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The Hulk reached new levels of popularity after the release of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers back in 2012. Mark Ruffalo totally owned the character, Whedon gave him some great material to work with, and it was an utter blast watching Hulk smash. With all that in mind, Marvel Studios has announced their Phase Three plans, and once again a new standalone movie about the green goliath isn’t part of the deal. So what exactly is going on?
To paraphrase Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, Hulk isn’t getting his own film in Phase Three, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a major player in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Following today’s big Marvel event, the executive took part in a Q&A session with the press, and after being asked about the status of Hulk, Feige made it clear that the giant gamma radiation monster remains a big part of what the comic book movie studio has in the works. Sure, there’s no movie with "Hulk" in the title, but we shouldn’t expect another absence on the level of Phase Two. Said Feige,
" I wouldn’t say Hulk is absent from the timeline. I would say that Hulk is going to appear in many of those movies – particularly all of those Avengers movies leading up to 2019. And Infinity War, Mark Ruffalo is on board for all those films, and we’re excited to bring him to all those films."
Is this vague confirmation that Bruce Banner/Hulk could be appearing as a supporting character in another major Marvel movie, a la what Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow did in Captain America: The Winter Soldier? If so, there are definitely some interesting options. In the last few months we’ve heard rumors that the monster could cruise the galaxies in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but that idea was shot down by writer/director James Gunn. Another interesting possibility is the idea of him being in Doctor Strange and help the world get introduced to the Sorcerer Supreme.
But while we now know that the next few years won’t be Hulk-less, the question still remains whether or not we will actually ever get to see another solo film. Unfortunately, it’s a query without an answer, as while Feige is optimistic for the character’s future, nothing is actually set in stone yet. Said the Marvel President,
" What happens with a standalone Hulk film? I’m going to say what I would have said about Black Panther last week, or Captain Marvel the week before that, or Doctor Strange the week before that, or Guardians of the Galaxy two years ago, or Ant-Man 10 years ago: we’ll see. We’d love to do it, we’d love to find a place to put it, but right now Hulk will be appearing with his friends in the other films.
Hulk will next be appearing in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which will be hitting theaters on May 1, 2015.