Edward Norton was the first actor to portray the MCU version of the character, in 2008’s Incredible Hulk, before parting ways with Marvel.included a sneaky nod to the recasting of Hulk (aka Bruce Banner) with a comedic line from Mark Ruffalo in of the series, which . Ruffalo has played the role since 2012’s Avengers, but
The new show’s second episode revisits the Incredible Hulk’s nemesis, as lawyer Jennifer Walters (Bruce’s cousin, better known as She-Hulk) takes Emil Blonsky/The Abomination on as a client (with actor Tim Roth reprising a role he played opposite Norton). When Jenn () nervously reveals this to Bruce about two-thirds of the way through the episode, her cousin is surprisingly cool with it.
“Actually, Blonsky wrote me a really nice letter a while back, and a really heartfelt haiku. So we put everything behind us,” he says of his old adversary. “That fight was so many years ago, I’m a completely different person now. Literally.”
Jenn looks into the camera, mirroring her comic book counterpart’s habit of breaking the fourth wall, and gives the audience a dry “Ha ha.”
In an Entertainment Weekly article published Friday, Ruffalo expressed his delight with the show’s choice to address the recasting.
“I think it’s really funny,” Ruffalo said. “It’s just the reality that we all are often dancing around, but it’s true. I actually joked with Ed about this. I was like, ‘It’s like our generation’s Hamlet. Everyone’s going to get a shot at it.’ And there’ll probably be another couple before it’s all over. People will be like, ‘Remember when the Hulk used to look like Mark Ruffalo? Now it looks like Timothée Chalamet.'”
She-Hulk head writer Jessica Gao separately told The Hollywood Reporter that Ruffalo added the “literally” on to the end of the quote.