Mark Ruffalo may have exaggerated the situation when he said that Marvel Studios couldn’t make a movie that focused on the Hulk because of a rights issue. The “Avengers” actor claimed that Universal owned the rights to a Hulk standalone film, but that might not be a huge obstacle.
“As far as a Hulk movie, a standalone Hulk movie, Marvel doesn’t really have the rights to that yet,” Ruffalo told Collider in April. “That’s still Universal’s property, so there’s that issue. That’s a big impediment to moving forward with that. Now I don’t think that’s insurmountable, by the way, but I don’t know where it’s going from here for me.”
A long report from Forbes reveals that Marvel owns the rights to the Hulk. It’s just the distribution rights that Universal Pictures owns, and, according to the publication, that wouldn’t be a huge hurdle to overcome. Marvel could either work with Universal or buy the rights from them. While sharing money with other studios isn’t ideal, but that wouldn’t stop them from making a movie about the Hulk.
“Marvel has consistently been willing and able to make deals and release films under shared licensing or distribution if and when that fits into their plans and is the best way to make the movies they want to make,” Forbes noted. The studio is currently sharing Spider-Man with Sony, and they’ve worked with different distributors in the past. Paramount Pictures distributed “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Thor,” and the first two “Iron Man” films.
Instead, the reason they aren't making the film is likely all about money. Two other “Hulk” films have been released in the last 15 years, and neither did particularly well. In 2003, “Hulk” made $245 million worldwide while 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk” made $263 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. Compared to the $585 million that “Iron Man” brought in, it probably just doesn’t seem worthwhile financially.
Still, it’s been several years since “The Incredible Hulk” came out, and with his appearances in “The Avengers,” it would seem likely that he’s even more popular now. Marvel movies in general are more popular than ever. They made “Guardians of the Galaxy”— a movie with a talking raccoon and a tree that says three words – into one of the highest earning movies of 2014. Luckily, Ruffalo is willing to wait for Marvel to make a standalone movie for him. He recently said that he has no plans to leave his character.
“I have six movies all together,” Ruffalo told Rolling Stone. “And we're going to be doing the third and fourth Avengers at the same time. And so you know, conceivably, if I'm still alive, and they don't mind a grey-haired Hulk, I could be in this universe for another 10 or 15 years.”
Do you want to see Ruffalo in a “Hulk” standalone movie? Or are the current plans for future Marvel films (there are 11 movies planned for the next four years) enough to satisfy your superhero film cravings? Take the poll below: