The future of the Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The future of the Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

As easily understood, for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at the moment Hulk means Jennifer Walters, Bruce Banner's cousin played by Tatiana Maslany in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. As we saw in our preview, even in this new series of the franchise there is the Hulk par excellence, namely Bruce Banner, again played by Mark Ruffalo and essential to tell an origin story as coherent as possible for Jennifer Walters. This new presence of the Hulk in the new series of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, however, raises a new problem, relating to the role of Banner in the saga, so much so that one wonders what the future of the Hulk is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Subscribe now to Disney + for € 8.99 per month or € 89.90 per year Question that seems out of place, considered as Banner was one of the very first characters of the House of Ideas to compose the complex mosaic of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After Iron Man (2008), in fact, it was The Incredible Hulk, a cinecomic signed by Louis Leterrier, that in a certain sense gave way to the birth of the continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, thanks to the presence of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr. ) in the post-credit scene where he reveals a certain superhero project to General Thaddeus 'Thunderbolt' Ross (William Hurt). Why, then, has the Hulk always been included in minor roles in ensemble films in the continuation of the franchise, starting with Avengers (2012), and he has never enjoyed his own film?

After the appearance in She-Hulk, what will be the future of the Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

All a question of rights Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe The future of the Hulk

All a question of rights

The Incredible Hulk is one of the first films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and as such born in a seminal period for the franchise. At the time, there was still no certainty that this superhero context could become one of the most profitable sagas in the history of cinema, despite the good Feige having already developed an overall view of him. Aware of not having the overall structure to handle the promotion of these new films, at the time Marvel Studios relied externally for the distribution of the films, which in the case of The Incredible Hulk led to the signing of an agreement with Universal. Translated: if you want to make a movie about the Hulk, the distribution must be done by Universal. An aspect that, in a certain sense, limits Disney's actions, so much so that even today, riding the interest in She-Hulk, he decides to present the Hulk Collection on Disney +, he can insert the shorts of the One Shot series in which he speaks of the Jade Giant, but not available

Given the staggering success of the Marvel Heroes franchise, it seems odd that Universal could reject the idea of ​​a Jade Giant movie, yet the unexceptional achievements of the Hulk (2003) and The Incredible Hulk (2008) caused no few problems to the major, which reasonably still does not consider the character a safety in terms of solo adventure. The change of interpreter from Edward Norton to Mark Ruffalo is not a sufficient guarantee, as is the evolution of him within the franchise, always built as a narrative in the background compared to the main events of the saga. The only possibility of growth for the character, thanks to the possibility allowed to Marvel Studios to use the Hulk only in choral stories and never in projects that were focused on Banner: therefore cameo (as in Iron Man 3) or in team up, Avengers or Thor style : Ragnarok.

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In the case of She-Hulk, despite being deeply linked in comics to Banner, the restrictions on Hulk's rights management have not affected her, considering that they are limited to the single character. To make a parallel, while, before the acquisition by Disney, Fox held the rights to the entire Marvel universe, forcing Marvel Studios to present Wanda and Pietro Maximoff devoid of their mutant nature, with She-Hulk it was possible to work freely, also making use of the presence of his cousin in a secondary role.

Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The change of interpreter, from Edward Norton to Mark Ruffalo, was one of the keys to the characterization of the Hulk, which of apparition by apparition has increasingly established itself as an essential presence of the group of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Not only in narrative terms, but on an emotional level, as shown during the clash in Lagos in Avengers: Age of Ultron, or in his constant search for a way to make his two natures coexist, until the appearance of Smart Hulk in Avengers: Endgame.

An opportunity that is, instead, exploited in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. His relationship with his cousin Jennifer Walters, in the first episode of the new series of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, becomes a way to bring out his inner complexity, again not through a direct story that sees him as the protagonist, but as a reflection of what happens to other heroes with whom he finds himself interacting.

However, the appearance of the Sakarian spaceship that causes the accident from which She-Hulk is born, could represent the opportunity for the Hulk to have finally the chance to deserve your own independent adventure. With the maturation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the need to find new protagonists after the departure of two columns like Cap and Iron Man, a figure like the Hulk, accomplices some of his recent sagas that would be perfect for the 'cosmic' future of the franchise, could be excellently valued.

His presence as a mentor, however brief, in She-Hulk is not Banner's first appearance in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the post-credit scene of Shang-Chi and the legend of the Ten Rings, Banner appeared to be one of the leading personalities of the superhero community born from the ashes of the Blip.

The future of the Hulk

The aforementioned Sakaarian spaceship that we see in the first episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is a reminder of the Hulk's stay on the alien planet where he was found by the God of Thunder in Thor: Ragnarok. Parenthesis of his life quotes him from Banner himself, explaining to his cousin that he was trapped in his Hulk form for two years. Already at the time of Thor: Ragnarok was seen as the portrait given in the Hulk on that occasion to refer to the gladiator version of the character seen in Planet Hulk, a cartoon saga in which the Hulk, after being exiled from Earth by the Illuminati, arrived on the planet Saakr, where after being captured as a slave, the Hulk becomes the leader of a revolution that radically changes the planet, before being able to return to Earth to exact his revenge (in the World War Hulk saga). A compelling chapter in the comic life of the Jade Giant, which we will hardly see in its entirety, considered as its complexity and its origin require details that the Marvel Cinematic Universe currently cannot show off.

However, those two years of the Hulk's life of which there is no news, between Avengers: Age of Ultron and Thor: Ragnarok, are too interesting a parenthesis of the Jade Giant's past not to be valued in the future of the franchise. The announcement at the recent San Diego Comic-Con of future titles in the saga, in particular Avengers: Secret Wars and Secret Invasion, have focused the attention of fans of the saga, but it cannot be denied that there are blind spots in the programming of the franchises in which not only new films could be inserted, but also new characters, through dedicated films or, as done with Phase Four, using serial narration.

These considerations should be accompanied by that insistent voice that for some time would like Marvel Studios intent on making World War Hulk. Leaving aside for a moment any reticence on the part of Universal, which could now see the potential of a larger 'Hulk universe'. It should not be forgotten that in addition to Banner, there are others who are related to him, such as Jennifer Walters or Emil 'Abomination' Blonsky. And perhaps, the presence of the Saakarian shuttle in She-Hulk, the family could literally expand.

As per the tradition of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the different inspirations borrowed from the comic canon do not become law . Marvel Studios have shown, under the guidance of Kevin Feige, that they know how to best adapt what is presented in Marvel comics within the cinematic dimension of the MCU. Taking as an example what has been done with Sony on the use of the Wall Clamp, even the Hulk could have a new opportunity to finally be an adequately valued protagonist.

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