Despite the fact that the superhero genre has transformed into a billion-dollar phenomenon in the last 15 years, there are still some beloved superheroes who have a troubled journey to the screen, and none more so than the Hulk. Sure, he featured in two solo outings -- in 2003 and 2008 -- before coming into his own as part of The Avengers in 2012, but it seems Bruce Banner's alter-ego is always slipping and sliding in an attempt to become part of a successful standalone movie, one that is universally adored by the fans. This, unfortunately, doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon.
Speaking to Yahoo Movies, Mark Ruffalo stated that nothing much has changed in the latest update from Marvel and Universal and may have dowsed the flames on any fans hoping for a standalone Hulk movie -- for now.
"I think they've been working on it. Marvel and Universal famously don't get along very well, and so that's working against us, definitely. But I know for a fact that everyone is holding out hope that one day we can do it. But the nature of the relationship right now, it's a little prohibitive. And I hope that that changes, that changes with regimes, it changes over the course of time. But right now it doesn't look particularly promising."
Ruffalo has always stated that he would love to star in a standalone movie, and he is still holding out for that fateful solo outing. With Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor all getting the solo treatment, it should only be a matter of time before they can pull it out of the hat. It might not be that easy, though. From Ruffalo's comments, it seems that friction between Universal and Marvel is currently preventing any progress, an event that seems to be repeating a familiar history for Marvel.
In a similar scenario, Sony and Marvel were able to come to an agreement with Spider-Man earlier in 2015, but this only ended after many years of negotiating. During this process, the franchise was rebooted twice and the character recast three times, the most recent of which will feature in Marvel's actual Avengers universe. These things take some time to iron themselves out, and fans will be hoping the process is the same with Universal and Marvel. After all, the pattern -- with recastings and reboots and uncertainty -- seems familiar for both franchises. Fans will patiently wait for a Hulk movie after the disappointing previous entries, and they will have to be very patient, but in the meantime, the Hulk will feature in Thor: Ragnarok in what is billed as a buddy movie, a story reported by the Inquisitr earlier this year.
The Hulk remains on an elite list of superheroes who remain "unsuccessful" in the world of superhero cinema. Sometimes the character just doesn't click on the big screen, and, as Marvel has shown on numerous occasions, you really have to cast the right person in the role, something that has hindered their green giant in the past. Aside from the Hulk and the aforementioned Spider-Man, several of their beloved characters have suffered on the journey to the big screen. The Punisher, Ghost Rider, the Fantastic Four, and Daredevil have all come under fire on their big screen outings, and multiple reboots and reimaginings -- some successful, some not so much -- have eased the woes of these beloved heroes.
However, the Hulk is the exception. With The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron ranked in the top 10 grossing films of all time, at No. 3 and No. 5, respectively, we certainly haven't seen the last of the angry green beast. Whether that is in a team outing or solo remains to be seen. Until then, we have to wait until 2017 for the next glimpse of Bruce Banner's jade alter-ego.
Thor: Ragnarok will crash into theatres on July 28, 2017.
[Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures]