Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige is unsure if Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk will ever get a solo film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thor: Ragnarok is right around the corner with its theatrical release, and fans have been getting excited not only for their first time seeing Thor in a while, but the Hulk as well. Even from the early trailers, the Hulk was featured prominently, and that’s because this will likely be as much of a movie putting the spotlight on the green giant as it is the god of thunder.
With this being Chris Hemsworth’s third Marvel film dedicated specifically to him (tying him with Robert Downey Jr. in the solo Iron Man films and Chris Evans in the Captain America films), some fans may still be wondering why Ruffalo isn’t getting any solo flicks. Sure, there have been other Hulk movies, but none focused solely on the latest incarnation of Banner.
Related: Thor: Ragnarok Early Reviews
Marvel president Kevin Feige recently weighed in on that issue. In an interview with IndieWire, Feige said, “I think that back and forth continues, and I don’t know if it will ever happen.” So the fate of a solo Hulk film doesn’t sound totally impossible when put like that. Regardless, Feige is just thrilled fans are even interested in the prospect. He said:
“But I will tell you, it makes me very, very happy going from a world, 10 years ago, when people were questioning the viability of Hulk in a standalone film, to getting asked every other interview, ‘When will there be another standalone Hulk?’”
The back and forth that Feige mentions is in reference to the fact that Marvel does not actually own the rights to do any solo films for the Hulk. Instead, Universal owns the rights for solo Hulk movies, but obviously isn’t showing interest in competing with Marvel’s Hulk or selling the rights. As for how Marvel is able to use the Hulk at all, the studio does own the rights to feature the hero in crossover movies, hence why we’ve only seen Ruffalo in the Avengers films (plus a cameo in Iron Man 3) and now in one of Thor’s films.
Having to sneak the Hulk into other heros’ movies obviously isn’t ideal, so one of the most common questions asked about the MCU is whether it will ever be possible for Marvel to do a solo film focused on Banner. Ruffalo spoke about a standalone Hulk movie at the D23 Expo in July, saying, “I want to just make one thing perfectly clear today: A standalone Hulk movie will never happen.” That’s news that no Marvel fan wants to hear, but Ruffalo confirms it’s not because Marvel studios isn’t interested, adding, “Universal has the rights, and for some reason, they don’t know how to play well with Marvel.”
Considering what happened with the deal Marvel struck with Sony to bring Spider-Man into the MCU, you can never say never. But for now, the Hulk will have to settle for making his appearances in movies where other character’s names are in the title.
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