Mark Ruffalo is crushing any remaining hope that Hulk will get a solo movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Hulk technically does already have a solo film in the MCU with Edward Norton’s The Incredible Hulk, since Ruffalo took over the role, fans have continued to hope that he could one day lead a solo film of his own. Since Ruffalo’s debut in The Avengers five years ago, there has been little progress made on this front.
Any of Marvel’s plans to maybe do a solo Hulk film appear to have been folded into Thor: Ragnarok, where Hulk will be the co-star and live out a version of the Planet Hulk story. Even with Hulk being a fan-favorite now, his future will not hold a solo film.
Following Marvel’s portion of the live-action panel at D23, Mark Ruffalo walked off stage to talk to the press. Variety asked Ruffalo about the chances of him getting his own leading role moving forward. Unfortunately, Ruffalo took this as an opportunity to lay the possibility to bed, saying it will never happen due to Universal. Ruffalo said:
I just want to make one thing perfectly clear today that a standalone Hulk movie will never happen. Because Universal has the rights to the standalone Hulk movie and for some reason they don’t know how to play well with Marvel, and they don’t want to make money.
Marvel has never indicated that another Hulk film would happen, but have routinely said it is something they’ve discussed. Well, it appears those discussions will not continue any more, even with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige’s never-say-never approach. Ruffalo’s response is far more emotional with him taking a few cracks at Universal for not letting it happen. The potential for a Hulk solo movie could have a similar result and set up as Sony’s deal for Spider-Man: Homecoming – where Marvel does most of the work, and Sony reaps the rewards. The Sony/Marvel deal looks to have done wonders for both parties, making it even more confusing why Universal wouldn’t want to join in.
With Hulk not having a future in standalone films, he should continue to be a major supporting character in other, larger films moving forward. Assuming he is still around following his appearance in Avengers: Infinity War and presumably Untitled Avengers as well, it would not be surprising to see him appear in other Phase 4 films. Whether that comes in the Spider-Man sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, a Black Widow standalone, or something else entirely, Marvel will continue to capitalize on Hulk’s popularity – with or without the help of Universal.
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