantity of MCU properties, Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo makes Star Wars comparison.

Mark Ruffalo, who will once again play the Hulk in the upcoming Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, responds to Lost creator Damon Lindelof’s comment about the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s excessive output, comparing the franchise to Star Wars. Ruffalo took over the MCU’s version of Hulk in 2012’s The Avengers after Edward Norton’s 2008 solo film The Incredible Hulk. Since taking on the role, Ruffalo has featured in eight MCU films and the Disney+ Marvel series What If…? He will return to the screen as Bruce Banner on August 18th in the She-Hulk premiere.

With the recent onslaught of Disney+ series, She-Hulk being the latest, and plenty of movies announced for the MCU’s next phase, some have voiced frustrations about the catalog of content that is now required to catch up on MCU developments. Another criticism of the quantity of Marvel movies and shows is a concern about a potential decrease in quality with so many projects for the studio to juggle. Most recently, Lindelof, who created HBO’s dark superhero show Watchmen, has added his two cents, implying that the number of Marvel stories out there makes each individual film or series a little less special.

In an interview with Metro, Ruffalo pushed back against Lindelof’s stance. He defended the uniqueness of the MCU’s projects by taking a slight dig at another Disney-owned sci-fi franchise, Star Wars. Here’s what he had to say:

“It’s not something I worry about. I understand that these things run their course and then something else comes along. But the thing Marvel has done well is that, inside the MCU, just as they do with comic books, they let a director or an actor sort of recreate each piece to their own style, their likeness. Marvel generally lets them bring that to the material. If you watch a Star Wars, you’re pretty much going to get the same version of Star Wars each time. It might have a little bit of humor. It might have a little bit of different animation. But you’re always, really, in that same kind of world. But with Marvel you can have a whole different feeling even within the Marvel Universe.”

Ruffalo’s comments refer to the MCU’s marked interest in selecting directors for films – particularly solo films – that will bring a fresh flair to the oft-familiar comic book stories, a practice they have continued as they expand into tv series. A prime example is the MCU’s Spider-Man director Jon Watts, who headed up all three of the Tom Holland films. Watts was praised for bringing a completely new genre into the MCU – that of the coming-of-age high school film – through the film’s tone, soundtrack, and design. Similarly, Taika Waititi reinvigorated the Thor franchise beginning with Ragnarok. Since the introduction of TV series into the MCU, the trend has continued. Marvel has also brought in plenty of new voices and cultures with its recent installments such as Ms. Marvel and Shang-Chi, as well as delving into new genres with WandaVision and the horror-tinged Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Ruffalo’s words reflect an increasingly common tendency as pop culture becomes saturated with the superhero and sci-fi genres – the comparison of franchises. And while the She-Hulk actor may be referring solely to the nine films that make up the Star Wars universe’s Skywalker saga, it is important to note that Star Wars, too, has dipped its toes into new waters when it comes to live-action storytelling, mainly in the form of its Disney+ series. Most recently, the new Andor trailer promises a brave new world for Star Wars fans. Ultimately, since Marvel and Lucasfilm are now both subsidiaries of Disney, the company will hopefully make a conscious effort to encourage its studios and the filmmakers within them to keep diversifying and experimenting with new ways of telling stories so that the pop culture hype for new installments evolves rather than dying out.


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