A wise frog once said, "It ain't easy being green." Mark Ruffalo can sympathize with Kermit's sentiment, as The Hulk isn't going to be getting his own adventure of substance anytime soon. You can address all of your hate mail to Universal Studios, as they're the reason for the big hold up.
USA Today caught up with Ruffalo during his press rounds for Spotlight, and the conversation went from the Thomas McCarthy drama to the actor's rage filled alter-ego. While The Hulk / Bruce Banner have been seen in appearances in both Avengers films, as well as a an upcoming role in Thor: Ragnarok, Ruffalo doesn't think that we'll be seeing him strike it out on his own at any point soon. His description of the problem below actually kind of bums us out, as he stated:
Actually, it feels even further away. It's not Marvel's property, it's Universal's property. I don't know. It seems really problematic.
You would think that Universal, seeing that Mark Ruffalo's incarnation of the character works so well that people would be interested in a new Hulk movie, would have this greenlit yesterday. Though the studio does, to a certain point, pride itself on the fact that its record breaking year of profits had nothing to do with leaning on a superhero franchise. Still, with the flush profits from films like Jurassic World, Fifty Shades Of Grey, and Straight Outta Compton, you'd think that money wouldn't be an object. So why is Universal so shy to make a brand new film for The Incredible Hulk?
That is an easier question to answer, as the production of 2008's The Incredible Hulk managed to not only rank in as the lowest grossing Marvel film in the canon, but it also was the most problematic film in the group to film. The scars from Edward Norton's demands for writer's credit are still fresh for Universal, and most assuredly for Marvel Studios, so another round of gamma radiated madness isn't really their idea of a good time. Also, Universal seems intent on pushing content that, again, isn't superhero-centric, which is actually a smart move.
With all of the talk of the superhero genre going the way of the Western, all of the major studios who are programming the glut of super-powered entertainment are going to have a bit of a crisis on their hands when the trend starts to turn downward. With the box office already looking to dip in 2016, you know that the folks with Marvel and DC properties are going to batten down the hatches with those properties, and be prepared to take a bit of a loss with their other projects. As Universal has films like Ride Along 2, The Huntsman, and The Purge 3 all being released in the course of the next year, it looks like their counter-programming strategy just might work – capes or not.
Be it a smart move, or a misguided one, Universal is clear in its purpose not to lean on comic book movies as its bread and butter. But still, couldn't we get at least one Hulk flick in the works within the next decade or so? While Mark Ruffalo seems pretty chill about it, there are fans who would love to see him do his thing in a more focused Hulk picture. For now though, we'll get to see Hulk team up with Thor in Thor: Ragnarok - slated for release on November 3, 2017.