There's no new The Incredible Hulk film currently in development and even if a solo movie sequel for the character of Bruce Banner - played by Eric Bana, Edward Norton and most recently, Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers - were to happen, it wouldn't be for a very long time (after The Avengers 2). Instead, Marvel Studios has six other films in the works, bringing back the other (read: more bankable) heroes of The Avengers and introducing new characters in Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy.
For television however, Guillermo del Toro has been developing a live-action Hulk series for ABC for almost two years and as we learned two months ago, they're just waiting for a writer. Not long after, Joss Whedon signed with Marvel Studios with an exclusive three-year contract that included developing a TV show for ABC, but he was not the writer del Toro and Marvel are waiting for to help the big green guy.
While no names were given, del Toro previously revealed that they have one name selected to rewrite the script for The Incredible Hulk TV pilot and that the one name is an established figure in the industry.
"I had one meeting with Marvel after Avengers and we had a very, very good chat. We have a writer that we want to bring on board, a very, very concrete name. I can’t reveal it, but we want to wait for that writer. It’s a writer who is otherwise engaged. So right now we are in a holding pattern until that writer becomes free. Then we’re going to do a new draft of the script."
In chatting with STYD yesterday, del Toro provided a little update on the Hulk project and as it turns out, they're simply still waiting.
"Right now all I know is the official word I was given is that there’s a writer they want. They are very interested in me meeting with him. He’s very, very busy. The official word is we are holding, but I don’t know… After Avengers having the success it had, perhaps the fate of the project may change. Right now officially what I know – and I’m not hiding anything off the record or anything – is that we were told we were waiting for this writer, and we were going to do it with him."
Who is this mysterious writer we wonder? Could it be someone like Damon Lindelof who's previously worked with ABC on Lost and Marvel on Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk? He's busy with Star Trek Into Darkness so it fits.
Del Toro continues by saying he'll absolutely direct the pilot and explains why, while also name-dropping a few properties he's expressed interested in over the years.
"The reason is that the superheroes I like and that I would like to get involved with are all monsters. Be it Swamp Thing, Etrigan [the Demon], Doctor Strange."
Dr. Strange? It's interesting to see del Toro continuing to find ways to namedrop the character Marvel Studios has yet to move on, but one they have a script for and have expressed interest in repeatedly and publicly over the years. Marvel Pres Kevin Feige says he's confident in Dr. Strange much like he is Guardians of the Galaxy and Dr. Strange is even one of the rumored characters to appear in Phase Two of the Marvel cinematic universe, possibly being introduced in Thor: The Dark World. Where a Dr. Strange movie would fit into Marvel's schedule is another question entirely, as they're booked up for the next two-three years.
In our discussion on Guillermo del Toro directing a Marvel movie, Dr. Strange was the #1 choice as voted by our readers. If Whedon's SHIELD show takes the studio's focus and if Marvel can't land this unnamed writer for Hulk, perhaps we'll still see del Toro direct something major for Marvel.
On the film side, Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014 and Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.