Mark Ruffalo has been playing Bruce Banner or “The Hulk” for some five years now, since “The Avengers” premiered in 2012.
But unlike characters Captain America, Iron Man and Thor, Ruffalo as the giant green monster has yet to have his own solo film.
At the Disney fan convention D23 Expo, Ruffalo seems to attribute this to a copyright issue:
“I wanna make just one thing perfectly clear today, a standalone Hulk movie will never happen, because Universal has the rights to a standalone Hulk movie and for some reason they don’t know how to play well with Marvel,” he told Variety in an interview.
The star of movies “Now You See Me” and “Begin Again” quipped, “They don’t want to make money.”
Alongside him was Don Cheadle who plays Lt. James Rhodes or War Machine, who chimed in, “These corporations would work it out if they thought they’d make enough money.”
“I think I got two or three more years left before I’m too old to play the Hulk,” related Ruffalo.
“We talked about it but I don’t see it in the cards,” he lamented. “It means a lot to me, I really love this character.”
In 2015, the 49-year-old actor made the same statement to Collider. With a six-movie contract, back then, he said he had up to four movies left to play the Hulk.
If it’s any consolation, he is in good company: Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) also have yet to be featured in standalone movies.
Marvel has the cinematic rights to the Hulk character, which means the company can produce the movie or use the Hulk character in its movies, but Universal has to be the one distributing it. In terms of handling distribution rights, Marvel has long shown that they are willing to cooperate with other companies, including Paramount who distributed the movies “Iron Man”, “Iron Man 2”, “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Thor”.
Previous Hulk undertakings performing poorly may be another factor: 2003’s “Hulk” with Eric Bana and 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk” with Edward Norton were both considered box-office flops.
But fans of The Hulk need not go into rage mode just yet as we will still see a lot of him in the coming years. Ruffalo has been contracted for “Thor: Ragnarok”, “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers 4”. Niña V. Guno/JB
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