10 Actors That Could Play The Hulk

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10 Actors That Can Make A Real "Hulk Smash!" Hit

So right off the bat, does anybody remember that scene in Ang Lee’s 2003 Hulk film when Hulk was fighting those hulk dogs, and the hulk punched one of them in the balls? I’m not even making that up. Go back and watch that scene on YouTube or something. You can clearly see the Hulk grabbing one of those monster hulk dogs by the leg, and shoving his fist hard into that dog’s testicles. I know that sounds like some really fetishy and crazy sex-video (and if you’re into that, I’m not judging you at all), but that was really in the movie. The first Hulk movie no less.     

Other than that weird scene where Hulk punches a dog in the balls, Ang Lee’s Hulk was a cerebral and ambitious film, but it didn’t resonate well with audiences at the time. And five years later with the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s the Incredible Hulk the character got a little more attention and praise, but generally people are mostly on consensus that even Edward Norton’s movie is just “eh”. Avenger’s director Joss Whedon once said it would be hard to make a hulk film because he’s like the wolfman. Banner’s main goal tends to be how does he rid himself of becoming the Hulk, but the audience loves seeing the Hulk. It’s hard to sympathize with a main character that wants the polar-opposite of what the audience wants. And there are also some legal issues regarding the character’s rights with Universal. Who knows why universal feels the need to hold onto a character they clearly have no idea how to use. Maybe they are getting some money out him, but in an ideal world Marvel is hatching a plan to make that good Hulk film. Much like how DC is planning on making that good Superman film one day (No, not you Man of Steel. At least you tired).            

With that in mind, I thought of a list of some diverse and well-known actors that could play the hulk on screen when Mark Ruffalo’s contract with Marvel Studios times out. And for this list, these are mostly people who could play Bruce Banner. The Hulk himself in any movie could be a CGI creature who will be voiced by Lou Ferrigno forever until the end of time along with Peter Cullen who voices Optimus Prime.

10. James Franco 

Yeah, there’s no doubt that this Banner smokes a huge pound of weed.

Now hear me out. James Franco has had a very changing and ranging career. He went from playing Harry Osborn in the Toby Maguire Spider-Man movies, to being the sidekick in Seth Rogan movies, to being in smaller art-house films spread across his career. James Franco has made his way up as far as his reputation as an actor, and honestly, I would be interested in any comic book role he does at this point. James Franco takes a lot of liberties as an actor when it comes to his roles, trying to make them as authentic as possible. Bruce Banner is a scientist that tries to keep himself emotionally calm to not awaken the Hulk inside of him, and because of that he keeps himself distant from others until he can rid himself of it or control it. James Franco could take that into any direction he wants. He could play it straight-forward in which case the writing of the script will have to be excellent, or he can take full-rain of the role and come out with a unique performance. I would personally love to see the emotional depths he takes with his role as Bruce Banner.

9. Vin Diesel


Groot…. Smash!!!”

 Vin Diesel is known for playing stoic, monotone, characters in voice roles that don’t require him to say much. It would be easy to just have him say “Hulk smash” make some grunts, and maybe one other catchphrase for the end, but I believe Vin Diesel could play a more loquacious Hulk. This would fit more into another dream Hulk movie of mine which would derive from the Joe Fixit storyline. For those comic book illiterates who don’t know what I’m talking about, Joe Fixit is the grey Hulk (yes, the Hulk has been more colors than green. Read comics) who becomes a giant mob gangster in a large suit and hat who was an enforcer at a casino. With the progression of CGI, this would be a possible film to make, but also an expensive gamble (pun-intended) if people don’t like it as much. Vin Diesel would make this a more marketable and more enjoyable movie with him voicing Joe Fixit. You could attach any of the previously listed actors above to play Banner in this Hulk movie.

8. Haley Joel Oment


Funny enough; Hulk can see ghosts as well.

 Now this actor could be a little harder to swallow as Bruce Banner. The actor isn’t doing much in big Hollywood blockbusters, and the last movie I saw him in was in Max Landis’s Me, Him, Her, but I believe he could pull off a good Bruce Banner. I’d say more so in a comedic team-up like Thor: Ragnorok. I could honestly see this chubby, hairy, and baby-faced man turning a muscular and bulky green rage monster. And making the Hulk look like him will bring a new meaning to the phrase “I see dead”. Trust me, you don’t want to hear the Hulk say that to you. 

 7. John Cusack

“Don’t make me chill. This movie would be so boring if I’m chill.”

 You know, I just saw a fan-made trailer of Batman Vs Superman where someone used John Cusack in the role of Clark Kent. I could see that since John Cusack is good at playing the everyman. In another art-house Hulk movie like Ang Lee’s film (and hopefully no scenes where he punches a dog in the balls) he could play an average ordinary Bruce Banner. A normal scientist, with a normal scientist/research job, and a normal girlfriend, with a not-so normal condition. A condition that plagues his social life, and we could follow him on his journey to rid himself of the hulk. In some respects, John Cusack could work in a hulk movie that doesn’t necessarily have any super-villains, and the film mainly focuses on Hulk’s internal struggle and journey. In fact, he would also make a great Doc Samson as well. With less muscles, though.  

6. Daniel Radcliffe 


“You’re the personification of the emotional struggles of anger, Harry! I mean…. Bruce!”

I mean, of course the actor that used to play Harry Potter would look good as a comic-book accurate-looking Bruce Banner with round glasses and all. However, much like Nicholas Hoult and Terry Crews, and I could much more see him working well in an Avengers or a team-up movie. He could carry his own movie. Just imagine Daniel Radcliff as this impish and loving man that everyone finds so adorable, but then he grows into an enormous brutish monster that isn’t so likable. Or cute. Daniel Radcliffe would also work in my dream Hulk period piece film as well.

5. Terry Crews

His reason for getting angry was because of the rising price of gas. Poor Chris’s dad. We can all relate.  

Now before you judge, no I do not want any director to paint Terrry Crews green and have him run around yelling "Hulk smash!" I'm sure he does that anyway.However, I think Terry Crews would make a great Hulk voice actor. I would also like to hear him say more than just the usual catchphrases and grunts. Terry Crews has comedic range, and in a team-up movie with any other marvel  character like Thor or Iron Man and work off of them with witty banter. 

4. Nicholas Hoult 

 “Green rage monster that kills everyone and everything in sight, and proud!”

 You know, the Marvel universe is filled with tons of nerdy scientist characters that gain an immense amount of power. I guess it makes sense being that Marvel’s core audience (in the comics, but the movies are way too mainstream for real nerds) are nerds and they would feel good that a nerdy character is empowered in anyway. Nicholas Hoult has already played Hank McCoy in the prequal X-Men films. Hank and Bruce are similar in that they are both scientist that undergo physical transformations. One turns green, and the other turns blue. The pick seems obvious. (Paragraphs broken down)

 That similarity aside, Nicholas Hoult would be excellent at playing a nerdy Banner that desires more power and more respect from his peers, and ultimately decides that transforming into the Hulk with some type of Hulk-juice (gross) would help him gain that respect. Only to be disappointed that his invented serum turns him into a green-rage monster that destroys and smashes everything in sight. In this Hulk film will have Bruce Banner in a period piece set in the 60’s. His performance in X-Men: First Class is especially proof that he can play that sort of scientist role. Plus, one could make it into the style of a B-movie science-fiction movie with a budget. Let’s be honest, the weird and goofy science of the marvel universe (Radiation= superpowers) would fit more into a silly 60’s setting.  

3. Donald Glover 

He could even release a song for the movie called Greenbone. All jokes aside, check out his new album, though.

 Again, sorry for going to the Spider-man-well again, but once again we have another nerdy actor that could play Bruce Banner. I’m judging this performance more so from Donald Glover’s own short films like Clapping for the Wrong Reasons, and based off the character he played for his second studio album Because the Internet (Which is an excellent album and everyone should go listen to it) Donald Glover could play someone who is reserved with internal conflict. He could also play an emotionally sensitive Bruce.

 A Bruce who is concerned with what people think of him and how they feel around him. This would be a great contrast with when he transforms into the Hulk where all his extreme and reserved emotions are just let out. I could imagine Donald Glover in his own solo Hulk movie, with more of a focus on Banner, and Banner’s relationship with the Hulk.  I could just see him meditating in a quiet spot outside, and trying not to let the tiniest things set him off. Donald Glover could grow into a Bruce Banner that is Zen and comfortable with his life-condition

2. Andrew Garfield


Maybe we’ll finally get to have that Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-man threesome.

 Now I know this guy is just coming off the heels and the backlash of his unfinished Spider-Man series, and to be honest it would take a lot of work for him to transform himself and not have people think of Peter Parker, but just imagine this person as Bruce Banner. Andrew Garfield could obviously play a smart and scientific type, but he can also be witty, sarcastic, and carry some emotional reservation and weight with the performance as well. Imagine those weird little ticks he did with Peter Parker, only done with Bruce Banner. (Paragraphs are broken up)

 Garfield could play a scientist that tries to relate to people and humor with them the best way he can, but his awkwardness stirs people away from him and it’s only because he always has something hidden. Plus, let’s be honest: in an Avengers movie, it would be cool to see Robert Downey Jr play off with him in witty remarks. They could bond over science stuff, and maybe even spark a semi-romantic relationship, but without the act because it’ll be PG-13. But yes, in an Avengers movie Andrew Garfield would be a cool and interesting Bruce Banner.

1. James Quinn- Nah I’m just joking. Although people have called me a shy and nerdy individual (a badge I where quietly with pride) I’m not an actor.   

Although my audition for Captain America went well.

1. Steve Buscemi 


Don’t get him started on tipping at restaurants.

To start off the list, I wanted to begin with someone who would not only be perfect, but was also close in playing Bruce Banner himself before the Ang Lee Hulk. Aside from his nerdy and bug-eyed appearance that would work for a puny Banner (and maybe even a creepy Banner), he also has a bit of range, like the characters he plays in films like Reservoir Dogs and the Big Lebowski. He can go through a range of emotions and play many different roles apart from being the bug-eyed creepy dude in Adam Sandler movies.

I could imagine Steve Buscemi playing a conflicted scientist, gripping with his internal anger and thus distancing himself from others making him seem creepy, but mostly tragic. Maybe in a more horror driven Hulk film, we could Banner as this creepy and weird scientist through the lens of another character, let’s say Rick Jones. This creepy man has a dark secret that is revealed to Rick Jones as the Hulk. But the tragedy will come from the fact that as creepy as this scientist is, he doesn’t want to be that way and distant himself from others. But he must. He must in case he becomes the Hulk in front of them. In any incarnation of the Hulk whether in the Avengers, or in his own solo movie, Steve Buscemi could make a great Bruce Banner.   

So, there you have it. 10 actors that could play Bruce Banner and a few ideas as to my personal ideal hulk films. Of course, there are many better nerdy actors that could be better for this role, but these are just my personal picks. The Hulk is interesting and challenging character to adapt to the screen. In all honesty, I believe going back and making a more comic book accurate tv show or series on Netflix than just one stand-alone movie. Although again, we’d have to acknowledge how expensive of a gamble that would be because a Hulk series will more than likely require some CGI. The future Hulk looks uncertain, and maybe with the growing efficiency of computer graphics, we’ll eventually get that great in quality Hulk film.

 If you would like to read some more marvel related articles on gamersdecide.com, check out:

10 actors who can be next Spider-Man (which also features Donald Glover)

10 differences between the Thor movies and Norse Mythology,

top 10 X-Men that deserve to be on the big screen

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James Quinn is the writer you want for not only any gaming website, but any entertainment website period. Granted...he's not much a gamer, but you can bet he's a huge comic-book nerd.
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