Marvel Studios' THOR: RAGNAROK..Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2017

What’s Next for The Incredible Hulk?

After the release of Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok questions continue to arise about what is next install for our big, green rage monster. You know, after he comes up against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, that is. There’s no question that Marvel have most definitely found their Bruce Banner in Mark Ruffalo but even he has serious doubts about the world ever seeing another solo Hulk movie, like, ever.

Ruffalo said in an interview with Variety;

“I want to just make one thing perfectly clear today: A standalone ‘Hulk’ movie will never happen. Universal has the rights, and for some reason, they don’t know how to play well with Marvel. And they don’t want to make money.”

That’s right, Universal are holding Hulk to ransom. That’s the short version of the story, the long version is a lot more complicated. When Marvel were just starting, they could not really afford to distribute their own movies so they made deals with other companies to do it for them. When Disney bought out Marvel, they sought to retain the distribution rights back from these companies, rather successfully in some cases. However, and here’s the kicker, while Marvel own the production rights to the Hulk (which is why he can feature in other Marvel movies), Universal still own the distribution rights and they don’t look like they want to make a deal any time soon.

This means that Ruffalo and his Hulk will have to piggy-back onto other characters movies for the time being until Universal wake up and smell the Gamma rays. They could very well take the same deal as Sony which made Spider-Man: Homecoming possible. It seems like a win, win, in my opinion – the fans get their Hulk solo movie and both companies get very rich (more rich).

It’s a shame because even though Thor: Ragnarok will be the closest we will ever get to a Planet Hulk movie, there are other story lines that would be awesome for the MCU and the big screen.

World War Hulk

Essentially World War Hulk was a series of editions in 2007 and the sequel to 2006’s Planet Hulk which saw Hulk return to earth with revenge in mind for The Illuminati for banishing him in the first place.

Those of you who don’t know, The Illuminati are a group of the greatest minds in the Marvel Universe and include the likes of Iron-Man, Dr. Strange and Black Panther.  Of course, in Avengers: Age of Ultron Hulk banished himself so the MCU would have to play around with that story line to make it work. However, rumour has it that The Illuminati will be formed following the events of Avengers: Infinity War or, a yet untitled, Avengers 4.

Grey Hulk

Waititi has described his version of Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok as a lot smarter. As you can see from the trailer (and to avoid spoilers), Hulk can now speak. Not only that, while on Sakaar, Hulk has been unable to change into Banner so he has spent the last two years without any mental turmoil shown to us in Age of Ultron. Banner is no longer plagued by grief of the destruction he inflicts making him more positive and free.

When speaking with Ruffalo on the current direction for the character in the upcoming movies, he stated that we will see an evolution and ‘a different shade of a colour for the Hulk’.

This could follow on nicely to the next possible story…

Red Hulk and the Thunderbolts

If anything, this would be a very clever way for Marvel to give the Hulk his own solo movie without even having to name him in the title. William Hurt has played General Thaddeus Ross over a number of Marvel movies including The Incredible Hulk in 2008 where he was hell bent on capturing Bruce Banner for testing. So much so that he created The Abomination to do it.

How far would Ross go to get Hulk now that he’s back on earth? And could that tie in with the creation of The Illuminati and Ross’ obsession to keep the Avengers under control? I’m just speculating at this point but I sure do wish my thoughts were actual facts.

Would you like to see a solo Hulk movie? What is your favourite Hulk story line that you’d like to see brought to the big screen? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter or you can comment on the post below.