The 2012 film The Avengers was a culmination of all of Marvel’s heroes who had been introduced in their own standalone movies: Iron Man and Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Thor. All of those films have since ended up with multiple sequels, except one: The Incredible Hulk. Now, the actor behind the green goliath explains why we’ll never see another Hulk movie again.
Of all the Marvel properties, Hulk has had the most difficult path from page to screen, starting with Ang Lee’s 2003 film, Hulk.
That film predated the Marvel Cinematic Universe by five years and starred Eric Bana as Dr. Bruce Banner, aka The Hulk.
Hulk received a mixed reaction from audiences and critics, so when Marvel reacquired partial rights to the character, they rebooted the franchise with 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.
Edward Norton took over the role of Bruce Banner in what was the second film of the MCU, containing loose ties to Iron Man, released earlier the same year.
However, Norton proved extremely difficult to work with, insisting on rewriting large chunks of The Incredible Hulk himself.
As a result, Norton was replaced by Ruffalo on The Avengers and any potential follow-ups, including Avengers: Age of Ultron and this fall’s Thor: Ragnarok.
— Variety (@Variety) July 15, 2017
At Disney’s big D23 convention this weekend, Ruffalo told reporters there’s a good reason why we haven’t seen another Hulk movie.
“I wanna just make one thing perfectly clear: a standalone Hulk movie will never happen,” said Ruffalo. “Because Universal has the rights to a standalone Hulk movie and, for some reason, they don’t know how to play well with Marvel.”
This has long been rumored to be the source of contention; Marvel has rights to use the character, but only Universal Pictures can make a Hulk standalone film. Fortunately, we’ll be seeing Ruffalo in the role not only in Thor: Ragnarok, but next year’s Avengers: Infinity War and 2019’s untitled Avengers sequel, as well.