It’s officially Avengers week, and fans aplenty are counting down the hours until the midnight reveal of Joss Whedon’s superhero team-up pic on Thursday/Friday at midnight. Not only is this the first time fans get to see all their favorite Marvel superheroes come together onscreen, but we’ll get our first look at Mark Ruffalo’s iteration of the Hulk. Early word on the film has had many singling out Ruffalo’s performance, and the Hulk character in general, as one of the highlights of the film.
Most critics and fans have been singing high praises of Whedon’s take on the character, yet when Steve asked Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige if a new standalone Hulk movie was in the cards, Feige claimed there were no plans at the moment. However, it appears the overwhelmingly positive reaction may have convinced Marvel to change their tune, because another studio exec recently said we might see a standalone Hulk flick as soon as 2015. Hit the jump for more.
“…Every time I see a good take or a good storyline or read some good pages, I think, ‘Oh should we make a movie about this?’ But with the Hulk we’re gonna play it very carefully. We had varying degrees of success on those first two movies, so we’re not gonna say, ‘Oh we did it! Another one!’ We’re gonna be smart about it and play it out. There are no plans right now to do another Hulk. Hulk might be just the special guest in Avengers movies, who knows?”
I was a bit surprised by Feige’s response at the time, mostly because I didn’t expect them to sign an actor of Ruffalo’s caliber and simply use him as a supporting player. Feige even went so far as to tell Huffington Post that they put “everything they had and everything they were going for into Hulk’s appearance in Avengers,” so he’s in the mindset of “mission accomplished at this point.”
Cut to an enormously enthusiastic reaction to Whedon’s Hulk, and now other execs at Marvel are seeing dollar signs. Speaking with Forbes (via The Playlist), Marvel Entertainment’s President of Consumer Products for North America, Paul Glitter, noted that they were “pleasantly surprised by the phenomenal response,” to Avengers Hulk, and hinted at what’s to come for the character:
“If the Hulk’s successful turnaround continues, Glitter says Marvel will ‘spin him off to a stand-alone [TV] program next year,’ supported by a big budget franchise movie in 2015.”
The Hulk TV series is already a project we’ve known about for quite some time. Guillermo del Toro and Battlestar Galactica producer David Eick have been working together to develop the original story of Bruce Banner in his mid-20s, and Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel Television, recently confirmed that the live-action show is in active development at ABC.
Marvel has yet to reveal release dates beyond 2014 (Captain America 2 and an Untitled Marvel Film are slated for early 2014), so this is the first we’ve heard of their plans for the deeper future. It’s important to note that Feige is in control of the creative side of the studio, so Glitter could very well have misspoken or jumped the gun. Still, I’ve heard nothing but great things about Ruffalo’s Hulk and I’d be more than happy to see him carry a film of his own.