Mark Ruffalo"s Explanation For No MCU Hulk Movie Is Missing A Major Problem

  • Financial challenges and distribution rights hinder a standalone Hulk movie, despite audience demand.
  • Hulk stories can still be told within other Marvel projects, like the potential inclusion in Young Avengers.
  • The future of Hulk's arc in the MCU remains uncertain, especially as Ruffalo's role may change post-Avengers: Secret Wars.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has yet to produce a Hulk movie for Mark Ruffalo's version of Bruce Banner, and there are multiple obstacles preventing it from coming to fruition. While the MCU timeline has focused on numerous heroes in their own solo films, Hulk is one of the few exceptions. Outside of The Incredible Hulk in 2008, Bruce has continued to be a supporting player in all the later phases of the MCU.
Given how long he has been around at this point, the MCU audience has made it clear that a Hulk movie is something they want to see again. With Ruffalo being open to starring in his own MCU movie, the question of why it has yet to happen is inevitable, and one Marvel audiences have debated practically ever since the character was introduced into the franchise. Ruffalo has opened up more about the challenges of seeing a Hulk film come to fruition, but there are a lot of other factors that may still prevent it from becoming an addition to the upcoming MCU movie release slate.
Related All 6 Hulk Costumes & Designs In The MCU, Ranked The Hulk has had many looks over the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with some clear winners and losers in terms of visual aesthetics. A Hulk Movie Would Be Expensive, But Distribution Rights Are A Bigger Problem Close In a 2024 interview with GQ, Ruffalo stated that it's financially tricky for Marvel Studios to make a Hulk movie, saying that "it’s very expensive if you did a whole movie, which is why they use the Hulk so sparingly." As valid and accurate as that statement is, there is also the matter of the Hulk distribution rights. Prior to Disney acquiring Marvel, The Incredible Hulk movie was distributed by Universal Pictures in 2008, which has, ever since the film's release, been an ongoing obstacle for Marvel Studios.
It was believed that the Hulk movie rights were possibly meant to revert back to Marvel Studios in 2023, after nearly 15 years since The Incredible Hulk opened in theaters. However, with Ruffalo's recent responses about a Hulk movie likely never going to happen, it's possible the rights have perhaps not gone back to Marvel Studios at this point. Given how Ruffalo also mentions that Marvel Studios doesn't want him to talk about it, it wouldn't be a shock if this is because they are still attempting to get the rights again.
Hulk Can Still Get A Satisfying Story Without A Solo Movie While Bruce should be able to have his own movie, that doesn't mean the MCU can't do some great Hulk stories in other Marvel Studios projects. The MCU is known for using a character's solo movie to adapt some of Marvel's most iconic storylines, including Civil War in Captain America: Civil War. Even in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, the show was able to introduce Skaar at the very end of the season, setting up the father-son dynamic to be explored in a future MCU movie or TV show.
Even if it's not in a traditional Hulk movie or series, the Bruce/Skaar arc could easily be expanded upon in something like Young Avengers, with Ruffalo serving as a mentor figure. As far as the greater Hulk mythology goes in the MCU, if Marvel Studios wants to tackle World War Hulk, finally, there are other characters whose films could be used to incorporate that arc. If they also wanted to incorporate other MCU players, doing something like Avengers: World War Hulk down the line could be a solid option.
While Hulk is not in Captain America: Brave New World, some of his supporting characters will be showing up in the 2025 movie.
Time will tell if Marvel Studios is investing any further time into Hulk's arc in the MCU, as The Multiverse Saga is still taking place. The clock could potentially be ticking, as Ruffalo won't be playing Bruce forever, especially if the MCU is truly getting soft rebooted after Avengers: Secret Wars, as has been previously rumored to be the case. For now, the MCU audience will have to wait and see if any type of Hulk project will happen in the coming years.
Source: GQ


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