Many viewed the Hulk as the best new thing about The Avengers. Mark Ruffalo took on the role of Bruce Banner, and the iconic giant green monster was born into a world already containing established heroes Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor. And he may just have been the most entertaining of the bunch.
Yet as comic film fans will surely recall, the Hulk wasn’t actually new—only Ruffalo was. Hulk films were attempted, twice, with 2008’s The Incredible Hulk (starring Ed Norton) serving as the character’s lead-in to The Avengers. Whether it was because of the change in actors or because The Incredible Hulk just didn’t quite achieve the popularity of the other standalone Avenger films, many feel that Marvel would be well served to release a new Hulk-centric film.
The word coming out of Marvel Studios is that this won’t be happening any time soon, but one never knows for sure. As recently as this past summer, Screenrant reported that both Ruffalo and former TV Hulk actor (and voice of the monster version in The Avengers) Lou Ferrigno believe a Hulk film is on the way some time after The Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
At any rate, here are a few reasons why Marvel may or may not make the film.
Why They Might
- The people involved seem to be on board. As mentioned, both Ruffalo and Ferrigno believe in the sequel, and in a sense that’s half the battle. While the issue in the past with establishing a Hulk character has been continuity in the casting, the current Hulk appears ready and willing to take on more action.
- The character is immensely popular. Not only was the Hulk an invaluable source of comic relief in The Avengers, but he’s since begun to appear alongside the other Avengers in other forms of media—most notably, gaming. The Betfair casino platform is well-known for offering slot/arcade games with popular heroes and films as part of their design. And sure enough, there are multiple Hulk games alongside those for Iron Man, Thor, and others. Similarly, the Hulk features prominently on the new Marvel: Contest of Champions app game—he’s the cover star, really. Don’t think for a moment that gaming platforms would keep using the Hulk if he didn’t sell.
- Joss Whedon believes in the potential for a sequel. If anything, Whedon doesn’t get enough credit for having written and directed Marvel’s greatest heroes into a single film together in The Avengers It really was quite a feat. And for his part, Whedon believes a similarly large feat can be accomplished in making a successful standalone Hulk film. In another post on Screenrant, he’s quoted as saying “the one thing you would have in your favour would be Mark Ruffalo.” That’s a nice endorsement for one of his lead actors. He does, however, acknowledge that such a project would be very difficult.
Why They Might Not
- Marketing. Whedon had a very interesting comment quoted at JoBlo, in which he claimed that Kevin Feige, another Marvel Studios mastermind, was against the idea of a Hulk standalone film in part because “we think it’s good to have somebody we can only see in the Avengers.” This certainly makes some sense. If no Hulk film is made, then he adds additional intrigue to the Avengers films, because it’s the only chance to see him again.
- Dialogue. The previous two standalone Hulk films got by largely because they dealt with Bruce Banner before and after his Hulk transformation. This allowed for more of a human element: relationships, dialogue, battling with the transformation, etc. But now that the transformation is complete (though granted, not constant). Thus, having too much of Ruffalo and not enough Hulk on screen just wouldn’t make sense. And is the Hulk really going to grunt through a two-hour film?
- Finance. Realistically, this is probably the main reason, if indeed a Hulk film never becomes a reality. Browse through Box Office Mojo and you’ll find that The Incredible Hulk made just over $260 million worldwide, on a $150 million budget. That sounds quite nice, really, but that same year, Iron Man grossed just over $585 million on a $140 million budget. While it’s a virtual certainty that the Hulk’s popularity from The Avengers would help to make a sequel more popular than the original, Marvel has no reason to risk a relatively low return.
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