If you ask actor Lou Ferrigno, the original Incredible Hulk, about the future of Marvel's largest and most ill-tempered Avenger, he'd tell you that the green giant is getting his own movie sometime after next summer's The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Given that Marvel Studios has yet to outline all of their Phase 3 plans for 2016-17 it's certainly possible.
Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige said as much in interviews for The Avengers two years ago, but warned that if there were to be another Hulk movie for star Mark Ruffalo, it wouldn't be until after The Avengers 2. Skip forward to present and Ruffalo says it's now actually (read: finally) under "consideration." Although it probably has been that way for a while.
The Hulk however, isn't one of Marvel Studios' most bankable characters. Having had a pair of adaptations with two different actors in the last decade, the box office results weren't impressive enough either time to warrant a sequel, especially when so many other characters and properties are vying for a chance (and potential franchise) on the big screen.
Hulk might just be a better supporting character, and writer/director Joss Whedon proved that in The Avengers. Thing is, that movie also made the Hulk and his friendlier alter ego Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) fan-favorites and ever since Hulk smashed alongside Captain America, Iron Man and Thor in summer 2012, a lot of fans want to see more.
And they're going to get that next summer as Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner and Hulk (he does the motion capture work for "the other guy" as well) get more screen time in The Avengers sequel. As of right now, Hulk's sort of an exclusive hero to The Avengers and that works well for Joss Whedon and adds a little something special in addition to seeing the other poster heroes who have solo franchises team-up again.
There were rumors after The Avengers, that we could see Hulk lose control in Age of Ultron and it would force the heroes of Earth to send him off-planet, leading to an adaptation of Planet Hulk and World War Hulk. Feige expressed interest (so too did Ruffalo) in those properties and it would be a neat way to do something new and different with the character, perhaps even making it more bankable by tying it into Guardians of the Galaxy or some other property. At this point, it's all specualtion and conjecture, but Ruffalo did say this to Digital Spy yesterday:
"I think they are, for the first time, entertaining the idea of it. When we did The Avengers it was basically 'No!', and now there is some consideration for it. But there's still nothing definitive, not even a skeletal version of what it would be. I look forward to going down that road, if we could crack that nut."
It's difficult to read into what the talent can actually say about their roles and potential upcoming projects given the strict NDAs they need to sign, but with Marvel Studios always planning many films ahead for story and contractual reasons - all the way to 2028 in this case - if there's a Hulk movie coming, Ruffalo probably knows about it and there's already a tentative plan in place based on where The Avengers: Age of Ultron leaves the character. Maybe we'll find out next month at Comic-Con when we can expect to see the next slate of films officially titled and dated.
Would you like to see a new Hulk-centric live-action adventure or should Marvel Studios focus on introducing more new characters and/or teams?
Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
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Source: Digital Spy