Prior to Disney's acquisition of Marvel Entertainment, movies like Captain America: The First Avenger and Iron Man were distributed by Paramount Pictures. That all changed with The Avengers in 2012, though The Hulk has remained tied to Universal Pictures (the studio that released 2003's Hulk and The Incredible Hulk in 2008).
While the Green Goliath has been able to co-star in movies like Avengers: Endgame and Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel Studios and Disney are prohibited from releasing a Hulk movie...unless it's through Universal.
That wouldn't be a good business decision, but the deal may be nearing its end!
An eagle-eyed Redditor has unearthed an SEC filing from 2006 that notes, "Universal Studios has agreed to distribute Marvel’s film The Incredible Hulk and sequels on essentially the same terms as those on which Paramount has agreed to distribute the other films financed and produced under the film facility."
We knew all that, of course, but here's where things get interesting. "Paramount shall have the right to exercise its Paramount Distribution Rights with respect to each Picture," it reads, "for an initial period of 15 years commencing on the initial Theatrical Exhibition of such Picture (the 'Initial Distribution Term')."
Clearly, a 15-year deal was also made with Universal, and this means Marvel Studios could forge ahead with a Hulk movie next year (the distribution agreement would conclude in June).
This would tie into reports that there are plans for a World War Hulk movie, and with a recent She-Hulk: Attorney at Law clip showing a Sakaaran spaceship taking aim at the Jade Giant, we're guessing he's heading into outer space. A movie is a logical place to tell that story, so don't be surprised if this title is announced during D23 next month.
What are your hopes for The Hulk in theaters moving forward? Is it time for him to once again take on a lead role after being relegated to a supporting player? Share your thoughts below.