With Spider-Man on loan from Sony and the X-Men and Fantastic Four about to come home thanks to Disney’s buyout of Fox, it feels like Marvel Studios has just about all of its action figures back where they belong. However, the truth is actually a little more complex than that, as a few major players remain tied up in rights complications. The most notable of these is the Hulk, who still resides over at Universal.
As fans clued up on the situation might know, Marvel retains the rights to feature the incredible Green Goliath and his alter ego in their movies. However, they can’t feature him in a starring role without being contractually obliged to allow Universal to distribute the film. That’s why the last release to bear the character’s name was 2010’s The Incredible Hulk, which arrived back before Marvel Studios was purchased by Disney.
Speaking of whom, The Walt Disney Company’s annual financial report confirms that this is still the case, as one line reads: ” The Company distributes all Marvel-produced films with the exception of The Incredible Hulk, which is distributed by Universal Pictures.”
The report also clarifies that Spider-Man is still licensed to Sony, even though the famed deal between the two studios allows the wall-crawler to rub shoulders with Iron Man and pals in the MCU. Likewise, the X-Men and the FF currently reside at Fox as of now, though we shouldn’t expect the same thing to be true this time next year. Furthermore, the report confirms that Sony and Fox have to pay to create and distribute Marvel movies while Disney reserves full merchandising rights.
Perhaps someday in the future, then, we might see another Hulk solo movie, but for now, it seems Universal are keen to keep a hold on the Jade Giant.