Mark Ruffalo Isn’t Going to Be in ‘Captain America: Brave New World’; Actor Misspoke About Hulk Return During Festival Q&A (EXCLUSIVE)

Mark Ruffalo has struck again!

During a Q&A about his career at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Sunday, the recent Oscar nominee seemed to confirm that he will be reprising his role as the Hulk in Marvel’s “Captain America: Brave New World.” Asked by moderator Anne Thompson if he would next appear in the 2025 feature, Ruffalo nodded his head and said, “Yeah.”

More from Variety

“Are you allowed to talk about that?” Thompson asked.

“Yeah,” Ruffalo said. “It’s going to be great!”

Alas, according to multiple sources, Ruffalo is not actually going to be in “Brave New World.” Instead, he misspoke, thinking he was agreeing that “Brave New World” is one of Marvel’s next films, not that he was going to be in it.

Nonetheless, Ruffalo’s one word answer went viral on social media on Monday, especially since it played into widespread fan expectations that Harrison Ford — who is playing President Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross in the movie opposite Anthony Mackie’s titular superhero — will also transform into Ross’ comic book alter ego, Red Hulk. (Marvel, however, has not confirmed that plot development, and when Ford was asked in June 2023 whether he would become the crimson rage monster, Ford answered, “What is Red Hulk?”)

The misunderstanding further adds to Ruffalo’s legendary reputation for Marvel-related PR gaffes. He accidentally spoiled the ending of “Avengers: Infinity War” during an interview with “Good Morning America” in July 2017. He accidentally live-streamed the first 20 minutes of “Thor: Ragnarok” on Facebook from the world premiere of the film in October 2017. And he accidentally spoiled the ending of “Avengers: Endgame” in April 2019.

During the Q&A at SBIFF, Ruffalo did speak at length about how he’s taken the characters of Hulk and his mild-mannered alter ego Bruce Banner from being at war with each other to finding a way to live together as one — an arc he pitched to Marvel studio chief Kevin Feige after Feige asked him, “What would you do if you had a standalone Hulk movie?”

“I said, ‘I’d like to take him from this raging maniac to this integrated character,'” Ruffalo said. “And he said, ‘OK, we’ll do that over the course of four movies. We’ll never give you a standalone “Hulk.”‘” As the crowd reacted to Ruffalo’s statement, Ruffalo turned to the audience. “I don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble, but that’s not happening.”

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.