One of the most popular sayings, when someone is talking about joining a movie franchise, returning to a movie role, or making a movie that seems unlikely, is to say, “never say never.” However, Mark Ruffalo was a lot blunter than that when asked by Variety about the chances for him to appear in a solo Hulk movie. Ruffalo said that a standalone Hulk Movie will “never happen” and then went on to say that it is all Universal’s fault because they can’t play nice with Marvel and they don’t want to make any money.

Solo Hulk films

There have been two solo Hulk movies since the comic book movie craze kicked up in the late ‘90s.

Universal owned the rights to The Hulk in a licensing agreement with Marvel that predated Marvel making their own production company to make their own movies. The first movie was simply called “Hulk.” That film starred Eric Bana as The Hulk and featured a story where Hulk battled Absorbing Man. It was a very polarizing movie, directed by art-house filmmaker Ang Lee and patterned to actually look like a comic when it came to transitions and scene structure.

The second Hulk standalone movie was “The Incredible Hulk,” a movie that was a co-venture between Universal and Marvel. This one starred Ed Norton and had him battle both General Thunderbolt Ross and Abomination. That was technically the second movie in the new Marvel Cinematic Universe but the rights still remained with Universal despite this.

However, it is the solo Hulk movie rights that Universal owned while Marvel still owned the rights to characters.

Hulk in the Marvel Universe

Mark Ruffalo said all along that he would love to star in a standalone Hulk movie but he said that Universal won’t allow it. Interestingly, Marvel has brought some characters along in future movies from that second film.

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General Ross rose the ranks of politics and played a large role in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Captain America: Civil War” as well as TV’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Marvel changed the actor playing Hulk to Mark Ruffalo and he played a huge role in both “The Avengers” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” He next appears in “Thor: Ragnarok.” However, Ruffalo emphasizes that since Universal holds the rights to the Hulk standalone movies, there will not be one made and that is something that will cost the movie studio a lot of money. Sony just partnered with Marvel for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and that movie has already passed $500 million worldwide in two weeks.