RUMOR: Is World War Hulk Being Adapted in the MCU?
You don’t want to miss this rumor, Marvel Blog True Believers! Besides if the “Snyder Cut” of the Justice League proved anything, the louder the fans clamor the more likely something is to get made, so let’s bang our pots and pans to ask for this rumor to become a reality, because according to the Marvel Cinematic Universe rumor mill, the rights have reverted back and a World War Hulk movie is finally in the works at Marvel Studios!
Slightly better shot (please appreciate what taking this picture did to my eyeballs)
— Patrick Shanley (@pshanley88) July 19, 2019
But be forewarned, Marvel Blog True Believers, that if you take this course of action for the World War Hulk movie, we’re washing our hands of liability now because we’re not actually recommending that you hire a plane to fly over San Diego Comic-Con or anything. That’s just ridiculous!
Banner in the MCU
Bruce Banner’s only standalone movie in the MCU is 2008’s The Incredible Hulk starring Edward Norton, who played Bruce Banner (A.K.A. The Hulk), alongside Liv Tyler as Betty Ross and Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky (A.K.A. The Abomination), a character who recently returned to the MCU in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Tings, and who is already set to return in She-Hulk on Disney+.
After Bruce Banner’s first and only solo movie, however, Norton existed the Marvel project, and he was replaced by the current Hulk actor, Mark Ruffalo.
For years, Marvel Studios has wanted to make another standalone Hulk movie with Ruffalo but couldn’t because it didn’t have complete control over the character’s rights. On multiple occasions the actor has alluded to this contract, saying that that another solo Hulk film wouldn’t happen because of behind-the-scenes bad-blood between Marvel Studios and Universal Pictures, which held onto the rights to make Hulk movies (at least until 2020).
— Variety (@Variety) July 15, 2017
According to Hindustan Times, the previous contract between Marvel and Universal contains a clause that’s very similar to the one between Marvel and Sony with regards to Spider-Man, and it allows the MCU to feature the Hulk “in larger storylines as a supporting character.” Over the years, Marvel and Ruffalo have tried to work around this contract restriction by telling the OG Avenger’s story through his ongoing arc in the major MCU titles.
But then, in 2020, fans heard the first rumor that the film rights to the Hulk reverted back to Marvel Studios, and ever since, they have been asking for more stories featuring the green monster. For MCU Hulk fans, the contract shakeup means that things may change soon, especially now that an exciting new leak has teased that Marvel is set to begin production on a World War Hulk movie.
World War Hulk
The recent leak comes from TheGWW.com, which reported that Marvel Studios is currently developing a World War Hulk standalone film. According to the outlet, production is slated to begin sometime in late 2022 in preparation for a 2023 or 2024 release date.
A solo Hulk film, especially a World War Hulk movie, would give Ruffalo a chance to explore the character as well as his relationships with the Avengers (and humanity) more deeply than he ever has before. Marvel’s 2007 comic World War Hulk essentially picks up where the events of the Planet Hulk storyline, which was partially adapted in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, left off, and it follows Bruce Banner after he returns to Earth from Sakaar.
TheGWW.com noted that the film will take place after the events of the She-Hulk series starring Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters, which will also feature her cousin, Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner in a supporting role. It makes sense to have the World War Hulk movie take place after She-Hulk because the storyline is rumored to introduce characters like Hulk’s son, Skaar, to the MCU. In Marvel Comics, Skaar’s first full appearance in regular continuity was in World War Hulk #5. Thus, if the Skaar rumor proves true once She-Hulk airs, it will provide even more proof that World War Hulk is in the works at Marvel Studios.
Maybe this solves the mystery of what Bruce Banner was doing during the Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings post-credit scene? What do you think, Marvel Blog True Believers?