Due to the insane line-up of films for Phase 3 of Marvel, it is obvious that there were several films that didn’t make it. One of these was a standalone Hulk movie or a sequel to the 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, which starred Edward Norton as Bruce Banner and was the only Phase one film that didn’t expand into the MCU with future films.
However, in a recent interview with Collider, Mark Ruffalo revealed the reason why the Hulk could not have a standalone movie within Phase Three is that Universal still actually holds the rights. The major studio held the rights to the 2003 Hulk starring Eric Bana, as well as the 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.
With the recent debate with Sony about letting Spiderman into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and with the Fantastic Four and X-Men franchise still with Fox, it is surprising that this was unknown since the release of the Avengers in 2012, with Mark Ruffalo starring as the Hulk. I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney and Marvel are trying to reason and set some sort of deal with Universal in order to get a standalone Hulk film for the much loved character.
It is obvious that since the character gained popularity through Ruffalo’s portrayal that another Hulk has been in the works for years. However, as it seems that we are not likely getting one any time soon, due to his Marvel contract, it would be very likely to start seeing Ruffalo appear as the Hulk in future MCU films besides Avengers Age of Ultron and Avengers: Infinity War. This would allow the universe to expand due to more avengers popping up in character’s stand alone movies, much like Black Widow’s appearance in Iron Man 2 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Ruffalo also expressed that he is still latched on as the Hulk for at least 4 more movies, but could span onto more. In the same interview, he also discusses his possible appearance in Captain America: Civil War. See the whole interview here: