The rights issues preventing Marvel Studios from giving Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk his own solo movie haven’t come any closer to being resolved, despite Kevin Feige’s outfit having agreed to partner up with Sony to ensure that Spider-Man could play a major role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
As things stand, Universal still own the distribution rights to the big green guy, and Marvel could technically give him a standalone outing if they wanted to. However, Universal would be contractually obligated to handle theatrical distribution and would take home a massive slice of the profits without having to do much work at all, which is presumably one of the major points of contention.
That being said, with She-Hulk set to get her own Disney Plus series and then pivot over to the big screen and eventually become an Avenger as a leaked casting call detailed, there’s every chance the MCU is free to do whatever it wants with other gamma-irradiated superheroes to have appeared in the comic books.
With that in mind, we’re hearing from our sources – the same ones who told us Ben Affleck was returning as Batman in The Flash long before it was confirmed – that Marvel are interested in adapting World War Hulk, some notable elements of which were already folded into the mythology as part of Thor: Ragnarok.
There’s no word on whether this is planned as a starring vehicle for Ruffalo, and some big narrative changes would have to be made given that the MCU already hit a couple of its plot beats, not to mention the presence of the Illuminati and a Nick Fury Life Model Decoy. The franchise is known for cribbing pits and pieces of iconic stories to fit the established mythology, and the intergalactic trappings of World War Hulk would be an interesting sci-fi bent on Dr. Banner or any other version of the character’s adventures.