One thing that Marvel fans have been waiting for since 2008 is a standalone Hulk film. That’s not to say that the one with Edward Norton wasn’t good, because it was a servicable Hulk film.
It’s just that Norton was replaced by Ruffalo after he and Marvel Studios had some disagreements, and we haven’t gotten a solo Hulk film since.
Don’t expect that to change, either – according to some comments yesterday from Ruffalo when asked by Variety:
“I just want to make one thing perfectly clear today that a standalone Hulk movie will never happen. Because Universal has the rights to the standalone Hulk movie and for some reason they don’t know how to play well with Marvel, and they don’t want to make money.”
When asked early last year, however, Ruffalo definitely wasn’t opposed to the idea of doing the film:
“I’d love to do a Hulk movie, but that’s beyond my control. It’s controlled by Universal [Pictures]. Marvel doesn’t even hold the rights to it. So, it’s not on the horizon. And I don’t know if it will be. But we have worked a really interesting arc into Thor 3, Avengers 3 and 4 for Banner that I think will – when it’s all added up – will feel like a Hulk movie, a standalone movie.”
The rights situation between Universal and Marvel was explained best back in 2015:
“Despite obtaining the cinematic rights to make Hulk movies [in 2005], Marvel did not obtain distribution rights,”Forbes reports. “Universal held those rights, and today I can confirm the exact situation is that Universal currently retains the right of first refusal to distribute any Hulk films in the future. If for some reason Universal chose to forgo distribution, then Disney would immediately pick up the distribution rights for the Hulk movie. So Universal has no claim at all to the production rights, and their distribution rights are dependent on exercising their option, which remains in full effect at the moment.”
Here’s hoping it’ll happen one day.