For the last few years, since Mark Ruffalo gave a stellar performance of Bruce Banner in 2012’s Marvel’s The Avengers, people have been wondering what has been the deal regarding a solo movie. As the internet does, it speculated that the performance of the previous film led them to not try another solo movie again or what not, but it seems that the issue is more legal than that: Marvel does not own the distribution rights.
In an interview with Collider, Ruffalo opened up about the absence of a solo Hulk movie. It seems that the character is still a “Universal property” thus Marvel/Disney would have to split the revenue with Universal if they wanted to make another Hulk movie.
“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. That’s a big impediment to moving forward with that,” Ruffalo told Collider. “Now I don’t think that’s insurmountable, by the way, but I don’t know where it’s going from here for me.”
Since the last solo Hulk movie was made back in 2008, many people forgot that it was released as a joint venture between Universal and Marvel Studios. If you do not believe me, check the Blu-ray copy for the studio credits. As for Ruffalo, he is ready for whatever Marvel wants to do.
“I think it’s four now [movies on his contract], but that could always go further,” he said. “That could include different—I could show up in another character’s movie; I could do Avengers 3 and 4; I could do a Hulk standalone; I could do a combination of those things. That’s four or five, I think.”
I can imagine why Marvel does not want to do another solo movie since Disney would have to make some type of financial arrangement with Universal, given that they needed to do that with the original Star Wars movie with 20th Century Fox, and they would not want to do that again. Although, striking while the iron is hot could be better in revenue terms than waiting for people to forget the character and have a real disaster on their hands.