Hulk and Marvel Studios have had an interesting relationship over the years. The big green galoot and his rather passive alter ego Bruce Banner have stolen scenes and been integral in the Avengers storylines as well as other movies in the franchise. But the character has yet to have his own solo movie in any phase. The roadblocks that kept the Hulk from having his own name on the marquee could soon be removed with rumors Marvel is finally circling a solo movie for the Hulk.
We Got This Covered is reporting that Marvel might be in negotiations to finally bring Hulk a movie of his own. Universal Studios has long since owned the solo film rights to Hulk (along with Namor the Submariner) and have been (rightfully) hesitant to give them up considering the overwhelming success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The relationship has been and continues to be problematic.
It’s almost hard to put a price on the Hulk’s solo property rights at this point considering how popular and important Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner/ Hulk has become to the Avengers and the MCU as a whole. It isn’t a stretch to think that a Hulk solo movie could be one of the most popular of any in the MCU considering the popularity of the character and how well Ruffalo has handled both sides of id and ego.
This latest rumor has Marvel wanting a solo movie to center around the World War Hulk storyline which was originally published in 2007. It follows an arc that sounds almost more like a Dan Brown novel than a comic book. In it, the Illuminati are at the center of a plot to remove Hulk from Earth, banishing him to space. There he becomes even more powerful and comes back to Earth looking for a little revenge. A number of Marvel characters appear including the X-Men, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, and many more. It’s easy to see why Marvel would want to adapt this property considering the number of crossover possibilities.
The last solo movie we had for the character was 2008’s The Incredible Hulk starring Edward Norton Jr. The film has a complicated history and, while it probably should have worked, it didn’t. Universal basically scrapped the idea of moving forward with any more iterations and at this point have no real reason to accept to find a suitable asking price for the character.
This news comes hot on the heels of a number of other Marvel-related pieces of news in recent cycles. There are rumors that Captain America could return for an Avengers 4, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine could make a cameo in the next Doctor Strange movie, Oscar Isaac has been cast as Moon Knight in the upcoming Disney+ series, and even that a Hulk vs.Wolverine movie might be in the works. Why is that last one okay you might ask? Well, the deal with the Hulk is that he can team-up in movies, just not go solo. Again, this is complicated.
In all, as Marvel enters it’s Phase Four, we already know they are eagerly looking ahead to a Phase Five. And the latter could be the biggest yet (which feels hard to believe) as the universe expands, goes back to its roots and develops even more characters.