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Analysts float the delicious possibility of Disney trading Hulu for Marvel to finally regain Hulk rights

It would be one heck of a trade that would benefit Kevin Feige in the long run.

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via Marvel Studios

One of the most frustrating things about the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the last decade and change has been the franchise’s inability to produce a new solo movie starring the Hulk.

As a founding member of the MCU’s Avengers and a regular fixture of the ongoing superhero saga since the earliest days of Phase One – with Edward Norton’s The Incredible Hulk releasing a mere six weeks after Iron Man – it’s been a regular bugbear of fans that Mark Ruffalo is legally and contractually obliged to play second fiddle for the entirety of his tenure.

The same applies to Namor, with Universal in charge of the distribution rights to standalone movies featuring both the giant green rage monster and the ruler of Atlantis, but a fascinating new talking point has emerged on Wall Street. Per The Wrap, Citi analyst Jason Bazinet thinks that not only do the Mouse House’s recent earnings report have him convinced that Hulu is on the verge of being sold, but auctioning it off in exchange for the rights to both Hulk and Namor could potentially be on the cards.

“Following fiscal 1Q23 results, we believe the company is less interested in a mass market DTC offering. This raises the possibility that Disney may sell its Hulu stake. While Disney owns all Marvel IP, Universal has distribution rights to Hulk and Namor. As such, if Disney makes a Hulk or Namor film, Comcast can distribute the film on Peacock. If Hulu is sold, Disney may use this as an opportunity to secure these distribution rights.”

It’s all ifs and buts at the moment, but if Disney is indeed looking to shed the financial burden of Hulu – which isn’t out of the question when its own in-house streaming service is making more than enough money – then the prospect of having the longtime member of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the villain of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever escaping the shackles of their contractual limbo to return home would send MCU supporters everywhere into raptures.

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Scott Campbell

News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.