Despite being one of the founding Avengers, the Hulk has had an arguably small role to play in the MCU as the only member of the team not to lead a solo project since Phase 1. Universal and Marvel reached an agreement in 2008 for the former to distribute The Incredible Hulk which starred Edward Norton as Bruce Banner before he was recast with Mark Ruffalo for The Avengers.
Disney and Marvel still hold the rights to develop movies starring the Hulk, but Universal has the first refusal opportunity to distribute the project and takes a significant chunk of the profits. This complicated legal issue has since led the MCU to limit Hulk to supporting roles and omit solo projects altogether.
Rumors have previously spread to suggest Disney may have regained the rights but have yet to be supported by anything definitive. Marvel Studios has also been reported to be developing a World War Hulk movie following on from the events of Disney+’s She-Hulk with plans to shoot this year for a late 2023 or early 2024 release.
With the current state of Hulk’s distribution rights sitting up in the air, new evidence has been uncovered to suggest when Disney will reacquire the rights.
Disney May Regain Hulk Movie Rights Soon
Reddit user u/vidoardes shared evidence that indicates Disney may regain the distribution rights to the Hulk in June 2023, allowing them to produce a new solo movie based on the green Avenger.
Universal currently owns distribution rights to any movie starring Hulk or Namor in the leading role, meaning they receive a significant share of the profits.
Beyond opening the doors to Hulk taking on a bigger role, Marvel Studios may finally be able to give Namor his own solo movie. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will introduce the Atlantean ruler, played by Tenoch Huerta, but his MCU future remains up in the air as of now.