In the months leading up to a major movie release, the film’s stars are generally expected to remain tight-lipped about any potential spoilers. And Chris Hemsworth can certainly relate to that, as he’s one of the leads in Marvel Studios’ incredibly popular cinematic universe. On the spoiler front, however, the actor has revealed that a castmate of his simply cannot be trusted.
For movie fans, the summer of 2008 might be considered as one of the most memorable years of the noughties. After all, the likes of Wall-E, Tropic Thunder and The Dark Knight all hit the big-screen during that period. There was one lesser-known property that kicked off this particular summer box-office race too.
Yes, in May 2008 Marvel Studios released Iron Man. And unlike The Dark Knight, which is a sequel, Iron Man boasted a number of characters that were arguably unknown to those outside the comic-book community. Yet despite that apparent disadvantage, the Marvel film proved to be a smash-hit.
With Robert Downey Jr. starring as the titular hero, Iron Man earned over $585 million worldwide on an estimated budget of $140 million. Domestically, too, it ended up as the second-highest grossing movie of 2008, just behind The Dark Knight. But that wasn’t the only surprise in store for audiences.
In June 2008, you see, Marvel released their second movie of that summer, The Incredible Hulk. And although it didn’t prove as popular as Iron Man, as shown by its disappointing box-office return, the action flick left filmgoers with a tantalizing tease. That’s because, during an end-credits sequence, Downey Jr. briefly appears in a cameo that connects the two movies.
From there, Marvel kicked off its ambitious cinematic universe, which is better known as the MCU. So after Iron Man 2 came out in 2010, Thor hit the big-screen the following year, with Chris Hemsworth portraying the lead role. And a few months later, Captain America: The First Avenger burst onto the scene, establishing another major Marvel character. Each of these movies also featured at least one element that connected it to all of the others.
This strategy enabled Marvel to then pull off a seemingly impossible task in 2012. That’s when The Avengers brought all of the major Marvel characters together in one film for the first time. And thankfully for Marvel, the movie enjoyed incredible success because of it. In fact, it earned over $1.5 billion worldwide, making it the sixth-most successful release in box-office history.
Since then, the MCU has gone from strength to strength, recruiting a wide range of actors to join the franchise. Mark Ruffalo is one of them, as he replaced Edward Norton as the Hulk in The Avengers. Ruffalo has gone on to appear in another four Marvel movies, too, including 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok alongside Hemsworth.
The pair’s chemistry arguably played a big role in that film’s success, as the characters of Thor and Bruce Banner spent much of their screentime bickering. Then in 2018 Hemsworth and Ruffalo also co-starred in the second Avengers sequel, titled Infinity War, which earned an eye-watering $2 billion at the worldwide box-office.
A few months after Infinity War’s release, though, Hemsworth revealed a behind-the-scenes tidbit. As the MCU films get bigger every year, you see, the studio naturally has to entrust the actors with more secrets. And with that in mind, the Aussie actor opened up about which of his castmates is prone to revealing a spoiler or two.
“Mark Ruffalo, without a doubt,” Hemsworth told Esquire magazine in June 2018. “The amount of times he has potentially derailed these films. But he’s also the person I probably love the most. He’s just the most — just one of the kindest people you’ll meet. And so, [it’s] completely forgivable every time he gives away some plot point.”
“[Ruffalo] could get away with murder,” the Aussie actor added. “Anyone else, it might be highly scrutinized and punished, but he’s beyond forgivable.” So it’s perhaps not surprising that, since completing Thor: Ragnarok, Ruffalo has built up a reputation for leaking spoilers to the public, much to Marvel’s chagrin.
For instance, at the Thor: Ragnarok premiere, Ruffalo actually accidentally streamed some of the film on his Instagram page. The infamous incident obviously left the actor red-faced, but he tried to explain how it happened on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert some time later. “I went backstage, and I was doing the Instagram Live,” he said.
“It was fun and games and everyone loved it, and then I was doing the audience,” Ruffalo continued. “And then they said, ‘Return to your seat; we’re going to start the movie.’ So I pushed the button, what you think is going to stop [the stream]. But then there’s another button to stop it.”
“The first button just tells you to push the second button to stop it,” Ruffalo added. “So I ended up shoving [my phone] in my pocket and sitting down and watching the movie.” The actor was eventually made aware of what had happened some 20 minutes later – and Ruffalo admitted that he had feared for his job.
That wasn’t the first time that Ruffalo had inadvertently given something away ahead of an MCU release, though. In July 2017, for instance, he sat alongside co-star Don Cheadle to discuss Infinity War with Good Morning America. And when the subject of the ending came up, the actor dropped a bombshell.
“Wait until you see [Infinity War],” Ruffalo said. “Everybody dies!” At that point, Cheadle quickly cut him off, but it didn’t end there. “Not everybody,” he continued sheepishly. “No? Is that? Can we rewind that part? Am I in trouble? What’s the next question?” While fans wouldn’t have known it at that time, the star’s statement proved fairly accurate upon the film’s release.
Despite those mistakes, though, Ruffalo isn’t alone in the spoiler-giving department. After all, co-star Tom Holland also seems to be prone to revealing secrets. The young actor who plays Spider-Man in the Marvel movies actually made a similar error ahead of an Infinity War screening in 2018. “I’m alive!” he told the audience, hinting at Spidey’s ultimate fate in a film that the crowd had yet to watch.
Yet while that mistake came out of an unfortunate misunderstanding, it seems that someone at Marvel highlighted Holland as a potential spoiler threat. So with that in mind, co-star Benedict Cumberbatch seemingly shadowed Holland during the press tour to ensure that he didn’t give anything away.
The follow-up to Infinity War comes out in 2019, and many believe that the film will signal the end for several MCU mainstays. As the date moves closer, though, the spotlight may well fall on Ruffalo and Holland. Can they really keep arguably the biggest movie secrets of the past decade? Watch this space…