With all the excitement over the release of the new [Star Wars: Episode VIII](movie:711868) trailer as well as the first significant look at [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870), some of you may have missed a bit of information regarding the chances for a possible new solo Incredible Hulk film in the MCU. Spoiler Alert - the news may make you angry.
Why have we not seen a new Hulk solo film?
According to Bruce Banner himself, AKA Mark Ruffalo, there is a good reason for it. In an interview with Collider, he explained the situation. When asked if he wanted to appear as Banner in Captain America, Ruffalo said:
"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. 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."
Contrary to popular belief, the reason we have not seen a new Incredible Hulk solo film isn't due to a poor reception of the previous Hulk film(s) or any other similar fan speculation. The reason is quite clear. Marvel Studios does not have the rights to make an Incredible Hulk solo film.
So, as a fan, what does that mean?
It means all the hopeful speculation that Marvel had a secret plan for a Planet Hulk movie seems to be nothing more than empty rumors. It also means that, until Universal Studios and Marvel Studios can make a deal in a similar way that Marvel negotiated the rights for Spider-Man with Sony, there are NO plans for another solo Hulk film on the horizon.
And why should we be okay with it?
If you are angry after hearing this information, I can relate. But, this might actually be a good thing for the character and here's why. Although I personally would gladly sacrifice a favorite limb just to see a new solo Hulk film tomorrow, I would much rather wait for the character to be in the capable hands of Marvel Studios rather than see Universal rush out a disappointing Hulk movie. Given the studios' previous achievements in recreating their properties for the MCU, I would have greater confidence in the success of a solo Hulk film produced by Marvel, whether its a Planet Hulk film or not.
We all want our beloved characters to be portrayed with the same love we have for those characters. I trust Marvel Studios to do that. I am willing to wait for Marvel to strike a deal with Universal to see it.
In the mean time there is still more Hulk to see, according to Ruffalo. When asked for how many more movies is contracted to appear in, he said:
"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..."
Marvel Studios spokespeople have said as much in the past. Although a solo film isn't planned for ol' Jade Jaws in the near future, there are still plans to work him into other MCU films. Given his popularity after The Avengers, it is in their best interest to use the Hulk as much as possible.
This information may close the door on a possible Planet Hulk movie, but only for now. Until a deal is reached, we will just have be thankful to see our green skinned hero smashing up the big screen in [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035).
How do you feel about Universal still holding the rights to a Hulk solo project? Post your comments below.