Fans of the Hulk have been asking for a full-fledged standalone movie starring Mark Ruffalo for a long time. Thus far, we have only seen Ruffalo as a co-star alongside his fellow Avengers. Now, the actor himself has shot down any hopes we might have had. He threw in some choice words about Universal for good measure.
Mar Ruffalo stated:
I want to just make one thing perfectly clear today: A standalone ‘Hulk’ movie will never happen. Universal has the rights, and for some reason, they don’t know how to play well with Marvel. And, they don’t want to make money.
Marvel’s properties have been fragmented in film for quite a while. DC movies are consistently produced by their parent company Warner Bros. However, Marvel had licensed their characters to Universal, Sony, and 20th Century Fox. They retained the rights to the Avengers, which enabled the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel can add the Hulk into any film they like, but only Universal can distribute a solo movie starring Bruce Banner/Hulk. That’s one of those funny nuances of licensing.
In 2003, Eric Bana took on the role of Bruce Banner in Hulk. However, it was widely regarded as meh. In 2008, Edward Norton became the doctor with an anger problem in The Incredible Hulk. This was the second film in the MCU, after the first Iron Man. Even though Marvel Studios produced the movie, Universal still distributed it. That technicality will block Marvel from distributing a Hulk movie through Paramount (like most of Phase 1) or parent company Disney.
Recently, Marvel Studios was able to bring one of their licensed characters back into the fold. Spider-Man’s inclusion in Captain America: Civil War was the result of a new cooperation between Marvel Studios and Sony. Also, as part of the deal, Marvel Studios co-produced and included Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
In a perfect world…
The hope is that Universal could see the benefits of collaborating with Marvel Studios to make a solo Hulk movie starring Mark Ruffalo. However, any optimism I had was just dashed to pieces. How much more money do MCU movies need to make before Universal come to their senses?
So, do you geeks think a standalone Hulk movie starring Mark Ruffalo would be good? Or, is the gamma-irradiated bundle of rage better off as a co-star? Sound off in the comments now!