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Hulk Smash? When Will the Green Guy Get His Own Movie?
January 6, 2016
Bruce Banner and the Incredible Hulk continue to play supporting parts in The Avengers series and in the standalone movies of the Hulk’s Avengers buddies. However, when is the angry green guy going to get his own film again?
If you ask Mark Ruffalo, as Yahoo! Movies just did, the answer is not anytime soon. Ruffalo, who has played the Hulk in The Avengers and The Avengers: Age of Ultron, said that Marvel and Universal cannot come to an agreement over the right to distribute the film. The two famously do not get along, so this appears to be another chapter in that saga.
“I know for a fact that everyone is holding out hope that one day we can do it,” Ruffalo said. “But the nature of the relationship right now, it’s a little prohibitive. And I hope that that changes, that changes with regimes, it changes over the course of time. But right now it doesn’t look particularly promising.”
The Incredible Hulk did, of course, already star in two standalone movies, but neither were particularly well-received. Hulk, released in 2003, focused more on Bruce Banner’s backstory… and didn’t do too hot. It was so bad, in fact, that the series was rebooted five years later with The Incredible Hulk. While this movie focused more on Banner’s life as the Hulk, opposed to centering on his long backstory, the movie received similar, albeit slightly better, reviews than it’s 2003 predecessor. While the movies were critical failures, they were financial successes. The first movie made $245 million while the second made $263 million, both against budgets around $150 million.
The Hulk character has also appeared in 11 video games, including the 2008 game that was released on all major consoles and ended up being one of the better instances of superhero gaming. Since then, however, he’s been mostly relegated to off-shoots and mini-games, such as his own slot at Gala Casino platform. There, he appears alongside his Avengers cohorts, such as Iron Man and Thor, in addition to a slew of other pop-culture icons who, unlike the Hulk, have received better treatment at the cinema. That makes one think that if movie-goers were willing to pay good money to see bad movies about the Hulk, surely they would pay to see a good movie.
Since the first two movies—they starred Eric Bana and Edward Norton, respectively, as the Hulk—Ruffalo has taken ownership of the character and played it in a different way. Instead of playing a scientist tortured to be the Hulk, Ruffalo’s version seemed to embrace his alter-ego, if not enjoy being him. Viewers responded to that much better and the Hulk has been a standout star of the Avengers movies. It’s to the point fans want him to get another shot at his own movie.
According to Flicksided, there were rumors that a movie adaptation of the “Planet Hulk” storyline from the comics would someday be made, but that never got off the ground. The Hulk will return in 2017, but once again as more of a supporting character in Thor: Ragnarok. And then there is the third installment of The Avengers series, but early speculation does not have that movie coming out for at least another two years.
The one bright side for Hulk fans is Spider-Man. Marvel and Sony reached a deal in early 2015 that allows Spidey to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe despite Sony owning the character’s licensing rights. This worked well for both parties as Spider-Man gets to appear in movies without headlining his own (there have been five movies based on the character in the past 15 years) while Marvel gets to bring one of its originals home.
Perhaps Universal and Marvel can reach an agreement on the Hulk that will bring him back for a movie fans are asking for. It’s always difficult to tell when big corporations are involved, but a quality Hulk movie seems like it would be a moneymaker. While chances seem slim now, it will almost certainly happen in the future.
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