The chances of a stand-alone Hulk film were already pretty slim, especially following the failures of the earlier solo movies. And although we’d all love to see Mark Ruffalo get his own Hulk movie, it sounds like that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. It’s complicated.
Forbes has the scoop, saying Marvel doesn’t actually have distribution rights to the character, which is giving the studio major pause about ever making a stand-alone film. If Marvel did decide to move forward, however, it would have creative control over the film’s story. But being cooperative with another studio just doesn’t sound like something Marvel is willing to do.
Not only that, but one of the bigger reasons Marvel has for not making a stand-alone Hulk film is how relatively unsuccessful the two recent solo movies were. It just doesn’t want to front the production costs when the studio could focus its attention on a sure bet like another Avengers, and other established solo films. A third Thor film is on the way, along with Captain America, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel and even Spider-Man.
Marvel also apparently feels the jolly green giant is better suited to appearing in Avengers films, and also making cameos in other solo character films; Bruce Banner had a brief cameo in Iron Man 3. There’s a very sketchy rumor he could also make an appearance in Captain America: Civil War.
Working with another studio wouldn’t be unprecedented for Marvel. In order to add the beloved Web Slinger to its cinematic universe, Marvel partnered with Sony for an upcoming Spider-Man reboot, which will see Marvel make the film, and Sony distribute. Could we see a similar deal between Marvel and Universal?
If Marvel did make a Hulk film, Universal could decide to pass on distribution, giving Disney full control. But it doesn’t sound like it’ll ever make it to that point in the first place.