Universal Could Be Considering Selling The Film Rights To THE HULK And NAMOR Back To Disney

Universal Could Be Considering Selling The Film Rights To THE HULK And NAMOR Back To Disney

A new report suggests there's a good chance Universal Pictures might finally sell the rights to the Hulk and Namor franchises back to Disney, but as always with these things, there's a (pricey) catch...

By JoshWilding - Mar 03, 2023 09:03 AM EST
Filed Under: Hulk
Source: The Wrap

Big changes have been taking place behind the scenes at Disney ever since Bob Iger returned as CEO, with one popular theory being that the company will sell its 67% stake in Hulu.

Overseas, Hulu titles are added to the Disney+ library, but the two streaming platforms remain completely separate in the U.S. Having two of these services to contend with has become something of a financial burden, and selling its 67% share could be highly beneficial to the company. 

Things get complicated here as The Wrap's report begins getting into the financial complications such a deal would involve. However, if Disney decided against buying out Comcast's 33% stake, then that company might choose to acquire the entire service. As part of any such package, the House of Mouse stands a chance to finally regain two key Marvel franchises. 

Citi analyst Jason Bazinet explains, "While Disney owns all Marvel IP, Universal has distribution rights to Hulk and Namor. As such, if Disney makes a Hulk or Namor film, Comcast can distribute the film on Peacock. If Hulu is sold, Disney may use this as an opportunity to secure these distribution rights."

While Marvel Studios is able to include The Hulk and Namor in movies, they've been restricted from releasing solo outings due to Universal holding those rights. 

This would ultimately be a very small part of any deal, but outside of combining Disney+ and Hulu, a potential sale - the streamer is valued between $19.8 billion and $27.5 billion - has the potential to add as much $13 to stock prices. 

That may not seem like a big deal, but for investors, it sure would be. Iger, for example, is thought to own 500,000 Disney shares. A sale that adds $13 to each of those puts roughly an extra $6.5 million in his pocket! 

Do you think we'll eventually see solo Hulk and Namor movies?

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IronGenesis
IronGenesis - 3/3/2023, 9:47 AM
Interesting time to buy HULK.
Ruffalo aging out of the role and Namur actor didn’t really move the needle (hence I can’t even recall his name).

Maybe if they would introduce new variants of each and bring in more established younger actors for both properties. It might have a shot then.

CorndogBurglar
CorndogBurglar - 3/3/2023, 9:53 AM
@IronGenesis - The Multiverse Saga feels like the right time to do a soft reboot and reintroduce some characters.

When you think about it, you've got people that are just now jumping on board the MCU (maybe they were small children during Phases 1-3 and weren't old enough to really pay attention to them or even be interested?). As the MCU continues to grow you can't expect people to go back and watch 30 or 40 films and D+ shows to get all caught up.

They'll need to do a reboot at some point because that problem gets bigger and bigger with each new project. Before long it becomes to much of a burden for anyone to want to jump into it for the first time.
SATW42
SATW42 - 3/3/2023, 9:57 AM
@IronGenesis - Hulk is interesting. Wiping out Ruffalo's Hulk and going back to square one with him seems to make perfect sense with the multiversal wipe that is inevitably coming with Secret Wars, but they also just introduced his son and I don't see which project in the near future would establish that relationship and character, that they clearly have an interest in exploring.

Also, I had to chuckle a little bit talking about Ruffalo aging out of the role when they just hired 82 year old Harrison Ford to play Red Hulk
19Batman84
19Batman84 - 3/3/2023, 9:59 AM
@IronGenesis - the namor actor just started and is young don't think they're gonna replace him even you can't remember his name lol he did a good job i liked his performance i put out namors arrogance perfectly
FireandBlood
FireandBlood - 3/3/2023, 10:00 AM
@CorndogBurglar - A reboot will diminish the brand they’ve built and the genre that’s already starting to die out. There’s been no hunger for a new Cap or Iron Man.
IronGenesis
IronGenesis - 3/3/2023, 10:01 AM
@SATW42 - 😂. You’re right about FORD. Just feels Ruffalo has been the HULK forever.

Maybe because they have made the hulk basically a side character … I only see Ruffalo as a supporting actor and not capable and too old to be the Lead Actor in a major blockbuster.
mountainman
mountainman - 3/3/2023, 10:02 AM
@CorndogBurglar - It seems more and more likely that there will be at least a soft reboot after Secret Wars. It makes sense to give people a fresh jumping on point, they can bring back some A heroes quite easily, and can integrate the mutants without some convoluted backstory to it.
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