Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige may keep hope alive for a standalone Hulk movie — he most recently said “never say never” to the question — but Mark Ruffalo isn’t as optimistic. The Hulk actor Hulk-smashed any dreams of seeing the green rage monster leap towards his own solo adventure in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe during an interview Saturday.
“I want just make one thing perfectly clear today,” Ruffalo told Variety on the press line for the D23 Expo in California, “a standalone Hulk movie will never happen.” The reason, according to Ruffalo, is that Hulk rights-holder Universal is not keen on sharing the character with Marvel Studios in a fashion similar to how Sony paired with the company to put out the Spider-Man standalone film, Spider-Man: Homecoming.
“Universal has the rights to the standalone Hulk movie and for some reason they don’t know how to play well with Marvel and they don’t want to make money,” Ruffalo said.
Or maybe it’s not just that — as Ruffalo’s Marvel cohort Don Cheadle joked. “With you as the new Hulk, it would be terrible,” Cheadle said as Ruffalo laughed.
After the above clip went viral, Ruffalo clarified his comments on Twitter. “I want a stand alone Hulk movie. I know I said there wouldn’t be one but that doesn’t mean there won’t be one,” he wrote.
The Incredible Hulk, which starred Edward Norton as Bruce Banner and is considered a part of the MCU, was released in 2008 through Marvel Studios and Universal Pictures. A year later, Disney announced plans to purchase the comic book giant for $4 billion.
Ruffalo has been fielding questions about a potential Hulk spin-off for years, and in 2016 he tweeted one is “not in the works right now.” The closest thing we’ll likely get to a solo Hulk excursion, if Ruffalo is to be believed, is Thor: Ragnarok. After Banner was spotted going off the grid at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, he’ll encounter the Asgardian hero in the gladiatorial arena of the planet Sakaar and the two will have an intergalactic “buddy road trip.”
Hulk will be seen next on screen in Ragnarok, hitting theaters on Nov. 3, and after that in Avengers: Infinity War on May 4, 2018 — barring any post-credits or surprise cameos, of course. Marvel debuted the first footage to fans at D23 on Saturday.