It took three tries to get the right actor for Hulk, but Marvel finally found him by casting Mark Ruffalo for The Avengers. The character has lost none of his popularity in Avengers: Age of Ultron, so why isn’t he getting his own solo feature?
Check out the video below for Ruffalo talking about his contract and how it allows for Hulk standalone movies, but we probably won’t be getting one because of rights issues.
Collider: How many pictures do you have left on your Marvel contract?
MARK RUFFALO: I think it’s four now, but that could always go further. That could include different—I could show up in another character’s movie; I could do Avengers 3 and 4; I could do a Hulk standalone; I could do a combination of those things. That’s four or five, I think.
Great! So Ruffalo’s contract isn’t constrained to appearing in just Avengers movies. Since Captain America: Civil War is being billed as “Avengers 2.5” (or Avengers 3.8 if you ask Anthony Mackie) and already has Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. Is there room for the big green guy?
RUFFALO: I don’t know if I’m in it yet. I don’t know. Sometimes these things happen at the last minute in this world. I really don’t know where I fit in from here on out, and I’m not sure they do.
So if Hulk and/or Bruce Banner don’t make it into Civil War, what does that mean for the character? More importantly, what does that mean for seeing Hulk carry his own feature?
RUFFALO: As far as a Hulk movie, a standalone Hulk movie, Marvel doesn’t really have the rights to that yet. That’s still Universal’s property, so there’s that issue. That’s a big impediment to moving forward with that. Now I don’t think that’s insurmountable, by the way, but I don’t know where it’s going from here for me.
And there’s the kicker. Even Marvel wants to do a standalone Hulk, they have to go through Universal. I assume that the studio doesn’t have the same problem they have with Spider-Man where they’re simply leasing the character from a studio (in Spidey’s case, it’s from Sony) since Marvel produced The Incredible Hulk. But according to Ruffalo, Universal still gets to distribute solo Hulk movie, and perhaps that could be a problem for Marvel’s parent company, Disney.
If that’s the case, it’s a shame because it feels like Marvel could finally get a standalone Hulk movie right this time. Incredible Hulk is the studio still trying to find its tone and attitude, and the movie scrapes by just trying to connect to the MCU through some second unit shots and a limp tag featuring Tony Stark.
That being said, Phase Three is already full, so if Marvel wants to start cracking on a solo Hulk feature, it won’t even come out until the 2020s.
For a refresher on all of Marvel’s confirmed releases, see below. And for a catalog of all upcoming superhero movie release dates, click here.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron – May 1, 2015
- Ant-Man – July 17, 2015
- Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016
- Doctor Strange - November 6, 2016
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017
- Spider-Man Reboot – July 28, 2017
- Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017
- Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 – May 4, 2018
- Black Panther – July 6, 2018
- Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 – May 3, 2019
- Inhumans – July 12, 2019